Wireless networks present a promising alternative to the currently used wired systems as they are more flexible, easier to install and maintain. However, requirements on reliability and timeliness which at present are met by wired networks, also need be fulfilled by wireless solutions. Relaying and packet aggregation have been recognised as viable tools to do this. However, introducing additional relay nodes into an industrial network is costly.
Hence, in this paper we propose to use a combination of relaying and packet aggregation performed by the source nodes themselves. The results show that our proposal improves performance considerably, but also that the transmission schedule plays a crucial role. A schedule adapting to the varying channel conditions, improves the performance substantially. By carefully choosing which packet to aggregate, even further improvements can be achieved.