Harsh Wireless Environment? Not a Problem.
It’s a fact – everyone wants wireless access. Recent research indicates that by 2015, more US internet users will be accessing the internet over their mobile devices than on traditional computers. With that many people online and on their mobile devices not having stable, secure wireless access is surely an impediment for companies as well as every day users. Companies leverage mobile devices to enable a more efficient workforce. Mobile devices are used to leverage “always-on” applications, increasing access for employees and as a better means of time management. Both of which increase employee productivity. Companies also often rely on their wireless network for regulating employee safety. Such is the case for the iron manufacturing company, North American Hoganas Inc.
With 11 production facilities across four continents in eight countries including the United States, where it staffs 250 employees, North American Hoganas Inc. needed to deploy an end-to-end wireless network in order to keep up with market demands and target new operational efficiencies. Up to the minute communication is vital not only for business operations, but also for the safety of their plant employees. Updating employees on risk assessments, proper product handling techniques, and work schedules are just some examples of mission-critical, daily communication from management to employees. There was one problem that stood between North American Hoganas Inc and a successfully deploying a pervasive wireless network: North American Hoganas Inc. itself.
North American Hoganas Inc. is the country’s leading producer of iron and nonferrous metal powders. Not surprisingly, metal powders, metallic structures, and magnetic objects cause heavy interference in wireless networks, and can even bring the whole network down altogether – now imagine the level of interference generated by the billions of antagonistic metallic particles in an iron and metallic powder manufacturing facility. If the idea of a network overloaded with interference causes an IT professional headaches, then deploying a wireless network in North American Hoganas Inc would cause a downright nervous breakdown.
Driven by the requirement for a dependable network, North American Hoganas Inc. compared wireless network solutions from Motorola, Nortel, Avaya, and other networking leaders. Their final decision was that the Cisco Unified Wireless Network was the best solution for them due to Cisco CleanAir technology.
CleanAir alleviated environmental network interference that had previously impaired operations, allowing IT to troubleshoot real-time performance, track intermittent and past problems, and report usage and interference trends. Despite the iron manufacturer’s harsh wireless network environment, Cisco’s CleanAir solution enabled North American Hoganas Inc. to finally have a wireless network that could mitigate interference, support critical operations, and provide data to employees, ensuring their safety.
80% of companies report problems with RF interference negatively impacting their wireless networks performance. Cisco CleanAir technology delivers on RF interference by providing system-wide discovery without impacting performance, taking automatic action to avoid current and future interference. For a manufacturing company such as North American Hoganas Inc., safety is the most important regulation, and with their Cisco solution, North American Hoganas Inc. no longer has to worry about whether or not workplace safety communications are properly delivered to their employees.
With its success working with North American Hoganas Inc., Cisco has proven that with the right network solution, companies with heavy network interference, such as manufactures and hospitals, can adapt to the wireless megatrend. With Cisco’s end-to-end solution, companies can not only provide a stable wireless network, but they can also lower IT costs overall. As the wireless megatrend continues to grow, Cisco will continue to provide companies with a consistent, high-performing, enterprise-class wireless network that will be there when they need it.