A reliable and strong wireless network is the bloodstream at Swedish Uddeholm, the world’s leading manufacturer of special steel for industrial tools.
The demands were straightforward when the global steel group Voestalpine AG addressed Conscia in Sweden. The group’s subsidiary Uddeholm in Hagfors needed a wireless network that was as fast as a cable-based net but could cover all parts of the factory’s area.
Uddeholm has 28 buildings and a huge outdoor territory, where specially constructed trucks move 10.000 tons of steel. This feedstock will later be used for manufacturing cars, white goods, computer equipment and packaging materials.
”My team has an excellent collaboration with Conscia. They are always there for us and can answer any question.”
Uddeholm has had its production, research, and central warehouse in Hagfors for more than 350 years. The factory in the Swedish Värmland region is the heart of a global company with offices in 90 different countries.
Uddeholm operates in a heavily competitive industry where it is essential to be a leader in the technical field. This includes the IT infrastructure that today is based om a stable and strong WiFi coverage. The signal can reach every corner of the factory site that spreads over more than a square kilometre in area. To digitize and streamline production and workflow.
The CIO of Voestalpine realized quickly that such a comprehensive and critical project could only be achieved by finding a good local partner with highly skilled networking experts.
“When Uddeholm came to us with the demand for a wireless network that covered all of the Hagfors steelworks, we chose Conscia because we here had access to expertise, fast shipments and quick support,” Johan Christensen explains. He is the Chief Information Officer at Voestalpine group-IT.
Conscia completed a Site Survey and suggested a solution for an industrial wireless network that included 200 access points from Cisco. Much of the hardware was heavy duty hardened in order to handle the often extreme conditions in a factory with heat, steam, water, dust and bumps.
“We wanted the new network to be fast, simple, flexible and secure. It simply had to work all the time. To achieve that, every unit must be placed optimally. Conscia’s certified consultants have provided us with a precise map of the installation. That is why we now can identify, repair and replace equipment very quickly, when an element breaks down,” Johan Christensen describes.
Advantages are many for Uddeholm. The wireless network is flexible and easy to maintain. Staff can take manuals and documentation with them out to each production line. They can scan the equipment and immediately get information about product data and relevant specifications without having to jump in and out of thick manuals.
In the longer run, Uddeholm expects that the large wireless network from Cisco will help optimizing the production even better. The target is that every piece in the production process can be identified in real time, wherever it might be in that particular moment.
Facts About Uddeholm
“Uddeholm is the world’s leading manufacturer of tool steel for industrial tools. Since 1668 it has been providing a wide range of innovative cutting-edge solutions for customers in demanding segments from it’s base in Hagfors, Sweden. Uddeholm employees work in over ninety countries and deliver improved competitiveness to clients worldwide. Uddeholm is part of the voestalpine Group, a globally leading technology and capital goods group.”