Swizzels Matlow

Innovating Swizzels beloved sweets with leading IoT and wireless technology solutions

About Swizzels Matlow

Swizzels Matlow is one of the UK’s leading confectionery manufacturers and is famous for some of our best-loved sweet brands including Love Hearts, Refreshers and Drumsticks, as well as a more recent range of jelly and foam sweets including Drumstick Squashies. Founded in 1928, Swizzels now employs over 500 staff based in its Derbyshire factory.

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The requirement

Following the early success of the Squashies range of sweets, Swizzels needed to increase its operational capacity in order to meet the growing demand for these popular products. Swizzels decided to make significant investment in the implementation of new ovens and an innovative, state of the art production line that would enable them to streamline and automate processes by introducing the use of “connected” machinery.

To increase its productivity levels, Swizzels incorporated Internet of Things innovation into the production line, by commissioning the creation of three connected robots to load and unload each of the ovens. These robots operate by receiving live instructions from wireless signals and therefore needed to be able to connect and communicate directly with the business network. As such, Swizzels approached Prodec Networks to discuss the full project requirements of implementing a reliable and robust wireless network that could operate the robots in a highly demanding manufacturing environment.

The solution

Following discovery discussions, Prodec Networks conducted a detailed site survey consisting of RF planning and heat map technology in order to work out the optimum location for each of the wireless access points.

The environment that the wireless access points needed to be deployed into posed additional challenges. Great performance was a crucial requirement, with wireless signals needing to be strong enough to ensure each of the robots could communicate from the far back of the ovens, each of which is equivalent in size to three standard sized garages placed end to end. Furthermore, the amount of metal in the building’s structure and the machinery located on site had potential to cause propagation issues. The manufacturing process itself also added complication; jelly production creates a lot of very fine starch dust that could potentially cause damage or performance issues, which meant the wireless access points need to be protected.

Prodec Networks installed a number of HPE Aruba 802.11ac access points with a sub-5 millisecond network performance speed. These were contained according to IP66 waterproofing standards to protect them from the harsh environment, and special mounting construction was strategically placed to ensure the robots were always in range to be able to communicate effectively with the network and perform their tasks as efficiently as possible.

The results

Following the deployment and testing of the new Aruba wireless network, Swizzels was able to successfully provide their new robots with operational instructions delivered through the wireless network.

Client Feedback

The wireless installed by Prodec Networks was a critical element in a complex deployment and vital to the success of the entire operation. Prodec worked with our project teams on the planning and installation of the wireless with clinical precision and we’re happy with how it’s turned out

Allan Unsworth

IT Manager, Swizzels Matlow

The wireless technology behind Swizzels success

Aruba Access points

Aruba Access points

Prodec Networks is a Silver Aruba Networks partner and is able to offer its full range of 802.11ac wireless access points. Aruba 802.11ac wireless access points have been designed to deliver superb Wi-Fi performance to businesses of all sizes. 

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Employees using a wireless network

Wireless network solutions

Prodec is partnered with leading wireless networking manufacturers such as HPE Aruba, Cisco Meraki and Cisco to create secure, robust and resilient permanent and temporary wireless networks for offices, retail spaces, pop-ups, hospitality, events and many more.

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