Broadband and Wi-Fi Solutions for Manufacturing Plants

The manufacturing industry is enjoying growth by investing in automation and welcoming a new age of industrial production. This doesn’t mean it’s reducing human workers with robots. Quite the reverse, as the new generations which are entering the workforce are becoming more technologically adept, it means that it will only push this industry on to more innovative creations.

For manufacturing plants to thrive, it is critical that they invest in technologically advanced manufacturing operations and processes such as high-speed broadband. Manufacturing plants that have an unreliable connection to the internet are likely to experience slow speeds and possibly significant downtime.

Your connectivity is vital to your operations so you need to ensure you have a reliable service.Strong connectivity means an increase in:

Productivity – Profitability – Efficiency – Resiliency

Not only is important that you stay connected but that it remains a strong connection that won’t fail you as you grow.

Best connectivity option for Manufacturing Plants

When exploring broadband options for manufacturing plants, the best solution depends on the size of the manufacturing operation.

Small manufacturing operations of around 10 or less staff could manage with FTTC / FTTP quite easily, however, manufacturing sites tend to be in areas where broadband is poor. In cases of rural manufacturing operations and larger sites, we advise that they go down the route of Ethernet.

Ethernet services are dedicated, uncontended broadband services with guaranteed bandwidth, synchronous speeds and SLA’s.

Unlike Broadband, Ethernet was designed for businesses, not the residential market. Its key advantage lies in its use of dedicated high capacity fibre optic lines.

Fibre Broadband (FTTC / FTTP)

FTTC can achieve speeds of up to 76Mbps for downloads and 19Mbps for uploads.

FTTP provides bandwidths of up to 1Gbps for downloads and 50Mbps for uploads.

Single Order Generic Ethernet Access (SoGEA)

SoGEA is similar to FTTC, it even offers the same data rates, the only difference is that with SOGEA, you don't need to install a phone line.

You can get contended and uncontended services with SOGEA. The bandwidth is asynchronous, however with SOGEA Ethernet you can have an uncontended synchronous 20Mbps / 20Mbps service, but this is dependent on your distance from the street cab.

Speeds up to 80Mbps

Fibre Ethernet

Fibre Ethernet is an Ethernet Over Fibre service, the connection provides high-speed ethernet bandwidth from 10Mbps to 10Gbps delivered as Ethernet over fibre optic lines.

Fibre Ethernet uses bearers. Bearers are the bandwidth size of the available circuit, it’s the maximum speed that the circuit can go up to. With Fibre Ethernet you can get 100Mbps bearers and add on block of 10Mbps, 1Gbps bearers and add on blocks of 100Mbps up to 500Mbps then after 1Gbps or 10Gbps bearers that you can add on blocks of 1Gbps.

Speeds: From 10Mpbs up to 10Gbps

Ethernet Flex 1Gbps

With Ethernet Flex you have an uncontended service with guaranteed bandwidth of 200Mbps up and done, with 1Gbps at no extra cost.

You also have unlimited usage and on-demand bandwidth which means there is no need for portal requests.

Speeds: Guaranteed 200Mbps with 1 Gbps burst.

Discover how upgrading from FTTC to Fibre Ethernet helped improved Stressline's buiness operations.

View our Case Study

Converged Ethernet Options

There are several options; Ethernet Data only, Ethernet Voice Only (used in conjunction with SIP Trunks and Hosted Phone Systems), or Converged Ethernet (Voice, Data and using SIP and a Hosted Phone System.)

Converged Ethernet is the fully managed variant of standard Ethernet and combines both Voice and Data on a single high-speed connection prioritising all voice traffic to guarantee the number of concurrent calls required and quality, without degradation of the service during periods when traffic usage on your circuit could be in high utilisation.

With Converged Ethernet you get dedicated, uncontented, guaranteed bandwidth speeds and SLA’s.

