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Instarmac are a market-leading specialist in the manufacture and distribution of cement and bitumen-based products.

The challenge

Instarmac are a market-leading specialist in the manufacture and distribution of cement and bitumen-based products to the world markets for over 40 years, with a purpose-built headquarters and operational facility in the Midlands.

Instarmac engaged Performance Networks to conduct a wireless site survey covering their Tamworth facility.

Devices in the manufacturing plant and warehouses were experiencing drop outs across the WiFi network using the handheld scanners, resulting in a drop in productivity.

The hardware used onsite was enterprise grade Ruckus Access Points and controllers.

Initial findings

Performance Networks undertook a site wide WiFi survey. The survey was carried out using several tools including Ekahau Site Survey/Spectrum Analysis and Wireshark to take and analyse packet captures. This enabled us to build a full picture of the site and the WiFi network and issues being experienced across both office and warehouse environment.

What did this show?

The survey highlighted several aspects which required improvement, there were areas where the signal strength needed to be improved by using directional antenna’s, internal WiFi interference, issues with devices roaming between Access Points (AP’s) and low data rates due to older protocols being supported. The report also included detailed recommendations to provide fixes for the issues partly including a changing certain access points and locations.

We followed up this report by performing an onsite “AP on a stick” survey using the recommended Access Points and directional antenna’s to build a redesign report and model which physically proved the improved coverage and incorporated racking and other obstacles which were hindering WiFi coverage.

Our solution

The first stage of the remedial works involved replacing a number of omnidirectional access points with directional access points and also moving certain existing access points to new positions to improve their coverage pattern.

We then worked in conjunction with the client to implement changes on their wireless controller, these changes further improved the operation of the network, reducing co channel interference, removing redundant protocols which were reducing data speeds and improving client device roaming between access points.

The result

Once all the recommendations had been implemented Performance Networks wireless analysts then conducted a complete site wide verification survey detailing the redesigned and improved networks performance in a comprehensive report.

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