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Factors to consider when choosing a Two Way Radio System for a Warehouse

Warehouse and manufacturing plants can provide challenges for any two way radio system. The building structure can cause interference for a start. However once properly trialled and installed, a radio system can provide many benefits including safe and effective instant communication between members of your staff.

What are the factors you should consider when choosing a two way radio system?

Here are a few considerations:

Type of radio (UHF or VHF): UHF licenced radios are the best option for a warehouse because the UHF signals penetrate steel and concrete.

Durability: When you are in a warehouse or manufacturing environment the durability factor is going to be very important…you don’t want a lightweight radio. Floors are going to be concrete so you require something that is built to a Military-Specification and will not break after an accidental drop. A good quality radio should last for years. Most radios will come with a manufacturer’s warranty that will normally cover defects but not necessarily accidental damage caused by your staff.

Battery Life: Battery life is an important issue and a lithium ion battery should last well past the shift. A fast multi charger is desirable so that you can have spare batteries fresh for the next day’s shift.

Multi Channel Functionality: If you have a large business you should consider having specific channels programmed into your radio fleet, management may be on one channel, your warehouse employees may be on another and the channels allow you to separate that communication. Radio communication is going to be critical to your business so you should be considering running multiple radio groups.

Range: You need to know how much power you need to cover your warehouse. This will depend on how big the warehouse is and whether you want coverage for the whole facility, which may include outside the building. PMR446 walkie-talkies may be sufficient for a small warehouse but for larger facilities you will be looking at a more powerful, licenced 4 Watts or 5 Watts radio. If there are significant coverage issues, such as a lot of walls you may need to look at installing a repeater to boost your radio coverage through the facility.

Coverage: When doing site surveys you may find that you encounter dead spots in parts of a warehouse/factory. A repeater may be a solution to eliminate poor coverage in a building. A repeater could also be a consideration should you think that your business/facility might expand over the following years.

Radio using Wi-Fi? If your warehouse supports full Wi-Fi coverage, an IP radio system would be an alternative solution. With an IP radio system you can quickly establish a high-quality radio network by just plugging in a control server to existing wireless networks. This allows you to make group and individual calls through the network and control the entire system through a PC using a PC Dispatcher. The Dispatcher has a map feature which makes it easy to see where all your employees are in the building. If connected over an Internet VPN, the system can communicate between different warehouses/buildings....even in different cities.

Icom have a complete portfolio of analogue, digital and IP radio solutions to suit all requirements. From simple licence free radios to sophisticated radio systems with tracking and health and safety features, Icom can cater for all your two way radio requirements.

If you are interested in seeing our latest radio systems, contact our sales staff on 01227 741741 or via email at sales@icomuk.co.uk

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