WIPTEC standardises on Aruba in new fulfilment centre to automate and streamline productivity - The EE

WIPTEC standardises on Aruba in new fulfilment centre to automate and streamline productivity

Martin Ball of WIPTEC

Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company reports that WIPTEC, a specialist in order fulfilment for the retail and e-commerce markets, has deployed an Aruba ESP (Edge Services Platform) network at the company’s new 1.7 million-square-foot distribution centre in Longueuil, Quebec.

WIPTEC manages a total of 85 million parcels per year from two facilities, preparing and shipping hundreds of thousands of products every day from an inventory of over 250,000 different SKUs. Fulfilling orders for customers ranging from boutiques to big-box retailers requires a rigorous process to maintain the degree of precision that their clients have come to expect. State-of-the-art equipment, combined with logistics management systems, allows WIPTEC to automate operations and fulfill even the most complicated orders accurately and on time.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated e-commerce demand, increasing the need for technology solutions to reliably automate processes while minimising downtime, optimising labor utilisation, and increasing the accuracy of order fulfillment. At the same time, WIPTEC’s facility environments are challenging with very high 45-foot ceilings measuring over 1.7 million square feet. Modern fulfillment centres need the right network infrastructure that provides zero downtime, and fast, reliable access for thousands of devices.

When it came time to assess the network needs for the new Longueuil facility, WIPTEC’s objectives were to simplify the deployment of switches and access points, centralise network management capabilities and choose a solution that could scale to meet future needs.

“The network is at the core of everything we do because our WMS warehouse management system is used to access our database in real-time,” says Jean Francois Robert, director of IT at WIPTEC. “In our business, real-time is very important for us so we need the fastest and most reliable network possible.”

To select their network solution, WIPTEC put out a formal RFP to multiple vendors, including Aruba. After a thorough evaluation, they decided to standardise the new facility on an Aruba ESP network, with WiFi 6 indoor access points, outdoor access points, access switches, and Aruba Central for network management.

“We choose Aruba because of the simplicity of deploying the access points and switches, as well as the management capabilities of Aruba Central,” explains Robert. “Aruba had the right solution for us.”

Managing a complex environment

WIPTEC operates more than 10,000 networked devices for inventory tracking, security, and lighting. These devices include bar code and RFID scanners, mobile computers, tablets, wearables, video displays, surveillance cameras, monitors, robots and automated guided vehicles.

Jean Francois Robert

“We have video displays throughout the facility that relay productivity data in real-time,” says Martin Ball, president and CEO at WIPTEC. “We can see the number of orders in the system, and that helps us know where to send our employees within the fulfillment center to maximise productivity. It’s a dynamic environment and to achieve our goal of maximum efficiency and accuracy, we need real-time information displayed. This is all relying on the Aruba network.”

For WIPTEC, every millisecond matters, and zero network downtime is mission critical to the business. “With thousands of employees and many, many thousands of requests to the database at the same time, we need a system that won’t fail and will be very efficient and fast,” says Robert.

“We work seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 361 days per year,” adds Ball. “So, the network needs to be up and running all the time.”

Another benefit that WIPTEC is seeing from their Aruba ESP network and their other technology solutions is with their employee recruiting efforts. “Our objective in using technology is not to replace humans, but rather to help humans do their jobs better,” says Ball. “If we have good technology at the service of our employees, it helps attract people and make them happy to work for WIPTEC.”

WIPTEC is currently in the process of upgrading their legacy infrastructure with Aruba solutions at their original facility. Looking to the future, they plan to build more fulfilment centres, including one for refrigerated and frozen food that is slated to open in 2023.

Follow us and Comment on Twitter @TheEE_io

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.