D-Link Helps Alarm Pro Build High-Performance Network to Increase Reliability and Ensure Long-Term Efficiency for Food Processing Company

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Reliable Managed Switches Eliminate Network Downtime and Enable Round-the-Clock Efficiency for Busy Fruit Processor in Washington State

When Blue Bird Pears Inc. required a network rebuild after a fire destroyed one of the company’s main facilities, the fruit processing and packaging company needed to build a new network from scratch. Alarm Pro, a leading systems integrator supporting the Pacific Northwest, turned to D-Link® to design and incorporate much needed upgrades to support a more robust network and handle increased traffic in time for the upcoming harvest season.

The previous Blue Birds Inc. network was a patchwork of aging equipment, with unreliable performance that required hours for file transfers between local servers and off-site locations with very limited network security. Every hour of fruit packing is highly dependent on the network. If the network goes down, the entire operation stalls, resulting in lost productivity, spoilage, and a dramatic impact on revenue – often thousands of dollars per minute.

“We proposed D-Link because we’ve always been big fans of their networking gear,” said Jon Herrera, owner, AlarmPro. “It always works. You simply put it in, and it rarely – if ever – has any issues. That’s really important when you’re supporting a facility that needs the best and most reliable equipment they can get at an affordable price.”

To address the various network issues and enhance speed, performance and network security, AlarmPro designed a strong network with D-Link Managed Switches – including the DXS-3600 Series L2/L3 managed switches to support a wide range of L2/L3 features such as VLAN, multicasting, Quality of Service (QoS), as well as security and routing functions. The new D-Link switches enabled Blue Bird Inc. to segment and prioritize their network traffic for greater performance and security. Plus, the more robust network could now support new capabilities like wireless and network-based print services.

The powerful D-Link network can also handle the large amount of photo data processed each day. For example, each cherry is photographed 60 times to analyze color, size and blemishes – a highly advanced process that speeds the sorting process. In fact, because of this automated capability, cherries that were discarded in the past can now be sold to other markets.

“Everything works beautifully, and they have had absolutely zero network-induced downtime during the cherry season – a first in company history,” said Herrera. “Blue Bird Inc. also appreciates having such a fast network. Everything is 10 gigabit now, with 10-gigabit uplinks from every single switch to the core.”

D-Link’s high-performance switches set the stage for fast and reliable network performance, and provide a future-proof solution that can accommodate increased network traffic, new capabilities and additional growth down the road. While Blue Bird Inc.’s initial automation deployment was dedicated to its cherry processing equipment, the company now plans to expand the network to include the remainder of the processing plant since Blue Bird Inc.’s operations are running more smoothly than ever – a direct result of their improved network.

“We had very little time to install this network, so the D-Link team was a tremendous support,” said Herrera. “They did everything from ensuring our products arrived on time – even shipping most of it overnight – to making themselves available by phone anytime we needed, and offering suggestions about the fastest and best ways to get things done. I can’t say enough about how much they helped us. Without them, this project would not have been completed on time.”

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