So you own a manufacturing company and your IT Manager recommendeds you get the latest in IP Wireless Telephone Technology. It allows you to leave your desk and be able to take a call virtually anywhere in your facility! Fantastic! Sign me up.WHOA!!!! Let’s think about this…
1) Why do you need your people to get up and get away from their desk? I could see some of them requiring the need to be on the plant floor, but a whole lot of wireless handsets means a whole lot of batteries. In the future, these will need to be changed. By the way, how long do those telephone batteries last? With two way radios, you tell me how long you need them to last.
2) Let’s look at the coverage of this system. With a radio system, we can typically get away with one or more repeaters with a battery backup and one antenna centrally mounted on the plant. With a wireless phone system, I need “Nodes”... and a lot of them. They're spread out through the facility. Each Node, depending on configuration, may need to be wired back to the central telephone switch. That’s a lot of Category 5/6 and a lot of labor. No Node, no coverage. What happens if you are on the grounds around the facility? With a radio system, no problem.
3) Radio “Push to Talk”, done in less than one second. Make a phone call, 5 seconds to set up the call and 5 to 10 seconds before it is answered.
4) You implement your phone system and an emergency arises. Your “Life Safety Team” is activated and you now have to call each of the 20+ members on their phones throughout the plant. Each call takes 30 seconds, and it could take up to 10 precious minutes to activate the team. With a radio system, one Push to Talk and the entire 20+ team members hears the message in 15 to 30 seconds.
5) Your phone system handsets are just that, handsets. How tuff are they? Military grade? Two way radios, especially from Motorola, lead the way in toughness, drop tests, heat, cold and vibration, how about yours? How about Intrinsically Safe? Motorola radios, no problem. Mine safety, no problem.
6) Your plant floor has a noise level in excess of +95db, putting a telephone handset up to your ear is not an option, nor is the ear phone jack they supplied. Two way radios accessories both muffle the noise and actually can have active filtering (Motorola MOTOTRBO IPMRESS) to reduce noise emissions between users.
7) You want to roam outside of your facility to the neighboring town? Two way radio has it!
8) GPS? Two way radio has it!
9) The ability to make a landline telephone call? Two way radio has it!
10) Man down safety notification in the plant? Two way radio has it!
11) Personal tracking in a facility? Two way radio has it!
12) Logging of the conversation? Two way radio has it!
13) Work order management? Two way radio has it!
I hope you get the idea. Don’t get me wrong, telephone systems play an active and important role. There are always needs, and in some cases, a justified case for having the wireless systems, I am just trying to make a point. Radio is quick, simple, more times than not, cheaper than a wireless telephone system and feature rich.
Think long and hard before you think IP Wireless is the way to go. Assess the reason you are looking and what it will give you.
This article was written by Tom Treichler, Director of Sales & Service at Chicago Communications. Tom has over 30 years of experience in the industry with a background in engineering, system integration, and wireless broadband. If you have any questions for Tom, or another representative at ChiComm, please contact us.