I am unifying various wireless networks in a manufacturing environment. There is a fair bit of interference, but we haven't done a true site survey and there are a few unknowns. I am trying to make the best decision on equipment without going overboard.
So we have 2 office areas, and 3 warehouse areas, 1 of which is about 30% larger than the other two.
I am having a hard time coming up with some answers;
1) Do we use a wireless controller, or standalone APs? I like the 3600 series, it looks very robust and will do what we need, but they only come in the "controlled" variety.
2) Is the "clean air" technology going to help with industrial interference detection? There isnt a huge amount of interference, and it is only intermittent (paint line runs occasionally.. no other real sources) but it is enough to make cheaper consumer grade appliances fall short. I'm more interested in the ability to say if interference is messing with our equipment than whether or not its mitigable.
3) If I buy some 2600 series stand-alone devices, can I reflash them to controller-based APs if we so decide that the controller will help, down the line? I want to get a device to test in our environment and see if it works better than our currently terrible wireless network, and if it works out well we will most likely go controller-based unless theres any reason you guys can tell me we don't need it.
4) Do the 2602E devices come with basic antennas for use out of the box or will I have to order some antennas along with my device?
One other important note, this wireless network is fairly critical. Inventory is tracked, controlled, and transported using handheld Windows-CE based scanners (Motorola Symbol) to interface with our ERP system. These devices are old and support a/b/g, but otherwise seem to work fine. When the wireless network is not functioning, shipping grinds to a halt as workers are manually writing down serial numbers and inputting them at computer terminals.
I feel like I'm missing something else, but this is a good start.