For a manufacturing plant communication system there are a variety of options available. Of course you need something durable since the communication devices will be used in a somewhat hostile environment. You also may need an intercom that is either loud or has a handset since the environment may be noisy. Choosing the right factory communication equipment also depends on whether you need something wired or wireless. The options available will be discussed below.
Wireless Plant Intercom
If you are unable to run wires between locations where you need communication, then going wireless is your only choice. Wireless call box equipment is available that uses 2-way radio frequencies so they can cover large distances and overcome a lot of the obstacles found in a manufacturing facility. As an added benefit, you can use existing 2-way radios to communicate with these callboxes so they give the added advantage of mobility. These callboxes work like 2-way radios in that they are push-to-talk (PTT), meaning a button must be pressed down and held while talking.
These wireless callboxes require 12-volts DC power to run them in full intercom mode, which means they can be called at any time, and they can call out at any time. They can also be battery-powered, however then they must run in auto-turnoff mode, which means they go to sleep after they have been used. When they are sleeping they cannot be called. If you have an application where only the callbox needs to initiate a call, then you can use them with batteries that last up to 7000 transmissions.
These wireless callboxes can also send out recorded messages, which could be used to broadcast a location message when the PTT button is first pressed. There is also a switch relay that can be used to turn on a light when the PTT button is pressed, or when the callbox is called. The switch can also be set up so that it can be activated remotely to turn something on, or activate an electric lock.
VoIP Factory Intercoms
If you can run wire or already have CAT-5 or CAT-6 cables run to the locations, then a VoIP intercom will give you the most flexibility and capability. We have highly durable stainless steel callboxes that can be paired with VoIP telephones to create just about any system you need. This system enables you to use VoIP phones to directly call any of the stainless steel callboxes you want. The callboxes have a programmed button to call an individual phone or a group of phones. A callbox version with a scrolling directory is also available that allows calling between callboxes without a VoIP phone.
These stainless steel callboxes have ample high-definition sound along with noise cancellation, handsfree operation, and automatic volume control. If your manufacturing intercom needs an extra-loud speaker, we can even add an external amplified horn speaker. We use these call boxes for truck scale intercoms, which is one of the most challenging applications there is. The callbox gets its power from a Power-Over-Ethernet (POE) switch so the intercom does not need a power outlet nearby. The system can operate on its own private network so it does not require Internet service.
If you already have a VoIP telephone system, there are stainless steel intercoms that can be just another phone on that system. These may not work in noisy environments, but they may work fine for some applications.
Hot-Line Manufacturing Intercoms
On the lower end of industrial plant communication systems there are hot line analog phones that use analog telephone lines. You can program a phone number in these so when the button is pressed it just calls the phone number. However if you don't have an analog telephone line, there are analog line simulators we use to make it look like a telephone line is installed. We have our noisy location handsets that have been used as factory intercoms on the opposite ends of large machinery. Picking up one handset rings the other and allows two way communication just as if a line were installed.
If you need help in choosing a manufacturing plant communication system, please give us a call at 888-298-9489.
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