Siemon has announced that its structured cabling technology has been installed at Rich Products’ new 15-acre UK production facility in Andover, Hampshire. In order to support the company’s ambitious growth plans, Siemon’s 10 Gigabit Ethernet copper and fibre cabling solutions are future proofing Rich Products’ state-of-the-art bakery, while enabling a fully automated production process and intelligent building services.
Rich Products Corporation is one of the leading manufacturers of sweet bakery products and non-dairy toppings and fillings for the foodservice, in-store bakery and retail markets. It is the largest privately owned frozen food company in the US and employs more than 10,000 people worldwide.
The multimillion pound investment at Andover consolidates Rich Products’ production sites in Fareham, Portchester and Hartlebury, in addition to all other business support functions, under a single roof. To increase production capacity, the production floor is equipped with the latest automation technologies that support the complete production process from dough-making, mixing, depositing, baking to finishing and packaging.
“Fully automated manufacturing and cutting-edge production technologies require state-of-the-art IT infrastructure,” says Nigel Dalmut-Rudd, IT manager at Rich Products. “The majority of our production equipment, which includes conveyors, scales, mixers, dosing systems, as well as the sorting, boxing and palletisation, is now managed through the network. All processes are data driven and require the support of a very robust IT network – one that can serve us well into the future and that maximises return on investment (ROI).”
Rich Products specified a 10 Gigabit Ethernet infrastructure and after careful consideration and advice from its cabling partner, easyNetworks, found the right solution offering in Siemon. The company’s products best matched the high standards of this world-class manufacturing centre, while Siemon’s 20-year product warranty and extensive infrastructure planning and design expertise affirmed Rich Products’ decision.
“The biggest challenge for us was time,” recalls Paddy Reed, head of projects at easyNetworks. “Some production lines had to be kept operational during the various project phases, as testing and development tasks could not be delayed. However, we managed to work around their schedule and completed the work ahead of the project timeframes. Siemon’s products certainly helped us here as connectors and cables are fast and easy to terminate, readily available and fit for purpose with minimal maintenance from day one.”
With a range of building services able to converge on the network, the facility’s access control, CCTV, fire alarm, HVAC and 120 solar panel systems also benefit from the new infrastructure, creating a truly connected building operation underpinned by Siemon cabling.
“This particular project really showcases the power of a robust network installed with convergence at its core. Being able to integrate all technologies delivers so much benefit in the long run and will enable Rich Products to really focus on strategic growth with the peace of mind that the network will be able to handle their ambitions,” adds Dominic Ross, technical manager at Siemon.
Nigel Dalmut-Rudd is extremely pleased with the results and concludes: “Siemon and easyNetworks have delivered a fantastic solution that will support Rich Products’ growth plans over the coming years.”