Case Study:

Networking and Storage Overhaul?
Yes We “Can”!

Cisco and Pure Storage Help Century-Old Canned Goods Producer Speed Production, Cut Costs

Customer Profile

A 100-year-old family-owned corporation of canned foods products.

Challenge

The customer faced two challenges; delays in production and shipping, and a manual process for collecting and analyzing production metrics.

Solution

infrastructure
storage
Networking

After a discovery meeting, SHI upgraded switches and added wireless networking to connect all moving parts. A Proof of Concept (POC) was created to test new hardware for automation and boosted performance, and manufacturing robots received upgraded coding to aid in data collection. The customer integrated the new solution after a successful POC.

Partners

Cisco Pure

Benefits/Results

  • Increased production rate
  • Streamlined and automated inventory tracking
  • Reduced production costs with network-connected forklifts

Challenge:

Can you improve on 100 years of excellence in delivering deliciousness in a can - without sacrificing quality?

A family-owned canned foods producer experiencing delays in the production and shipping of product asked themselves that very question. Although an army of assembly-line robots were already producing up to 2 million units a day, collecting and analyzing production metrics at their main cannery was still a manual process.

Knowing there had to be a better way, these longtime canners sought to automate data collection at their main production facility and share that information with 950 end-users across four office locations and two data centers.

Solution:

During an initial discovery meeting, SHI determined the manufacturing and warehousing facilities were in need of new networking equipment, including switching and wireless coverage to connect and automate all of the components within each facility.

Several different options were discussed, but Cisco’s industrial-grade switching solutions were favored because of a proven ability to withstand the high heat and moist conditions of the canning facility.

During the Proof of Concept stage, SHI, Cisco and Pure Storage (on-boarded to boost performance on the back-end ERP system) gave the canners access to modeling labs and access points to test their solution even before receiving the hardware. After SHI upgraded coding for all robots on the manufacturing floor, the Cisco Unified Computing System and Networking components were deployed onsite.

As a result of SHI’s help, 90% of the canner’s manufacturing equipment now exists in one location, connected via the same IP used to automatically feed performance data into their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.

To date, the integrated Pure and Cisco solution has been highly effective in increasing the rate of production and streamlining the inventory tracking process. Orders that once took 20 minutes to load and ship were being completed in half that time. Based on that early success, the cannery expanded the scope of the project to include network-connected forklifts that now find the most efficient paths from the assembly line to the loading dock, saving thousands in production costs each year.