Belden-Hirschmann engineers 'near wired' reliability for industrial wireless devices

Belden has introduced its Hirschmann HiLCOS 8.9, the latest version of WLAN firmware to manage its line of OpenBAT industrial wireless devices.

Jun 27th, 2014
Content Dam Cim Online Articles 2014 06 Belden Hilcos

Belden has introduced its Hirschmann HiLCOS 8.9, the latest version of WLAN firmware to manage its line of OpenBAT industrial wireless devices. The company contends that the firmware release represents the first industrial wireless application of integrated Parallel Redundancy Protocol (PRP) technology, a new industry standard that allows systems to overcome network failures without affecting data transmission.

Via PRP technology, wireless technology can be reliably used for mission-critical industrial applications where distances or environments make wired solutions expensive or challenging. Belden-Hirschmann product manager Pascal Unterdorfer explains, “Although relatively new, PRP technology is already used in wired applications. However, it is totally new for a wireless access point. With the use of PRP we can increase the reliability of a wireless connection and/or network significantly. In fact, tests prove that we can come close to the reliability of a wired connection.”

See also:Supporting industrial networks with cabling and wireless systems

The key benefit of PRP inside Hirschmann’s BAT products such as wireless access points, clients and bridges is a significant increase in reliability, sates the company. PRP offers zero failover with two redundant networks. By doubling the packets, there is no data loss if one packet fails, as either the faster packet or the second packet gets through with a functioning second network. The new HiLCOS 8.9 firmware includes opportunistic key caching for fast authentication between several access points in a network -- known as “fast roaming” -- where the access points are under common administrative control. Furthermore, the new software offers extensive management, redundancy and security functions.

Belden notes that through its global brands Hirschmann, GarrettCom and Tofino Security, the company has been a pioneer in fostering the adoption of Industrial Ethernet technologies.

Related:Analysts see hope for industrial and automation networks

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