Benefits of Ethernet

  • Dedicated, uncontended bandwidth – high availability and low latency.
  • Voice and data convergence – merge voice and data using Fibre Ethernet which means a significant cost saving.
  • 24/7 monitoring and helpdesk – for issues and consistency in performance.
  • Service Level Agreement – for delivery, performance, availability and fixes.
  • Resilient failover – by ensuring there is a failover at your premises and resilient network links via DSL (ADSL and FTTC) /4G / Ethernet (FTTC / EFM /Fibre (R2 link).
  • Maximise productivity – with uncontended bandwidth, as you can be assured that you always have access to essential business applications.
  • High-Bandwidth connectivity – as we can deliver up to 10GBps connection.

Use our Connectivity checker to see what solutions are available for your manufacturing plant


Connectivity options for Machinery

Some specialist machinery that manufacturing plants use needs their own dedicated connectivity solution and that's where M2M and IoT Sims come into play.

M2M and IoT Sims

The terms “M2M SIM” and “IoT SIM” are often used interchangeably. They are essentially the same, however, M2M SIMs are used for devices that require high data usage and IoT SIMs are used for devices that require low data usage.

Devices with M2M/IoT SIM cards have fixed IP addresses and are primarily used for sending and receiving data; not for voice. These SIM cards are designed to be more durable so they can operate in harsh environments and are more resistant to vibration, corrosion, extremely high or low temperatures.

M2M SIMS are ideal for devices that need higher data usage such as:

  • Tablets 
  • CCTV systems
  • Specialist machinery

IoT SIMS are ideal for low usage devices such as

  • Fleet Tracking Sensors
  • Point of sale card machines

Secure, Resilient Business Wi-Fi in Manufacturing Plants

The reliability of your Wi-Fi is dependent on the strength of your signal and there are many things that can affect your signal.

Wi-Fi is extremely beneficial when you have visitors who have a laptop, tablet, or mobile that need to use a strong, secure signal.

Another key reason that Wi-Fi is essential is its use in business collaboration; such as when you need to use AV equipment such as video conferencing or screen sharing for presentation purposes.

Strong Wi-Fi connectivity means an increase in:

Team Collaboration – Flexible working - Productivity – Profitability – Efficiency – Happy Staff and Visitors

Advantages of Wi-Fi in Manufacturing

Wi-Fi when used internally, it can increase business productivity and enhance collaboration by the following:

  • No desk restrictions – your staff can pick up their laptop or device and move to another desk or perhaps a conference room or factory floor and still remain connected. Ultimately, it means they aren’t tethered to one location when their project could take them all over the office.
  • Increase Team Collaboration – a huge benefit if teams can take their work to a colleague in another department or even building, perhaps to confirm order details or product specifications but still be able to access key business information.
  • Operate Collaboration tools – such as the ability to connect to AV technology to present presentations to internal or external people.
  • Simple Infrastructure – you are no longer dictated to by wires and cables when your manufacturing plant grows of when you have an influx of visitors.

How secure is Wi-Fi?

Wi-Fi security is a key concern for businesses and it should be but you shouldn’t reject the idea of going wireless when there are things that can be put in place to minimise your risk.

One of the simple security measures we can do is install a wireless Local Area Network (LAN), which will require a pass code, so only approved members of staff will be able to access the connection.

As far as Wi-Fi security, specifically, we utilise the following products which mean that you have a strong and resilient network:

  • Policy Enforcement Firewall – with deep packet inspection to ensure that each connection and user session is secure. Unlike traditional firewalls, our next-gen mobility firewall is aware of user roles, device types and app flows.
  • Wireless Intrusion Protection – throughout your network to prevent denial-of-service, man-in-the-middle and other security threats. There is no need to separate RF sensors and security appliances.
  • Policy Management – identifies all devices and users so that if an unknown device tries to connect, it is rejected and you are notified.

Find out what Broadband Solution is Available

All we need is your address and we can tell you what broadband solutions are available and what will best suit your manufacturing plant's needs.

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