Riverbed Helps Interplex Successfully Use Robotics at Manufacturing Plants Globally

Riverbed Helps Interplex Successfully Use Robotics at Manufacturing Plants Globally

Riverbed SteelHead and SteelCentral enable precision engineering company to modernize infrastructure for maximum application performance, network visibility, and business agility

SINGAPORE – November 3, 2016 – Riverbed Technology, the application performance company, today announced that Interplex Holdings Pte. Ltd (“Interplex”), a leading global precision engineering and manufacturing company headquartered in Singapore, is using Riverbed solutions to modernize its infrastructure to improve application performance, network visibility, and business agility.

Interplex, with 40 manufacturing plants located in 13 countries spanning Europe, Asia/Pacific and the United States, provides advanced application development and manufacturing solutions for complex precision mechanical and electro-mechanical components and assemblies. 

Over the last few years, the company has made strategic investments in IT. A key move was the introduction of robotics to the manufacturing floor, which boosted operational efficiency and productivity, resulting in strong growth for the company in an otherwise slowing sector.

Bleeding bandwidth, lack of network visibility threaten progress
Despite the gains made through automation, the increasing data traffic from rapid innovation and the introduction of new apps, services and connected devices began to take a toll on the network, degrading application performance and eroding productivity and cost-efficiency. Over time, the speed of applications delivered from the Singapore data center over the network came to a crawl, frustrating users, particularly at plants in rural areas with unstable Internet service, and making it nearly impossible to deploy new apps and services to sites efficiently. These projects also increased the complexity of the network. With limited visibility into traffic patterns, application-level utilization, and device-level performance, a lot of time was wasted on finger-pointing amongst the infrastructure and apps teams as they struggled to identify and fix performance issues.

“The implementation of robotics for manufacturing automation has been huge for us in terms of productivity and cost-savings, but it has created more IT complexity,” said Ken Khoo, Management Information Systems Manager, responsible for Global Infrastructure at Interplex Holdings. “All production lines on which the robotics sit connect to the ERP system. It knows how much has been manufactured and how much has spoiled – it’s amazing – but it’s also created a lot more chatter over the network.”

Application visibility and optimization for the win
Interplex’s first priority was to stop bleeding bandwidth, but its long-term focus was on finding a solution that could scale to the complex needs of the business over time. The company selected Riverbed solutions because of their ability to deliver a modern network and application performance infrastructure with integrated end-to-end visibility that would save costs, meet immediate regulatory compliance needs, and pave the way for more seamless digital transformation. Riverbed was also uniquely positioned to provide a skilled support team that matched the company’s global footprint.

Interplex implemented a solution that combined Riverbed SteelHead, the industry’s #1 WAN optimization solution, across 13 sites and Riverbed SteelCentral network and application performance management for end-to-end visibility. Riverbed Professional Services managed the implementation and provides support across global sites.

End-to-end visibility, faster apps, a strong foundation for the future
Riverbed SteelHead reduced the bandwidth consumed by more than 50% and significantly simplified management to deliver ROI within just two weeks. Employees also noticed huge improvements in application performance of inventory tracking, a process done through a barcode scanner that feeds data into the company’s ERP system. SteelHead has helped reduced scanning time by 70%, from 10 seconds to 3 seconds. “The user experience was just totally different after the implementation. It’s as if the apps were being run locally,” said Khoo.

Leveraging network telemetry and application performance data, SteelCentral provides Interplex with real-time device status, link-level monitoring, uptime information and alerts as well as visibility into traffic patterns like application-level utilization and top talkers. This has been particularly helpful in managing IT at remote sites with limited local IT support. Khoo credits SteelCentral with allowing his team to pinpoint issues immediately, at the code level in some cases, cutting resolution time instantly. “In a matter of minutes, SteelCentral identified an application performance problem in the U.S. that had persisted for nearly a month. We had assumed that the application was running poorly because it was routing through Singapore, so we were trying to solve a latency issue. It turns out the app hadn’t been properly scrutinized for performance,” says Khoo. “Before, the infrastructure and app teams played the blame game when something went wrong. With SteelCentral, there’s no need.”

With a strong backbone of application and network performance infrastructure in place, Interplex has its eye on expanding automation to customer and vendor-facing processes, and plans to move a greater share of its applications and services to the cloud.

“Riverbed solutions have allowed us to drive more applications out to our users more quickly, and helped us drive IT into the business. I’m proud to say we’re a tech-driven organization,” said Khoo. “At the end of the day, it’s all about cost. That dollar we save in IT-generated efficiencies translates into savings we can pass on to our customers indirectly, and dollars we can invest back into the business towards future growth, development and innovation.”

Riverbed SteelHead and Riverbed SteelCentral, Better Together
Riverbed is delivering solutions to help companies transition from legacy hardware to a new software-defined and cloud-centric approach to networking, and improve end user experience, allowing enterprises’ digital transformation initiatives to reach their full potential. The Riverbed Application Performance Platform delivers the agility, visibility, and performance businesses need to be successful in a cloud and digital world. By leveraging the Platform, organizations can deliver apps, data, and services from any public, private, or hybrid cloud across any network to any end-point. When used together, Riverbed SteelHead and Riverbed SteelCentral deliver a complete application visibility and optimization solution for the hybrid enterprise. Together, they enable real-time application, network and end-user experience visibility, deep application intelligence to ensure critical applications get Quality of Service (QoS) levels that are aligned with business objectives and application acceleration for all apps, to users anywhere to enhance end-user experience and increase productivity levels, optimize resources and reduce TCO.

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