CEC Theses and Dissertations

Title

Wireless LAN Technologies: A Model for Planning, Designing, and Implementing a WLAN Solution in a Global Manufacturing Enterprise

Date of Award

2003

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Marlyn Kemper Littman

Committee Member

Sumitra Mukherjee

Committee Member

Junping Sun

Abstract

The dissertation that follows is submitted to partially fulfill the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs) have the potential to improve the flexibility, productivity, and work environment of employees in an enterprise. WLAN technologies offer the benefits of mobility, reduced installation time, and decreased cost. However, major issues related to security, speed, interoperability, equipment selection, ease of use, reliability, signal interference, and installation must be resolved by companies moving forward with WLAN solutions. The research addressed a problem confronting many large manufacturing companies in the present-day environment. The problem was how to effectively plan, design, and implement WLAN technologies. The goal of the research was to provide large manufacturing enterprises a model for deploying secure WLAN technologies in offices, manufacturing facilities, and employee residences. The model was developed from a case study of WLAN projects implemented at American Axle and Manufacturing (AAM). Four WLAN initiatives were the subject of the case study: Wireless Connectivity in Executive Conference Rooms, Wireless Connectivity on the Plant-Floor, AAMatHome, and Enhanced Wireless LAN Security. Throughout the investigation, an emphasis was placed on the reliability, replicability, validity, and transferability of research results.

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