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Manufacturer Streamlines Inventory Process

Published 4 Jun 2018
A leader in the shortening and oils industry, Columbus Vegetable Oils chose Extreme’s Cooperative Control wireless LAN solution for its new manufacturing and warehouse facility because of its superior security, reliability, manageability, and flexibility. Columbus Vegetable Oils, headquartered in Des Plaines, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, processes and packages over 100 quality items with combined shipments of over one million pounds per day. Products range from highly competitive commodity vegetable oils to exotic specialty oils—and a full range of products in between. Applications include the retail and food service industry as well as a variety of chemical and manufacturing applications such as soap and printing ink. The company’s operations revolve around manufacturing and shipping. Packaged products are taken off the manufacturing line and placed in designated holding areas. Warehouse staff “pick” items to fill orders. With such a large number of products and huge volume, maintaining an accurate inventory is critical. For decades, warehouse staff used pens to write down lot codes. “Accuracy was a constant problem, which often led to incorrect shipments, doing the same work twice,” says David Hodapp, IT director at Columbus Vegetable Oils.
Technology Needs
• Wanted to transition to hand-held scanners and wireless technology
• Zero Downtime• Security against unauthorized intrusions
• Flexible, ease of use management
Results
• No network controllers or overlay networks
• Mesh networking capabilities increased resiliency of the wireless network
• Increased security
• Simplified management and monitoring capabilities

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