I'm working on an SCADA / MES software solution in a meat processing production area. I want to have an ethernet connection to all PLC controled machines. Some of these machines can be positioned anywhere on this production floor, so I'm considering a wireless solution. The only problem I have is that if I want a connection to the machines PLC I only have a RJ45 port available. So if I want to connect this machine I tought of using a regular access point. But I need to know if it is possible to connect from one access point to another.
Another question is, do I need to have a special type of antenna since all machines in this enviroment are made off stainless steel.
You can use a Station Adapter to talk to an AP, but unless/until Cisco implements WDS, you cannot talk AP-to-AP.
Cisco's version of the Station Adapter is the Workgroup Bridge.
We are considering putting out a harsh-environment kit that would make an AP, Station Adpater or WGB 'splash proof', including water-tight CAT5 and antenna connectors. That might be a consideration for your environment.