Aflex Hose is the world’s leading manufacturer of PTFE lined hosed products and is part of the Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group via its parent company, Spirax Sarco Engineering plc. Operating for over 40 years, the manufacturer is the supplier of choice for biotech, pharmaceutical, and chemical companies as standard, and its patented products are also used across a wide range of industries, including automotive manufacturing.
The company’s UK headquarters are based in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, but it also has offices globally.
In 2018, Central won a tender to support the internal IT team at Aflex Hose with its service provision. Central were referred to Aflex Hose by VMware, when asked for a referral to a VMware Horizon Enterprise Solutions Partner.
In 2019, Aflex Hose announced it would be moving into a new facility that included 17,000m2 of factory space and as such, would require new telephony and IT infrastructure. These systems needed to be implemented whilst maintaining ‘business as usual’ – during the midst of a pandemic.
Although the office space was relatively standard, the factory floor setting and its previous systems and infrastructure were outdated, including a copper-wire phone system with an abundance of different strands – many of which no longer worked.
Central was tasked with implementing a system that would be a long-term solution, whilst allowing business operations to be carried out with minimal disruption.
Central created an ICT suite within the new HQ which included a telephony, internet, SIP and disaster recovery solution for Aflex Hose and installed a brand-new network consisting of Cisco switches and routers.
To overcome the specific challenges of the factory, Central installed Cisco Wi-Fi throughout the entire space, alongside a DECT phone system that was fully integrated into the new telephony solution.
Relying solely on copper cable was an unsuitable option, so a large-scale fibre network was created alongside redundant links – ensuring that no single point of failure now exists within the core network.
Central implemented a new integrated IP telephony system, which also involved the use of a DECT network that would operate throughout both the new office space headquarters and the factory floor, including the remote sites still in use.
Central offered a flexible approach to the solution as requirements changed – adapting it to fit. Despite the coronavirus outbreak happening in the middle of the implementation, the work was not delayed.
Central was able to present several different options to Aflex Hose, enabling the business to make decisions about its overall IT needs, without costs spiralling out of control.
Aflex Hose was able to modernise its IT function and consolidate to a single provision using faster network speeds and a fully resilient network.
Central has since assisted Aflex Hose to integrate its domain with its parent group, providing a single sign-on scenario across the entire organisation.