Daily Shift Interruption at Cooling Distribution Facility Gets Worse Before Getting Better: Wireless Network Troubleshooting

by | Oct 10, 2018 | News

An agriculture client has many coolers where they store their perishable products, and moving pallets in and out of these facilities with teams of forklifts depends on technology working in a stable manner, every moment of the day.

Over the past few months, this client has experienced a worsening problem with the wireless network dropped connections that has interrupted daily shifts of workers from once daily, to once hourly.  This issue occurs because the rugged computer laptops on the forklifts that travel all over the cooler facilities, need to be able to maintain a steady connection to the wireless access points at all times.  Whenever a connection is dropped, workers have to stop being productive, reboot the computer, and redo some of their work.

After months of trying to resolve the issue themselves, the IT staff at this client needed more expertise.  We asked for the floor layout of the cooler with the worst problem, interviewed the team about design choices and configuration settings they had made and adjustments already attempted, and got to work.  A team of three engineers worked together to identify the root causes of this very expensive problem.

One week into the project, we already identified that the customer may have simply installed too many access points too close to each other, with default configuration settings.  These choices cause interference with each device’s ability to provide a stable separate coverage zone.  In addition, the client configured the devices to automatically choose wireless frequency channels on their own, as well as allow the devices to automatically “blast” as much of a powerful “wave” as desired.

By “flooding the airwaves” with too much WiFi, the customer was probably doing what the product vendor recommended or what they assumed would work best.  Our company’s experience setting up and troubleshooting dozens of wireless network environments like this provides the level of breadth and depth of experience that no single customer could ever achieve on their own.

This client will now use the information gained to have us help them resolve similar issues in all other coolers, including a new greenhouse facility being built later this year on recently acquired property.

As ZAG demonstrates expertise with different technology platforms, this customer learns that they have a single IT services partner they can depend on for all types of projects and services, to enable their continued success.

To learn more about wireless network configuration and troubleshooting in agricultural produce cooling and distribution facilities, contact us today.

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