All the advantages of the Lora protocol in the new Smart Factory context
Published : 09/14/2020 10:40:26
Talking about IoT and Smart Objects, with elements interconnected and communicating with the surrounding environment, LoRa technology cannot be overlooked, especially in scenarios involving Smart City, Smart Factory or Industry 4.0 - systems aimed at optimizing results and maximum operational efficiency.
In a system of this type, where the connection and communication between the elements are fundamental, the industrial networking plays a central role; thanks to its continuous evolution, it also offers more and more smart and usable applications, both for the industrial and consumer world.
Many analysts estimate that IoT interconnections will permeate the world market through an increasing number of connected devices and LoRa technology is the most suitable to fulfill this significant role.
LoRa technology: what it is and how it works
LoRa (Long Range) is a communication technology developed in France in the new millennium. LoRa technology uses sub-gigahertz radio frequency bands which enable long range transmissions (over 10 km in rural areas, 3-5 km in heavily urbanized areas) and low energy consumption.
With this technology you can control and manage a wide variety of smart IoT applications, to solving challenges such as energy management, pollution control, infrastructure efficiency, disaster prevention and more.
LoRa and LoRaWAN: what are the differences
LoRa technology is divided into two layers: LoRa represents the first layer (the physical layer) while LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network) represents the top layer (Media Access Control layers and Application layer).
LoRa uses frequency bands reserved for radio communications for industrial and scientific use, (among the most widespread are 868 MHz in Europe and 915 MHz in North America) thanks to which a low power emitter (called node) transmits small data packets (from 0.3 to 5.5 kbps) to a receiver over a long distance.
The LoRaWAN open protocol was developed by the LoRa Alliance, a non-profit association with the aim of standardizing the protocol for the management of communications between concentrators and nodes. It is a bidirectional routing protocol (uplink and downlink) and does not support direct communication between nodes.
What are the advantages of the LoRa protocol?
The main advantage, closely linked to the optimization and efficiency aspect that characterize Smart Cities and Smart Factories, is the possibility to combine an excellent ratio between performance and consumption, through a long transmission range and the possibility to connect up to a thousand nodes while maintaining low consumption.
The second advantage is the open source nature of the protocol, giving the possibility to integrate LoRa within existing modules without the need to redesign the system from scratch, resulting in saving time and investment for those who decide to switch to this technology.
The other great advantage of the LoRa protocol is the bi-directionality of data transmission; in this way it is possible to acquire and at the same time transmit data, with the consequent possibility of detecting possible problems at a distance and making the necessary corrections.
Finally, there is also the possibility of operation via mesh network: the signal range increases because each node interconnected to the others increases the overall range.
LoRa solutions proposed by Digimax:
Digimax develops solutions and projects related to industrial networking through international level partners. The proposal of smart sensors for industry, industrial nodes and IoT sensors for smart cities able to support LoRa/LoRaWAN technology, combined with the know-how developed by the dedicated business units has led Digimax to be a strategic partner to develop industrial innovation projects.