Belden > Case Studies > Increasing Capacity and Improving Network Performance at a New Industrial Supply Center

Increasing Capacity and Improving Network Performance at a New Industrial Supply Center

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 Increasing Capacity and Improving Network Performance at a New Industrial Supply Center - IoT ONE Case Study
Technology Category
  • Cybersecurity & Privacy - Network Security
  • Networks & Connectivity - Network Management & Analysis Software
Applicable Industries
  • Equipment & Machinery
  • National Security & Defense
Applicable Functions
  • Maintenance
  • Product Research & Development
Use Cases
  • Inventory Management
  • Time Sensitive Networking
Services
  • Hardware Design & Engineering Services
  • System Integration
The Challenge
A Fortune 500 industrial supply company was facing consistent network failures multiple times per day at its newly opened distribution center. This resulted in a halt in automation, forcing staff to manually fulfill orders, which in turn slowed deliveries and strained relationships with customers and suppliers. The company's revenue fell, and future sales were affected. The new center was operating only at 10-20% capacity. The company needed to ramp up capacity to 100%, but had concerns about potential network issues. They onboarded a global leader in material handling systems to fix the problem, who then brought on Belden to uncover any issues or misalignment with the facility’s network.
The Customer
About The Customer
The customer is a Fortune 500 industrial supply company that prides itself on quick delivery of a wide range of products. The company recently opened a new distribution center, which was experiencing consistent network failures multiple times per day. This was causing a halt in automation and forcing staff to manually fulfill orders, slowing deliveries and straining relationships with customers and suppliers. The company's revenue fell, and future sales were affected. The new center was operating only at 10-20% capacity, and the company needed to ramp up capacity to 100%, but had concerns about potential network issues.
The Solution
Belden performed an in-depth Network Assessment evaluating the existing network’s hardware, configuration, backup systems, scalability, and security posture. The assessment revealed multiple concerns that could lead to network failures, including lack of device segmentation, slower switches on the network backbone, outdated hardware, lack of authentication for security, lack of visibility for proactive system issue detection, and a lack of consistent and reliable protocols. Belden identified actionable recommendations to address and resolve the primary causes of the new facility’s system failures, delays, and poor network performance. The recommendations included segmenting the overall network, implementing proactive management, implementing Precision Time Protocol (PTP), employing cable management best practices, and preventing unnecessary network traffic. When these recommendations are followed, the company can reliably and safely ramp up to 100% capacity without further harming customer confidence and supplier relationships.
Operational Impact
  • The implementation of Belden's recommendations led to a significant improvement in the company's network performance. The segmentation of the network into smaller, more manageable subnets improved overall network performance, limited unnecessary traffic, improved security posture, and contained outages to single network segments. The implementation of proactive management contributed to effective network administration, operation, security, and maintenance. The implementation of Precision Time Protocol (PTP) optimized network performance between the devices that require real-time motion control. Proper cable lengths and protection from strain and interference limited damage to cabling over time and prevented service degradation due to cable failures. With a proper network design and consistent configuration settings, the site was able to eliminate traffic floods to unrelated sections of the network. Overall, the company was able to mitigate the center’s downtime and network failure issues, and safely ramp up to 100% capacity without further harming customer confidence and supplier relationships.
Quantitative Benefit
  • Reduction in network failures
  • Increase in operational capacity from 10-20% to 100%
  • Improvement in delivery times

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