Enterprise Data Solutions Ltd drives Cleone Foods employee efficiency up by reaching warehouse dead spots

Industry – Food Manufacturing
Customer Cleone Foods, a leading UK producer and distributor of Jamaican patties under their registered trademark Island Delight
Region – Birmingham, UK
Solution – Zyxel controller, access points and switch
Challenges
  • Achieving reliable and uninterrupted connectivity across 1,400 square feet
  • Ensuring reliable and fast connectivity with zero downtime in every corner of the space within a harsh environment of fridges, ovens and steam cleaning to support a WiFi dependent phone system
  • Building a cost-effective, reliable and future-proofed network to support future growth and digital transformation
Background

Cleone Foods is a leading UK producer and distributor of Jamaican patties to leading supermarkets. The food manufacturer, based in Birmingham, recognised the need to bolster the network it so heavily relies upon to run the factory 24/7 all year. Due to signal dead spots in the factory caused by varying temperatures from fridges, ovens and building structures, Cleone Foods needed a Wi-Fi-based phone system to streamline factory floor communications across 70 employees and a network that could appropriately support it without dropping calls.

Challenges

Due to the harsh environment of a food manufacturing warehouse, wires cannot be exposed, and all hardware used to support the infrastructure must be able to withstand heavy duty cleaning, also extreme high & low temperatures, without impacting networking strength. For this reason, the current standard CAT 5 server-based Wi-Fi just wasn’t strong enough to reach all corners of the factory and the rugged DECT phones used costs £600 each and needed regular replacing due to the conditions.

Solutions and benefits

The telecoms service provider had suggested the Cisco Meraki Cloud solution; however, this was too expensive for Cleone Foods and they didn’t feel it offered a flexible future-proofed system to support future growth and proposed digital transformation. To bridge the gap, Cleone Foods engaged Andy Bailey MBE of Enterprise Data Solutions (EDS), (who specialise in providing IT solutions for the SME’s) to advise and recommend a more robust cost-effective Wi-Fi solution. They recommended deploying the Zyxel’s suite of access points, switches and controllers that provide planning and coverage detection to ensure wall to wall coverage for the new handsets.

Cleone Foods now enjoys a secure and stable network, reaching dead spots. It has also more than halved handset replacement costs while improving communications across the warehouse to encourage greater efficiency and productivity of staff, who previously had to work around communications dead spots.

“As a food manufacturer embracing new technology, Wi-Fi connectivity is imperative to communications on the factory floor and finding a network provider with hardware that works efficiently in our harsh environment was of utmost importance. To make doubly sure, the Zyxel Access points are encased in IP65 clear boxes with drain tubes and the connectivity hasn’t suffered as a result. Through the help of Enterprise Data Systems, our staff can now freely work where they need to on the warehouse floor. We can now look forward to phase two of our digital transformation plan to develop greater traceability and stock control via iPads,” comments Wade Lyn CBE at Cleone Foods.

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