Arkema Italia

The Arkema Group is one of the leading companies in the field of chemical industry and has three business divisions High Performance Materials, Vinyl Products and Industrial Chemicals with some 14,000 employees at industrial sites, development and research centers across 40 countries.

All five Arkema sits in Italy have seen extensive restructuring measures including the renewal of equipment and telephone services in the company as well as the integration of a homogeneous. This concerned telephone lines, networking devices and infrastructure. The goal was to design a completely new corporate network in a purely industrial environment.

“We were looking for a telephone solution that guaranteed stability, reliability as well as durability. The solution should also be able to offer advanced services and Unified Communications applications. At the same time it should also ensure integration, interoperability and the management of standardized protocols”, explained Roberto Massironi, CTI Director of Arkema in Italy. “The solution should perform all requirements independently, have low power consumption, be easy to manage and easily scalable as well as ensure efficient cost control in terms of maintenance and operation.”

Practical implementation

The project consisted of five sites (Rho, Spinetta Marengo, Porto Marghera, Boretto and Gissi) with approx. 400 VoIP subscribers and some 130 ISDN channels. In the first half of the year 2014, the new service solution was installed at the sites of Porto Marghera and Rho. In the second half of the year, the locations of Spinetta Marengo, Boretto, and Gisi were restructured and the renewal process thus completed. Architecture and the numbering plan allowed for direct integration into the network of the other production sites in Italy.

The project consisted of five sites (Rho, Spinetta Marengo, Porto Marghera, Boretto and Gissi) with approx. 400 VoIP subscribers and some 130 ISDN channels. In the first half of the year 2014, the new service solution was installed at the sites of Porto Marghera and Rho. In the second half of the year, the locations of Spinetta Marengo, Boretto, and Gisi were restructured and the renewal process thus completed. Architecture and the numbering plan allowed for direct integration into the network of the other production sites in Italy.

“The selection of VoIP gateways was standardised with a highly reliable configuration according to the existing ISDN connection type. With the exception of the master node in Rho, where two innovaphone IP6010 VoIP gateways were enabled in a master/standby configuration, the slave sites - with ISDN PRI connections - were equipped with an IP6010 VoIP gateway or with an innovaphone IP3010 VoIP gateway with standby functionality. innovaphone VoIP gateway IP810 and innovaphone VoIP gateway IP305 gateways with standby functionality were implemented at locations with ISDN basic connections. This ensured both local and geographic redundancy”, explains Paolo Morini, Technical Director and Director of Engineering at ERT, the innovaphone reseller responsible for the project.

In this context, a significant added value in terms of safety was provided by the off-loop function on the ISDN interface of the innovaphone gateways. It also offers the possibility of installing the gateway with standby functionality at physical locations other than the corresponding master. A HAZOP inspection of the Spinetta Marengo site also proved this characteristic to be crucial: not only was the suitability of the solution acknowledged, but also the higher level of security compared to the previous system.

The cross-certification of the VoIP solution by innovaphone and the Ascom DECT solution made it possible to integrate fixed-line telephony with cordless telephony and standby registration for DECT devices in the factory buildings in Rho and Spinetta Marengo.

A perfectly coordinated approach

"At Arkema in Italy, the changeover took place in three places at the same time: replacement of the Internetworking infrastructure, activation of new PBX systems and reconstruction of all connections", explains Paolo Bombelli, innovaphone Certified Engineer at ERT. "All of this was completed in three days for Porto Marghera and Rho."

The global numbering plan was extended to five numbers, bringing three desired results at the same time: a hierarchical geographical organization, the ability to easily integrate additional new sites and to maintain the existing numbering plan at the individual sites. The extension from the public network has just 3 digits and the branch of Porto Marghera only has a 2-digit extension, high availability was required and the integration of analogue subscribers in some departments had to be integrated.

The subscribers have Unified Communication features such as Voicemail and Reporting. Pure myPBX UC licenses were assigned to a small group in order to test their functionality and in order to define their further use, also regarding corporate policy and information management procedures. Response system and automatic data routing, Voice Messaging services, Reporting, company directory, Video, Presence, Conference applications, emergency calls and anything else that is being planned or will be implemented through new releases - all of these applications will always be applications that are independently managed by the gateway.

A majority of the subscribers are now equipped with innovaphone IP110 IP end devices, while IP240 and IP241 were installed for the switchboard, the main system control stations and specific needs.

Conclusion and Outlook

“Initially some of the subscribers felt that voice quality had deteriorated, which is inevitable if you are used to digital ‘high-end equipment’ or work in open-plan offices”, emphasizes Massironi. “The quality and satisfaction have, to a large extent, been increased by the possibility of using higher quality codecs as the basic standard, as well as the possibility to change the volume of the microphone and speaker on each individual phone.”

Place of production, Arkema Italy

The ambitious project, which involved all aspects of the company’s telecommunications, remains a successful and rewarding challenge for all involved. “The integration of DECT terminals in the PBX causes us to consider installing very sophisticated, reliable and geographically manageable IP DECT-like solutions in the future. We are also considering the extension across all company divisions and the implementation of additional UC capabilities”, continunes Massironi. “We are very satisfied with the opportunities given by the innovaphone solution, and also with the entire new telecommunications infrastructure that was created for Arkema Italy. It was a complete and effective conversion, and Arkema Group colleagues from other countries have shown interest.”

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