3M selected Wavelink for mobile device management
3M selects Wavelink for mobile device management to manage devices from multiple vendors, reducing week-long process to 30 minutes.
3M has completed its deployment of the Wavelink software and uses the solution to manage its ruggedized devices that vary from a half dozen devices up to 80 devices per plant. To maintain a high level of security on the devices, the company uses Avalanche MC to regularly change the encryption keys, along with updating the firmware, pushing out configuration updates and changing the SSID on each device.
As a Fortune 500 company with worldwide sales of $25.3 billion and more than 79,000 employees, 3M has the monstrous tasks of managing its infrastructure for all its employees. 3M is using Avalance MC to manage mobile devices in approximately 30 plants nationwide.
"As 3M compared Avalanche MC to other solutions, we found it to be the most comprehensive solution that could also manage devices from multiple vendors," said Dean Svela, who manages 3M's mobile infrastructure. "We were using a lot of old Intermec devices along with a number of devices from LXE. We are now starting to introduce some Motorola devices to our network, and Wavelink lets me manage all of them centrally from a single console."
Immediately after deployment, 3M saw a huge time savings in updating its devices using Avalanche MC. "Being able to remotely and centrally manage the devices made a huge difference," said Svela. "Now we don't need to have our IT people at each location manually find each of the devices to update them. Previously, if one person had to go find all 30 devices to update the encryption key, it would take him all week. Now with Avalanche we can get it all down in about 30 minutes."
Prior to using Wavelink Avalanche, each mobile device was manually configured in different locations by different people. Over a period of time, there were almost as many different configurations as there were devices. Wavelink Avalanche has made it much easier for 3M to standardize the configuration on each of its devices. The scan-to-configure feature allows administrators to create a profile as a barcode that is then simply scanned by the device that needs to be configured.
The central management console gives 3M greater visibility into the mobile devices on the network. Each plant or location can be pulled up so the administrator can see exactly how many devices and what type of devices are being used along with the status of the updates or configuration enabling them to easily see where potential problems may exist.
"The biggest advantage for us is the time and money we save," adds Svela. "When we are able to remotely update firmware and radio drivers, push out new configurations and easily update the WEP encryption keys, we are able to drastically reduce the strain on the IT staff at each site so they are able to focus on other projects."
Read more on Wavelink Avalanche MC .
- Edited by Mark T. Hoske, electronic products editor, MBT www.mbtmag.com
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.