Manufacturing Technology

Del Conca USA Standardizes on Celona Private Wireless to Automate and Streamline Manufacturing Operations

Del Conca USA Standardizes on Celona Private Wireless to Automate and Streamline Manufacturing Operations

Celona, the industry’s pioneer and innovator of enterprise private wireless solutions, today announced that the Del Conca Group, a leading global manufacturer of residential and commercial porcelain tiles, has selected Celona’s private wireless system to streamline the automation and speed production processes within its manufacturing plant in Loudon, Tennessee. Del Conca Group operates four massive manufacturing plants throughout Italy, Republic of San Marino and the United States.

Fully operational, the new Celona private wireless infrastructure covers more than 30 acres of indoor and outdoor space – providing Del Conca USA with pervasive and deterministic wireless connectivity for a variety of vital use cases.

As product moves through the manufacturing process, Celona’s private wireless system is being used to reliably connect automated mobile systems and connected workers.

Outdoors, workers using moble handheld tablets and connected forklifts link directly to Del Conca’s warehouse management system to control inventory flows, check materials, verify shipping instructions and confirm orders. On the production line, plant staff can use the private wireless network to report problems with equipment, quality control issues, or other production-related issues.

With one of the industry’s most advanced manufacturing operations, Del Conca USA uses network-dependent automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and intelligent forklifts that roam the plant – picking, pushing, and placing pallets of fine “designed in Italy, Made in USA” ceramic tiles across different parts of the production line.

“Network downtime and disruption of expensive plant systems is a killer that can result in a material loss of revenue and productivity well as delays in bringing products to market,” said Luca Chichiarelli, Head of IT Operations for Del Conca Group. “With Celona we’ve overcome many of these issues and still haven’t yet found the limits of the technology,”

To maximize ROI, Del Conca USA plans to expand the use of private wireless network to support streaming video that will allow them to monitor critical production processes, critical voice communications between production line workers and ultimately neutral host networking to better extend public carrier cellular services across its operations.

OVERCOMING WIRELESS CHALLENGES IN MANUFACTURING

Because manufacturing environments are littered with industrial machines, congested areas, metal and other wireless obstacles that impede signals, maintaining reliable wireless connectivity has become a major challenge for manufacturers.

While its Wi-Fi network has historically provided wireless connectivity for critical systems, Del Conca was forced to consider a new wireless option due to constant maintenance, reliability issues and coverage problems it faced with its existing wireless system. Consequently, the organization replaced its legacy Wi-Fi network with a turnkey private wireless system from Celona.

With its existing Wi-Fi network, Del Conca USA would often see weak signal strength that wouldn’t allow its production connected devices to maintain or even establish a reliable connection used to control different electro-mechanical or automated equipment. With Celona’s private wireless system these issues have been effectively eliminated.

Even with low signal strength, Celona’s private wireless system still maintains connections and reliably transmits data. Using wider frequency bands and a more efficient signal processing mechanism, cellular networks can adjust their transmission power and dynamically allocate resources to maintain a stable connection even when the signal is weak.

Celona’s private wireless system is completely turnkey for Del Conca USA, incorporating all the requisite components for optimal end-to-end operation. This includes the Celona Edge O/S software, private SIMs/eSIMs and cloud-based orchestration that provides end-to-end administration of devices, users, SIMs, network elements and traffic flows.

“The switch to Celona’s private wireless system has been a real game changer for us,” said Chichiarelli. “Using less equipment at a lower capital and operational cost, Celona has delivered a more pervasive and reliable wireless environment on which our production systems can depend.”

Celona’s cloud-based Orchestrator can give IT staff a global view of every site, offering granular controls, deep visibility, and rich analytics across the entire private wireless infrastructure. With it, Del Conca IT staff can centrally control, monitor, and finely tune every aspect of the private wireless infrastructure anywhere in the world.

“The promise of an enterprise-focused private cellular system that we could own, operate, and control ourselves was a compelling proposition. But we wanted an end-to-end solution that would tightly integrate with our existing IT network systems, IP domains and policy structures already in place. For our manufacturing operations, Celona was really the only viable choice,” Chichiarelli concluded.

ABOUT DEL CONCA USA

Del Conca USA is a manufacturer of residential and commercial porcelain tile and outdoor pavers. A subsidiary of the Del Conca Group. With four factories located in Italy, San Marino and the USA, the Group has a product portfolio containing floor and wall, indoor and outdoor, pavers and porcelain slabs. Del Conca USA’s products are designed in Italy with an eye for North American taste and made in the USA for maximum convenience. The best collections by Del Conca and Faetano are stocked in Loudon, TN, offering additional products from the Del Conca Group. The Del Conca Group is one of the most important industrial entities in the Italian ceramic tile industry and is composed of three manufacturing companies – Ceramica Faetano, Ceramica del Conca, Del Conca USA Inc. – a business corporation – Produco – and the Cino Mularoni Foundation, which primarily focuses on social and cultural initiatives.

ABOUT CELONA

Based in Silicon Valley, Celona is a pioneer and leading innovator of enterprise private wireless solutions. The company is credited with developing the industry’s first 5G LAN system, a turnkey 4G/5G system that enables enterprises and mobile network operators address the growing demands for more deterministic wireless connectivity for critical business applications and vital use cases not met by conventional wireless alternatives. Celona’s products and technology have been selected and deployed by a wide range of customers including Verizon, NTT, SBA Communications, Standard Steel, and Haslam Sports Group. To date, the company has raised $100 million in venture funding from QualCom Ventures, NTT Ventures, Digital Bridge, Norwest Venture Partners, Lightspeed and Cervin Ventures.

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