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Smart Manufacturing Testbed for the Advancement of Wireless Adoption in the Factory



Richard Candell, Yongkang Liu, Mohamed T. Hany, Karl R. Montgomery, Sebti Foufou


Wireless communication is a key enabling technology central to the advancement of the goals of the Industry 4.0 smart manufacturing concept. Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology are constructing a testbed to aid in the adoption of wireless technology within the factory workcell and other harsh industrial radio environments. In this paper the authors present a new industrial wireless testbed design that motivates academic research and is relevant to the needs of industry. The testbed is designed to serve as both a demonstration and research platform for the wireless workcell. The work leverages lessons learned from past incarnations that included a dual robot machine tending scenario and a force-torque seeking robot arm apparatus. This version of the testbed includes computational and communication elements such that the operation of the physical system is noticeably degraded under the influence of radio interference, competing network traffic, and radio propagation effects applied within the lab. The testbed includes two collaborative grade robot arms, programmable logical controllers, and high-performance computing devices for situational tracking, alerting, and control. The paper is aimed to provide our contribution to the exploration of industrial wireless testbed design while soliciting feedback from fellow researchers.
Conference Dates
July 5-8, 2020
Conference Location
Conference Title
IFIP 17th International Conference on Product Lifecycle


factory communications , wireless , testbed design , smart manufacturing , simulation , IIoT


Candell, R. , Liu, Y. , Hany, M. , Montgomery, K. and Foufou, S. (2020), Smart Manufacturing Testbed for the Advancement of Wireless Adoption in the Factory, IFIP 17th International Conference on Product Lifecycle, Rapperswil, -1, [online], (Accessed May 21, 2024)


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Created July 9, 2020, Updated September 2, 2020