Frustrated with network downtime, erratic connectivity and spotty coverage, a leading manufacturer of high precision forged steel wheels for railcars and locomotives in North America was desperate. The company has the unique luxury of being able to sell as much product as it can make and sell more if they can make more. Any idle time resulting from an operational glitch directly impacts both the top and bottom lines of the business. And the network is central to everything the organization produces.A 24 by 7 operation spread across 1.4 square miles the US steel manufacturer operates an extensive outdoor scrap yard along with indoor melt shop, forging, testing and storage operations in one of the most challenging wireless environments in the world. Not conducive to wireless networking, metal buildings, machinery, massive magnets, and extremely hot temperatures made it next to impossible to gain dependable wireless signals or stable connections. The company had been using Wi-Fi to connect various instrumentation and industrial tablets to collect data and send instructions to workers. While useful for office connectivity, in such a challenging environment, Wi-Fi network could not keep up with the coverage requirements and was not able to deliver the reliability required to support the critical communications essential to the manufacturing process. With Wi-Fi signals bouncing off metal obstacles, nearby interference from other Wi-Fi networks combined with huge furnaces throwing off electromagnetic energy, productivity, time, and money were being lost.This manufacturing environment wreaked havoc for production staff to trying to receive critical instructions and report process details to and from back-end database systems that were intolerant of any sort of network latency caused by a mobility event such as channel hopping or roaming between Wi-Fi access points. As a result, IT staff was constantly bombarded by calls at all hours, anytime during 24x7 operations, regarding lost connectivity that halted operations. Having tried everything imaginable, the IT staff at the steel manufacturer turned to a turnkey private wireless solution using Celona’s 5G LAN system. Since Celona cellular 4G/5G radios, using the clean 3.55 to 3.7 GHz CBRS spectrum, can operate at higher power levels, the private cellular network requires fewer access points to cover a larger area than the Wi-Fi network. The working area of the manufacturing plant covers about 250,000 square feet of indoor space and about 1,000,000 square feet of outdoor space. This required more than 80 Wi-Fi access points and related cabling and infrastructure to provide the density and coverage needed. For the steel manufacturer, the Celona 5G LAN required 4-6 times fewer indoor access points and 5-6 times fewer outdoor access points than Wi-Fi at that steel manufacturing plant.In addition to the immediate ROI due to reliability improvements for wireless communications, the cost of acquisition and installation for the wireless networking system designed for the critical applications has also been significantly improved. The steel manufacturer was experiencing five to six disruptions weekly in the scrap yard operations. After replacing six Wi-Fi APs in the scrap yard with one Celona private LTE outdoor AP, the manufacturer reported less than five disruptions from the private cellular network in the last 18 months. In addition to that, thorough testing has shown the following performance and operational benefits for the critical business workflow applications at the facility70% reduction in operational disruption vs. Wi-Fi5 to 6x fewer cellular wireless access points relative to Wi-FiROI payback in less than 5 months by eliminating unplanned downtimes3-year total network cost savings of 39% for indoor 5G LAN vs Wi-Fi 63-year total network cost savings of 31% for outdoor 5G LAN vs. Wi-Fi 6The effective removal of network latency that could cause application disconnectsImproved mobility by reducing roaming times and often eliminating roaming eventsReliable connectivity for mobile crane operatorsReduction in wireless network maintenance/adjustmentsCelona 5G LANs are purpose-built for the most demanding manufacturing environments and use cases that require low-latency connectivity and deterministic wireless performance. Unlike any other private wireless solution on the market, Celona’s 5G LAN is a fully integrated end to end system bundling all the requisite components including access points, packet core software, SIM cards & provisioning and cloud-based network orchestration within a single subscription.