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Success Story

In the cold storage facility or in the sewage shaft – MICROSENS Industry Switches are used under extreme conditions at the German meat marketer 'Westfleisch'.

The Westfleisch Group is Germany's third largest meat producer with over 4000 agricultural partners working hand-in-hand with the cooperative enterprise. Food production on this scale cannot be mastered without a powerful IT infrastructure. All machines communicate via network connections with the control input systems. In addition, strict quality standards apply in meat processing: all production data have to be recorded and stored without omissions. Metal detectors, balances, optical control instruments – they all check the goods and forward their data to central systems. This is also ensured at the Oer-Erkenschwick site by Gigabit Ethernet Switches from MICROSENS. They dependably connect the local production systems to the network and defy even the most extreme of environments.

The Switch for all situations
If a company decides for Industry Switches, there is a definite reason that calls for a robust solution. Westfleisch pushes back boundaries when it comes to the many different parameters of the production specification: The Switches are operated in cold storage facilities, freezing rooms, supply shafts for steam or warm water; a MICROSENS Switch even works in a narrow sewage shaft. For Michael von Dewall, jointly responsible for IT infrastructure at the Oer-Erkenschwick site, many arguments speak in favour of the Industry Switches from the German manufacturer: "Of course, in the selection of components, we placed special importance on robustness. They are intended to function smoothly in our extreme environments. But there were also enormous benefits for us by achieving full manageability of the components, the VLAN capability and the possibility of supplying other devices with current by means of Power-over-Ethernet".

Network technology in the sewage shaft
In tangible terms, this is demonstrated with the example of the Switch in the sewage shaft: The lorry entrance gate was to be equipped with cameras to record the lorry number plates. Two cables would have to be passed under the road, although only one existed. The IT managers soon decided to install a MICROSENS Industry Switch in the sewage shaft on the other side of the road. The technicians went on to connect two video cameras to it, supplied by current through the PoE function of the Switch. This way, image transmission to the porter's office works smoothly without expensive construction work.

Double saving
Implementation of the new directives on energy audits for food producers also threatens to become cost-intensive. Ten current measuring instruments would have to be installed in the electricity supply room that were to be readable via the network. A direct connection of the measuring instruments to the network would have meant routing a total of ten new network cables. The installation of the cables by an external service provider would have led to costs of between 1,000 and 1,500 euros per cable. Instead, Westfleisch now also uses a modular 12-port Switch from MICROSENS in the electricity supply room, through which all energy measurement instruments are cost-effectively connected to the network.

Flexible and stable
Michael von Dewall is highly satisfied overall with the components from the German manufacturer. "Our network works smoothly, we have no failures and, despite the continuous supplementation, all components work very stably". The IT manager also appreciates the scalability of the components: "Regardless of the requirement for which we seek a Switch, MICROSENS also offers a suitable solution in the industry sector that can be expanded as required".

WiFi in production
The company would also like to increasingly use this flexibility in the factory. The production machines have to be refitted again and again, which regularly leads to costly changes in cabling. For this reason, the Westfleisch production halls at the Oer-Erkenschwick site are to be supplied with WiFi in the future. The WiFi bridges would then be connected to the network via Switches from MICROSENS, as required.

About MICROSENS

Transmitting information via fiber optic connections offers numerous benefits. MICROSENS GmbH & Co. KG recognised this very early on. As one of the pioneers, the company has developed and produced high-performance communications and transmission systems in Germany since 1993. Individually matched to the demands of diverse usage areas and embedded in comprehensive concepts for individual sectors. But, above all, close to the customer. Technical challenges from customer projects are incorporated directly into product development. This way, IP-based automation solutions are created for modern buildings, cost-efficient network concepts for the office and workspace, robust and fail-safe solutions for industrial environments, optical transport systems future-oriented wide area networks and efficient coupling of sites and computer centres.