BPL Case Study

Press Release – May 2012

Ruckus provides wireless infrastructure for Bidvest Panalpina Logistics 

22 May 2012 Johannesburg – Ruckus Wireless, working closely with local Big Dog partner, Wireless LAN Pty Ltd, have successfully completed an intricate Wi-Fi deployment at Bidvest Panalpina Logistics (BPL), one of the country’s most respected and well-known logistics partners.

The deployment, which was completed in January 2012 saw Ruckus Wireless and Wireless LAN roll out a new wireless infrastructure at one of BPL’s most expansive motor parts storage and distribution facilities located in Rosslyn, Gauteng. In this space, BPL manages a parts freighting, storage and logistics service that manufacturers like Nissan rely on daily for vehicle assembly to proceed without hindrance. The site is approximately 61 000m2 in size and comprises of a small administrative office and a massive storage yard filled with parts containers that are stacked three-high (approximately 9m) around the property.

“BPL prides itself in the design and delivery of tailored supply chain solutions for key clients, and being “first-to-market” often creates other opportunities down the line. We have partnered with Wireless LAN in many other solutions specific to our Warehousing division in the past, so it was an easy decision when confronted with the challenges posed by this automotive client,” says Alex Moir, BPL Chief Information Officer.

“As a result, when confronted with the challenge posed by BPL it was an easy decision for us to get involved and solve it quickly.” Says Clinton Mackintosh, Wireless LAN Managing Director; “While providing wired-and-wireless access to the administrative office was never a challenge, providing blanket wireless networking coverage to the open-air storage yard, to allow crane operators the ability to receive real-time instructions on their Windows-based Intermec mobile computer terminals and retrieve required containers timely, was an entirely different matter.” 

The arrangement of BPL’s parts-filled containers around the property meant wireless networking signal was easily disrupted and blocked. Additionally, there was the size of the required coverage area to contend with, the facility’s strange triangular shape to negotiate and the fact that providing a hard-wired Ethernet backbone – as most technology integrators would recommend – wasn’t an option. “So we called in Ruckus Wireless to enquire about a wireless mesh solution, as this seemed like the only remotely viable option to pursue,” adds Mackintosh.

Ruckus Wireless recommended the use of two 7731 Outdoor Bridges to provide point-to-multipoint backhaul into the administrative office and the outdoor network respectively. As these bridges are based on the 802.11n standard combined with a Ruckus smart directional antenna and support up to 190 Mbps of backhaul capacity at 1.5 kilometers, and up to 50 Mbps of backhaul capacity at 10 km (line of sight), they were perfect for the job. Next, to ensure the entire outdoor facility was blanketed with coverage, Ruckus proposed the use of nine ZoneFlex 7762 Outdoor Access Points and one ZoneDirector Controller 1112.

“Not only are these Access Points built to withstand the harshest of outdoor conditions, they’re designed to function as standalone access points or managed devices,” said Michael Fletcher, Sales Director at Ruckus Wireless Sub-Saharan Africa. “In the context of BPL’s challenges, this meant no additional physical infrastructure was required – other than power – to provide blanket coverage to the facility.”

Power provision was also dealt with rather innovatively. Given the cost to trench power to all nine remote sites and the reliability of ‘grid’ power, an ‘off the grid’ solution, based on solar power, made perfect economic sense. This, coupled with the fact that the power requirements for the Ruckus solution could run off this innovative energy saving platform - the power solution recommended not only met requirements perfectly, but meant that maintenance would be kept to a minimum. 

“BPL’s operation in Rosslyn now functions efficiently,” says Moir. “Not only is the network link into the facility’s administrative office quick and reliable, collection instructions can be issued from this office, received at a terminal in a crane or picking machine and actioned far more accurately and in a fraction of the time it took before.”

“We believe through a comprehensive understanding of a customer’s business requirements we are able to tailor our services to their needs and deliver on their highest expectations and the success at BPL is testament to that,” concludes Fletcher.

About Ruckus Wireless, Inc.

Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Ruckus Wireless is supplier of advanced wireless systems for the mobile Internetworking market. The company markets and manufactures a wide range of indoor and outdoor “Smart Wi-Fi” products for mobile operators, broadband service providers and corporate enterprises around the world. Since 2006, the company has realized record revenue and shipments with a CAGR of over 119% percent. Ruckus invented, and has patented, state-of-the-art wireless technology that steers Wi-Fi signals around obstacles and interference. This unique capability extends signal range and ensures consistent reliable distribution of delay-sensitive multimedia content and services over standard 802.11 Wi-Fi. The company has shipped over 2 million Smart Wi-Fi systems around the world and has raised $51 million in funding from premier investors such as Sequoia Capital, Focus Ventures, Sutter Hill, Motorola, T-Ventures, Telus Ventures and Firelake Capital. The company is led by Ms. Selina Lo, president and chief executive officer.  

For more information, visit Ruckus Wireless at www.ruckuswireless.com 

About Wireless LAN

Wireless LAN (Pty) Ltd is a privately owned company with the head office situated in Johannesburg South Africa and a branch office in Durban.  The Company has been continuously developing over the past 13 years by building on its knowledge and expertise in the networking and communications technologies field.  Although the market focus is in South Africa, Wireless LAN's customers also extend throughout Africa as far north as Namibia, Angola and Zambia.

Wireless LAN has continued to build its position in the market by adding further expertise that includes stock management systems in the warehousing arena. This addition of services provides a comprehensive networking and communications package that enables Wireless LAN to also supply barcode solutions, warehouse network designs and technical support.  The company boasts a comprehensive bouquet of products and services that place Wireless LAN as the solutions provider of choice. 

For more information visit Wireless LAN (Pty) Ltd www.w-lan.com  

About Bidvest Panalpina Logistics

Bidvest Panalpina Logistics’ mission is to provide world-class supply chain solutions that aim to transform and expand the reach of its clients' businesses globally. Widely considered a leader in the provision of global supply chain and logistics services, the company provides comprehensive door-to-door solutions for any consignment whether it be by air, sea, road or rail, to and from anywhere in the world and throughout South Africa. It offers its clients that global reach whilst maintaining a local touch. The company’s solutions include global forwarding, warehousing, transportation, supply chain management and consulting, financial services and customs solutions.

For more information visit Bidvest Panalpina Logistics www.bpl.za.com