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Celona Private 5G Recognized for Modern Warehouse Automation

It’s said that “nothing succeeds like success”, and that is certainly the feeling at Celona today as we share the news that we won the SupplyTech Breakthrough “Smart Warehousing Platform of the Year” award.

The mission of the annual SupplyTech Breakthrough Awards program is to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the top technology companies, solutions and products in the supply chain and logistics industry. This year Celona was evaluated against thousands of nominations from over 15 different countries throughout the world.

In our award submission, we described our recent 5G LAN deployment in a distribution center for a large retail home supply company. Wi-Fi connectivity issues were significantly contributing to workflow disruptions and inventory management inaccuracies across the 700,000 square foot indoor warehouse and 560,000 square foot outdoor yard. Our private 5G deployment resulted in substantial productivity gains and 32% TCO savings over their Wi-Fi network.

The warehouse was utilizing a brand-name enterprise-grade Wi-Fi solution, with 111 indoor and 29 outdoor Wi-Fi APs. The Wi-Fi system wasn’t supporting the existing basic automation technology, let alone able to address future automation plans. Some of the main complaints from warehouse operations included:

  • Spotty indoor and outdoor Wi-Fi coverage causing delays in gathering and transmitting data, often resulting in downtime and inaccurate inventory records.
  • Forklift computers experiencing lost or erratic connectivity when the equipment moved across the property at speeds greater than 25mph.
  • Large items stored in racks affecting wireless signal propagation and connectivity.

Celona worked with the IT team to identify current and future requirements and design a Celona 5G LAN solution to meet their needs. To cover the entire warehouse property with high-performance private 4G/5G, Celona installed 22 indoor access points and 3 outdoor access points.

Using only 17% of the Wi-Fi indoor access points and 6% of the outdoor access points, the Celona solution was quick to install and offered these measurable improvements immediately:

Coverage: Indoor coverage increased from 78% to 99% throughout the 700,000 sq. ft. facility. Outdoor coverage increased from 59% to 95% throughout the 560,000 sq. ft. yard. This lit up the entire facility with high-performance wireless connectivity.

Latency and Throughput: Measurements taken after the deployment showed latency reduced by 80% when compared to the Wi-Fi network, and throughput increased over 200%. This means that scanners and AGVs perform as designed and react in real-time to any changes in the environment.

Total Cost of Ownership: The CIO was pleased to find that the Celona private wireless solution is 47% the cost of Wi-Fi gear, and 9% the installation cost, providing a total TCO that is 32% of Wi-Fi. He can now confidently move forward with adding new smart warehouse automation and is planning to roll out the solution at additional distribution centers.

In our award notice, Bryan Vaughn, Managing Director of SupplyTech Breakthrough Awards, highlighted why we were chosen:

“The unique standards-based 5G LAN architecture from Celona provides the performance, reliability, and security of private 5G technology within a turnkey platform. Smart solutions for warehouses are designed to improve productivity and operational efficiency. This technology is useless without robust connectivity. Celona’s private 5G portfolio is not only the most comprehensive but is also fundamental in a new era of applications that demand the highest levels of network performance, security, and predictability. We’re pleased to award Celona with ‘Smart Warehousing Platform of the Year!’”

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5G LAN for Distribution & Logistics

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