A communication solution with multiple benefits at Veka

Founded in 1969 and based in Sendenhorst, Germany, VEKA AG has grown from a regional small business into a world-leading manufacturer of plastic panels as well as plastic profiles for windows, doors, and roller shutters. With its high standards of quality, performance, and innovative strength, this owner-managed company has become an established partner for builders, planners, and architects. Operating around the globe, the Group has subsidiaries on three continents and employs more than 5,200 people worldwide, 1,400 of whom are based at the Group’s headquarters in Sendenhorst.

The challenge

The VEKA name stands for quality, precision, and sustainability in its products around the world. In this context, employees' safety and the greatest possible transparency for company-specific and production processes are crucial. To ensure that the communication required for this is free of interference, employees at the headquarters in Sendenhorst used a wireless VoWLAN communication solution. Despite having an extensive number of WLAN access points, typical sources of interference in industry, such as glass, metal, and plastic, often resulted in insufficient voice quality and a limited ability to reach employees, which represents an enormous safety risk, especially for lone workers.

It was therefore necessary to find a stable, scalable communication solution with alarms, messaging services, and telephony that work seamlessly over the entire production site. In addition, existing infrastructure was to be used as much as possible.

The Ascom solution

The Ascom IP-DECT system was used throughout the plant. This system guarantees improved coverage in addition to providing optimized voice quality and dedicated alarm channels. It also offers seamless interoperability and scalability.

Right from the start, we were sold on the ability to map critical business processes, as well as telephony systems, on the same Ascom platform.
Johannes Borgmann, Head of IT Department / IT Services at VEKA AG

Robust terminals suitable for everyday industrial use, like the Ascom d81, make this solution complete. Due to its interoperability with the existing Soft PBX, Cisco UCM Release 10.1*, part of the infrastructure already in place could be covered by the Ascom IP-DECT solution. For example, the new Ascom IP-DECT base stations continued to use the existing cabling. The number of WLAN access points was reduced by around two thirds due to the change implemented that used WLAN only for data applications. In the medium term, the plan is to replace the old alarm and messaging infrastructure with Ascom's communication platform. This allows the personal alert system notifications, machine fault messages, and storm warning system data to be processed within one system and distributed to employees in a targeted and reliable manner.

The customer benefits

VEKA's employees benefit by having a high-quality and dependable communication solution that ensures greater safety and better process monitoring. In addition to first-class voice quality, this solution offers greater flexibility and investment protection due to its scalability and integratability. Confidence in this mobile communication solution by VEKA's employees rose significantly. The Ascom IP-DECT system's interoperability with Cisco Unified Communications Manager* greatly simplified the integration process, which also meant cost benefits for the project. Due to its architecture, interference sources from the IP-DECT system have much less of an effect on general system availability than with using WLAN. In addition, there was potential for savings in system administration and servicing, as the need for WLAN components decreased noticeably.

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