One of the challenges facing growing fleets of mobile robots and real-time data is reliable connectivity. Rajant Corp. yesterday said it will unveil its new Cardinal BreadCrumb module at ProMat in Chicago next week. The company noted that the Cardinal is the smallest industrial wireless node in its portfolio, and it is its first one tailored to the needs of warehouse automation and Industry 4.0.
Malvern, Pa.-based Rajant said Cardinal is designed with collaborative robots, automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS), autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), unmanned guided vehicles (UGVs), and other automation in mind.
It claimed that the module “can enhance your on-the-move connectivity in the most challenging environments.” The Cardinal extends Wi-Fi range past the limitations of fixed infrastructure, with no line-of-sight requirements, using two transceivers that have combined data rate of 1.73 Gbps, said the company.
Cardinal could enable 'lights-out' operations
“Our latest industrial temperature IP40 dual radio BreadCrumb module is our smallest form factor to date focused on robotics that make Wi-Fi and LTE/5G better while enabling connectivity to billions of Wi-Fi IoT [Internet of Things] devices,” stated Geoff Smith, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Rajant.
“Rajant provides extended range by supporting high-capacity M2M [machine-to-machine] communications, which automatically works around physical and RF [radio frequency] obstructions,” he added. “We’ve been doing this for 21 years, so Rajant understands the requirements for secure critical communications.”
Cardinal could also enable greater levels of autonomy inside industrial facilities.
“Rajant's latest release, the Cardinal, will transform how organizations think about lights-out operations,” said Ale Walker, director of business development at Rajant channel partner Gray Solutions. “The Rajant Cardinal will provide connectivity between systems within a facility and will be a critical piece of infrastructure in manufacturing and warehousing across the globe.”
“The benefits of having the Cardinal in facilities will not only enhance operations productivity and throughput within a plant, but will always ensure connectivity between systems,” she continued. “The Cardinal gives the customer the confidence that its plant will stay connected regardless of the technology—robotics, AGVs, ASRS—deployed.”
“Installing the Cardinal also provides the customer with the modularity and flexibility to scale up by deploying more systems without fear of lost connectivity in the plant and the ability to better respond to market trends, scale-up periods, and lights-out operations,” asserted Walker. “Interrupted connectivity causes production disruptions, which leads to fewer products out the door, which means less profit and unhappy end users. Staying connected is one of the foundational pillars of manufacturing and warehousing worldwide.”
The wireless node could also have applications as part of irrigation in agriculture, reclosers in energy, and programmable logic controls (PLCs) in oil and gas, said Rajant. In addition, Cardinal could be useful in drones for the military and light show markets, as well as process automation in the manufacturing industry, it said.
Rajant is taking orders for this BreadCrumb module starting this week.
Rajant to exhibit at ProMat 2023
Attendees at ProMat can see product demonstrations, interactive and immersive proofs of concept, and a podcast with The New Warehouse's Kevin Lawton at Rajant's exhibit in Booth N8550. ProMat will be at McCormick Place from March 20 to 23.
Rajant claimed that it invented Kinetic Mesh networking, BreadCrumb wireless nodes, and InstaMesh networking software. The company said it enables customers to rapidly deploy a highly adaptable and scalable network that uses real-time data to deliver on-demand, mission-critical business intelligence.
Kinetic Mesh is a low-latency, high-throughput, and secure approach for a variety of data, voice, video, and autonomous applications, asserted Rajant. Its networks give industrial customers with full mobility, allowing them to take their private network applications and data anywhere, it said.
Rajant said it has successful deployments in more than 80 countries for customers in military, mining, ports, rail, oil and gas, petrochemical plants, municipalities, and agriculture. The company also has facilities and offices in Arizona and Kentucky.
Editor's note: For more about ProMat 2023, visit Robotics 24/7's special coverage page.