When it comes to challenging environments, warehouse Wi-Fi makes it to the top of the list. Each warehouse is a different environment housing different types of inventory which affect how the RF propagates. François speaks about his experience designing for warehouses.
François has done a few warehouse designs and deployments. He is going to share his personal experiences when approaching warehouse Wi-Fi. Below are some of the bullet point topics we talk about. If you have any questions, feedback, or would like to add to the show please leave a comment below.
- Always remember that you are working in someone else’s working space (true for any Wi-Fi, especially true for warehouses)
- Skyjack use
- Prep work about safety:
- Ask the customer if any safety training are required
- Am I going to need boots, safety glasses, hard hat, safety jacket
- If you are going to drive a skyjack, do I need a licence for it? Do I have a licence for it? If yes, I will also need a harness
- Once on site:
- Always look around
- Walk in the walking area whenever you can
- Always give a visual to the lift truck drivers
- Wear your safety equipment
- Coordinate with the supervision to survey busy areas when they are less busy. (Especially the loading stations)
- If you are handling your survey equipment for an AP-on-a-stick, be careful with it as well
- Structure of the building
- Ceiling height (Can vary from 1 warehouse to another). This is greatly going to affect your design
- What is inside the warehouse? Is is Milk, Wine or is it wood, metal?
- How high are the racks? Do I have different type of racks? What are their attenuation? How do you test the attenuation?
- How are the employee using the Wi-Fi devices? Let’s talk about how advanced those scanner guns are 😉
- Usually 1 section with offices (on the ground floor or on 2 floors) and the rest is warehouse.
- Separate it in your design. They don’t have the same requirements (not the same devices, not the same applications, not the same density, not the same environment)
- Will I need different SSIDs?
- How do I deal with offices inside the warehouse?
- AP locations and mounting options (Am I going to mount the AP on the wall, on the ceiling)
- Watch out for obstructions objects in the ceiling
- Be precise with antenna installation (angle, location, orientation) – Give out good instructions to the installers
- Do I need to lower the antenna from the ceiling?
- What devices do I have in the warehouse? What type of security can I use?
- Make sure you have proper floorpans (updated).
- If your floor plans are empty, find elements which are going to help you to find out where you are (doors, docking area…)
- Measure distances (to the wall, to the ceiling, to the beam…)
- Laser measure distance tool
- Be nice with the employees (remember, you are the intruder) – They will be nice with you and you will have a much better time.
- If you need to take measurements with a SkyJack, make sure you can lift the skyjack from the ground.
- Use pylon cones for extra safety
- Your battery life is going to be your limitation. Organize your time so you do something else while the battery charges. (break, documentation…)
- Mark the AP location with something you can see from the floor. (Pink plastic tape, While board,,,)
- Prepare the equipment
- Do I have my APs?
- Are my APs configured?
- Do I have my antennas? Do I have the right antennas?
- Specific equipment for warehouse: Skyjack, High Ceiling pole, external antenna, hard hat, safety jacket, harness + duck tape and tire ups (you never know)
- Prepare the access (schedule your survey with the customer). Warehouses are usually open 24/7, 7 day a week. It makes it easier!
- Will I need a sky jack? Can I borrow one from the customer? Do I need to rent one out? Do you have to be certified to use it? Do you need training?