Horticulture Application

Industry: Horticulture :Flowers and Plants
Product: Wireless Access Point( AW5300) and Wireless Client Adapter(EW5302)
Site Location: Netherlands (from Jan. 2010 until now)

Case Overview

Flower production and other floriculture in the Netherlands is a huge business. Netherlands accounts for most of the world market, with 12,000 plant nurseries handling this output. Billions of flowers and plants are distributed through the wholesale markets each year. They are shipped fresh daily to florists, achieving a high and reliable rate of safe delivery. Within Europe, most shipments are through high speed trains. The rest is air freight transportation. Specialized packaging and handling help the worldwide trade to become reliable and efficient.

ATOP’s customer is the owner of a modern facility built for the growing of flowers. This green house is equipped with auto-guided vehicles (AGV) that are used for the loading and unloading of large-size flower stands. The AGV and entire system are remotely managed by the green house control center. This advanced green-house management system not only reduces the number of operators in the green house, but also increases its overall productivity.

System requirements

1. The AGV is equipped with a serial communication port. The customer required a device which would enable each PLC on the AGV to be wirelessly and reliably connected to a WiFi network. In a green house environment, the device must comply with certain industrial standards, such as resistance to dust, vibration and humidity.
2. The wireless access points must support dual capabilities; it must work as an access point and as a WDS bridge.   
3. The entire system should operate in a very large green house. The AGVs are moving around all the time.  Therefore, the mobile stations (AGVs) need to be able to roam across multiple access points seamlessly within a very short period. ATOP access points have to provide a special proprietary algorithm for fast roaming to secure this connection.  

System Topology

The AGV in operation

What was done by Atop

1. Atop provides a wireless Access point – AW5300.The AW5300 enables the customer to deploy an efficient and intelligent management system in between the control center and mobile stations (AGVs). The unique feature of fast handoff equipped in AW5300 greatly reduces the hand-off process delay, which typically takes 1-4 seconds, with AW5300, it takes less than 0.5 second. This feature contributes a huge boost to the operating efficiency of the entire system, and it is uniquely only found on Atop’s wireless products.       
2. AW5300 also deploys an intelligent routing technique; that filters out all redundant traffic on both wired and wireless interfaces, vastly improving the overall network performance.
3. Atop also provides a wireless client adapter, the EW5302. This product is a bridge between the serial communication port and the wireless LAN. There’s no similar product likes EW5302 in the market because it is equipped with two additional serial ports. It can allow the PLC’s LAN and other two serial devices on the AGV to be remotely and wirelessly connected into the WiFi network.       
4. Atop’s service team also worked together with the local distributor to conduct a site survey, to fix the location of antennas, and custom configure the device settings.

Business Benefit

This fully automatically flower loading and unloading system is a pioneer project. It is the beginning of  an advanced management system in green houses. In the coming years, the same application will be extended into other green houses that are located in the country with the world’s largest flower production.

Key Success Factors

1. Atop products, AW5300 and EW5302 are equipped with unique and excellent features to implement the design and improve the performance of the entire system.
2. Atop has worked closely with its local distributors, to provide prompt and timely service to customers.
AW5300 – Access Point           EW5302- Wireless Client Adapter

Product Wireless Access Point and Wireless Client Adapter Click below for detailed information and specifications


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