Case study of Europlacer

  • Goal

    • To deliver mission-critical, seamless connectivity across multiple sites.

  • Solution Criteria

    • Easy to use remote management with permission-based access.

Implementation Partner


    Precision Global Manufacturer

    Europlacer is an award-winning, global surface mount technology (SMT) line solution provider, building machines that put microchips onto circuit boards within their manufacturing clients' production processes. With over 50 years of proud heritage, Europlacer offers a diverse range of solutions to complex technical challenges in the SMT pick and place marketplace. Group IT Manager Stuart Watts is responsible for technology and infrastructure across all Europlacer' sites worldwide, including two main factories in the UK and France.

  • Mission Critical Connectivity

    Europlacer relies on Wi-Fi in its office and factory workplaces. Connectivity is required throughout the factory, across a very large area. Stuart explains, "Employees and our manufacturing partners use laptops to manage production processes and equipment, so there are many business-critical devices connected at once. For security, we don't allow our numerous site visitors onto our corporate network, so we also need solid guest Wi-Fi.


"When it comes to value and useability, it's all about the ease of management and the quality of the equipment. The TP-Link build quality feels spot on and the value is brilliant. I'm also impressed by the continual product innovation. "

Stuart Watts

Group IT Manager, Europlacer


    Seamless Continuous Coverage

    "Most of our business infrastructure systems are cloud-based. The people who operate them move around the building and use their devices all over the place. For example, they need to get files from Share point and download installation files. So the Wi-Fi signal must be seamless throughout without any dead zones. We need to be able to connect to our business systems consistently, without any disruption as people move around the site."

  • Value for Money

    Historically, Europlacer has used big-name brands to provide Wi-Fi access points and switching. But Stuart has become less happy with the products and value in recent years."I feel these brands rely more on reputation than quality. You can't do anything without a subscription or license just to manage your own products," he says.


Total Cloud Managed Network

Trusted Technology Partner

Europlacer has a longstanding relationship with reseller OpenCloud and Stuart sought a recommendation from his trusted account manager Daniel Webb, who recommended TP-Link’s Omada cloud-managed solution.

"Daniel at OpenCloud is a great advocate for TP-Link. On his advice, I bought a couple of switches and a small network for the UK factory - I fell in love with it! The IT was so easy to use and manage-even the portal layout was a breath of fresh air. When you buy these things, you tend to have to go through loads of menus and almost need to go on a course to learn the basic functionality. With the Omada cloud management, we didn't need to!"


    Network Overhaul

    Working in partnership with OpenCloud, Stuart replaced all the switches in Europlacer’s head office, and in the connected factory with Omada-compatible ones. On Daniel Webb's further recommendation, Stuart tried out a TP-Link access point. "It was super-easy to manage-we plugged it in and it worked right away. It was a no-brainer to replace our existing access points across the site. Instead of having individual access points for guest and employee access, the Omada access points provide both SSID from the same unit. This cuts down on IT clutter and reduces hardware costs. We now have ten access points covering the whole of the UK office-they work brilliantly.”

  • Multi-Site Roll-Out

    Highly satisfied with the UK site's TP-Link equipment, Stuart decided to roll it out to the largest Europlacer factory, in France, to replace ageing equipment. "TP-Link did a remote site survey using the floorplan we provided to tell us how many access points we needed and where to place them. It was very useful-we needed fewer units than we thought and there are no dead spots now."



Stuart also required new CCTV devices to monitor equipment and access in the UK offices and factory. Again, following OpenCloud's recommendation, he selected TP-Link's VIGI surveillance equipment and installed cameras and HD recorders at the UK site. "It all works as designed - I now intend to install the same system in France. I've also replaced old power over ethernet (PoE)switches with TP-Link ones to power our VOIP phone system."

Seamless Wi-Fi

Global Remote Control

Stuart is very satisfied with all the TP-Link equipment. "Having installed similar systems in the UK and France, I have a clear view of both sites and complete remote cloud management of the entire network. I aim to do the same in our office in the US and continue rolling it out to the rest of the sites globally. Having a consistent setup streamlines the management for me and my team-we only need to use the Omada portal. It's very user-friendly and we've quickly got to know all its features."


    Challenging Site

    "Our factories are huge open spaces. Making sure that there's solid Wi-Fi throughout is a challenge. The coverage recommendation from TP-Link's remote survey was very helpful and accurate. We have the Wi-Fi coverage we need without interference to sensitive equipment in some areas of the factory. We were also pleased to find we didn't need extra access points in our temperature-controlled test environments. The remote survey correctly predicted that they would be served effectively by nearby units."

  • Convenient App Management

    Stuart and his team find the Omada cloud management app especially useful. "If we get any alerts, such as firmware updates being needed, we can log in right away, wherever we are and set them off without interruption. You can keep an eye on the logs at any time if there are any issues. Also, in the Omada portal, there's a floorplan map. Some of my technical team don't visit our French factory often-the map shows them where a switch or item is, so it's easy to locate the target device even though it's a huge building on three floors."


"I work both from home and from the office and manage Wi-Fi networks at all our sites. With the Omada Cloud Management platform I can diagnose and fix almost anything remotely and rapidly-it's been a game changer."

Stuart Watts

Group IT Manager, Europlacer


    Permission-Based Access

    Being able to allocate permissions to different staff is also useful in Europlacer's multi-site operation. "Our French staff have access to their local facility, the same goes for the US team. It's good security practice to confine their access to the systems they need to work on."

  • Global Roll-Out

    Stuart intends to continue installing Omada across Europlacer's global estate. He highlights the value of the devices, the intuitive and feature-rich Cloud management platform and the network performance as key benefits. "We’ve got a dedicated fibre connection to our premises and average 950 Mbps both up and down. With the Omada solution, we are easily getting 600-700 Mbps all over the building. Before installing Omada we were struggling to get 300 Mbps. The whole team has been thoroughly impressed."


From United States?

Get products, events and services for your region.