NLMK Europe: NLMK Europe relies on future ready fiber-optic

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Connectivity is playing an increasingly important role in the industrial sector. NLMK Europe, a subsidiary of one of the world’s biggest steel producing companies, is no exception. It relies on the uninterrupted flow of data coming from and going to their various steel mills and sales offices in Europe. NLMK Europe chose high-speed fiber-optic network connections from Eurofiber Belgium as the reliable basis for their existing connectivity needs, with the assurance that they can easily upgrade to future bandwidth demands.

About NLMK

The NLMK Group is one of the leading manufacturers of high-quality steel products in the world. It operates mills and sales offices across Asia, the European Union, North America and Russia. The European division, NLMK Europe, has seven factories: three in Belgium, one in Denmark, one in France and one in Italy. Additionally, the company also has several agencies throughout Europe.

The challenge

NLMK Europe ITCC Manager Andrey Vostretsov is responsible for the IT infrastructure, second and third level support and special projects at the European sites. One of those special projects is the modernization of IT infrastructure at the European steel mills: “We’re migrating our virtual environments to new hardware and implementing new solutions for our production systems. This includes setting up multiple sensors at the sites to monitor processes and products and establishing real time feeds to and from our SAP ERP-software in Belgium and Russia. The latter also enables management to be up to date.”

The solution

Eurofiber Belgium installed two, redundant, separate fiber-optic connections to their high-speed network infrastructure at the production plant in La Louvière. Vostretsov: “That was quite a feat: we’re talking about a production plant that will take you more than one hour to cross on foot. The initial speed of the new connection was 100 Mbps, but we’ve already requested an upgrade to 500 Mbps. Eurofiber Belgium will have that in place in about two months, after we’ve done some additional work at the site.”

The benefits

The new network architecture and the higher bandwidth are stepping-stones to the second part of the IT modernization at NLMK Europe. Andrey Vostretsov: “Ultimately, we want to connect all of our production sites in Belgium, France and Italy in secure and reliable WAN. Using the Eurofiber network we can also have an emulated Local Area Network across all sites in Belgium, which makes us less dependent on internet connectivity.” …

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