Berardi Bullonerie is a company specialized in the distribution of screws and bolts. Founded in 1919 as a small metal shop in Piazza Maggiore in Bologna, it has gradually grown acquiring some important competitors in the mid-2000s. Today it operates in an office that covers an area of 11,000 square meters and serves more than 6000 customers throughout the national territory, thanks to a network of 12 warehouses and an advanced integrated logistics system.
Berardi Bullonerie turned to Lan & Wan Solutions with the main objective of implementing a Wi-Fi infrastructure capable of supporting the growing number of network operators and devices in the logistics area. It also wanted to adopt the same technology in all the local branches in order to have full visibility of the technological components connected to the network. Another objective was to improve response times on Wi-Fi connectivity problems by entrusting the management and monitoring of the network infrastructure to a single supplier.
We were asked in particular to:
- Implement a stable, secure, homogeneous Wi-Fi infrastructure in the main office and in all local branches.
- Solve the problems of propagation of the Wi-Fi signal inside the warehouses.
- Solve roaming problems highlighted by terminals and printers installed on board order pickers.
- Implement a monitoring system that gives visibility to the entire networking ecosystem.
- Entrust the monitoring, management and maintenance of the entire Wi-Fi park distributed over 12 locations to a single contact.
- Assist, with certain intervention times and resolution, all the logistics hubs distributed throughout the territory.
Our solution provides a centralized controller installed in the HQ data center capable of managing 65 access points distributed between the HQ and the local branches thanks to the use of the existing MPLS network.
To identify the best technological solution, we first conducted a preliminary study based on the variables that could influence the technological choice and the type of coverage to be created:
- The conformation and dimensions of the logistics site
- The density of the shelves, their height and the material contained
- The density of operators with interconnected Wi-Fi devices
- The type of devices connected to Wi-Fi and the relative possibility of managing them
- The positioning of the access points according to the above
To ensure homogeneous and constant Wi-Fi coverage over the entire logistics area and eliminate roaming problems, we have implemented a radio signal distribution system using wire antennas, installed perpendicular to the shelves a few centimeters from the ceiling. We have thus managed to obtain a signal propagated linearly and constantly within each lane. In fact, each terminal installed on the order pickers has the optical visibility of at least one wire antenna at any point in the warehouse: areas with little or no coverage caused by the attenuation generated by the metal shelves are thus avoided.
Thanks to this system, we have been able to reduce the number of Wi-Fi coverage devices, from 18 access points equipped with external directional antennas, to only 8 access points, 4 of which are active and 4 in standby mode: the latter automatically intervene in case of failure of one of the active devices ensuring redundancy of the active components.
All the elements of wi-fi infrastructure are constantly monitored by the noc of lan & wan solutions,
which continuously checks the functionality of the devices,
immediately reporting any anomalies or temporary disconnections from the wi-fi network.
ADVANTAGES OF THE SOLUTION
The solution adopted allowed Berardi Bullonerie to standardize Wi-Fi technology and to distribute it to all the branches in the area. In addition, the monitoring solutions implemented by the NOC of Lan & Wan Solutions allow to have immediate visibility on the status and configuration of the distributed Wi-Fi network and the components associated with it.
This means greater timeliness in the analysis and resolution of connectivity problems. A reliable and always monitored Wi-Fi network therefore allows the company to guarantee that widespread and personalized service that distinguishes itself, and, in case of urgency, to avoid downtime for its client companies