A Tamworth manufacturing business approached Yesway, seeking to improve their factory communications system.
Tamworth, which is in the west midlands county of Staffordshire has many manufacturing businesses.
The clients factory already had an aging analogue license free PMR446 radio system, but there were coverage issues, due to the site being spread over a large area.
Yesway travelled to the clients Tamworth site, and carried out a full equipment inspection of their existing equipment.
A comprehensive radio coverage range survey was carried out, to identify the coverage blackspots.
It was identified that parts of the furthermost goods yard from the main office, had no communication coverage at all.
The clients manufacturing premises is spread across two separate sites, with a road between them.
Another issue is that like many modern factories, the buildings are largely made of steel.
Radio waves do not like penetrating steel, and causes what is known as attenuation.
Attenuation is when the strength of the radio signal being transmitted or received, is reduced by physical objects.
Physical objects can include man made objects such as buildings, or natural features of the landscape, such as trees and hills.
As the buildings were largely metal structures (which radio waves don’t like), presented am exciting challenge for our Yesway engineering team.
Of course being Yesway, our team was fired up to improve the customers radio system.
The Yesway team initially tried a VHF Hytera PD405 radio, but it was established that VHF was not going to work best with the clients site.
We then tried UHF, using our demo Entel DX series radios.
UHF worked better than VHF at the location, but there were still a few blackspots in communication coverage.
The conventional solution would have been to add a radio repeater.
A radio repeater is a device that boosts signal range, by receiving and re-transmitting the radio signal.
A radio repeater however would have doubled the cost to the customer.
Yesway engineers decided to try something else first.
We cut a helical antenna to the actual resonant frequency length. This optimised the performance of the handheld radio antenna.
With this optimisation of the handheld radios antenna, full coverage was achieved, at half the cost of adding a repeater.
The customer therefore saved money, and still gained full site coverage.