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Leoni AG: Reliable data communication between headquarters and remote sites

Leoni, a German-based multinational group employing around 46,000 people across 35 countries, is one of the world’s largest and longest established manufacturers of wires, cables and wiring systems, supplying – among others – the automotive, rail and aerospace industries. Its products are used by some of the world’s leading companies including Bombardier, BP, Electrolux, IBM, IKEA, Lear, Shell, Siemens and Vodafone, but its primary market is the automotive sector, where it provides products ranging from single cables to complete wiring systems to virtually every major name in Europe, from Audi, BMW and Citroen to Porsche, Renault and VW.

The challenge

The group’s central manufacturing operation is based in Nürnberg, Germany, with an additional 12 remote sites located in Eastern and Southern Europe, Ukraine and North Africa. Reliable data communication between Leoni’s headquarters and its remote sites is essential to production planning – the company operates a Just-In-Time delivery process with high penalties for failure – so any breakdown in services, however brief, would have severe and far-reaching implications.

The solution

In order to provide complete protection against the possibility of terrestrial communications failure, Signalhorn provides Leoni with a satellite-based data network that enables access to real time data at important production plants.

The solution makes use of satellite antennas located at each of the remote sites, each providing a direct link to a hub antenna installed directly on the roof of the data centre at Leoni’s HQ in Nürnberg. Satellite coverage is provided by Eutelsat’s Sesat service, which covers all sites via a single satellite.

Leoni has been a Signalhorn customer for more than 15 years and the service has continually evolved over this period. In the early days, Leoni’s service was based on fixed SCPC links but these have now been upgraded to a more dynamic, flexible bandwidth handling Vipersat platform. Vipersat provides the most advanced automated bandwidth and capacity management system in the satellite industry. It is a feature-rich, automated bandwidth, capacity, and network management system with a high degree of automation configuration. Vipersat solutions are server-based and include dynamically managed Single Channel Per Carrier (dSCPC) and au-tomatic application switching technologies. The solution increases efficiency and provides real-time, interactive connectivity in fixed and mobile satellite networks.

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