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Hill and Smith Limited


Hill and Smith Limited





Our Role:

Delivery of a wireless network
Upgrading of layer 2 infrastructure

Watchguard Product:

XTM 850
30 Indoor Access Points
12 External Access Points

Watchguard Services:

24/7 Support

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Hill and Smith Limited manufacture and supply specialist safety barrier systems throughout the world, based in the West Midlands.  SysGroup have provided IT infrastructure services to Hill and Smith group companies for several years.  In 2014, the IT Manager was tasked by the business to provide wireless connectivity over the entire site to support computerising the job sheet system, warehousing and picking onto handhelds and tablets.

The Proposal

Following a thorough survey, SysGroup proposed a WatchGuard Wireless solution comprising of 30 dual radio indoor APs and 12 external APs controlled by a WatchGuard XTM850 with Security Bundle. In addition, SysGroup had to provide structured cabling to each AP location and fibre out to intermediate distribution cabinets. The proposal significantly extended and upgraded the existing layer 2 infrastructure and recommended installing a stacked pair of core switches, redundant links to all switches, segregate the network into VLANs and configure spanning tree topology. The WatchGuard XTM was to be placed at the centre as a layer three core with all security services scanning all traffic.


The biggest challenge at Hill and Smith was the significant amount of heavy machinery, large presses and huge crane systems in their production environment which cause both interference and blockages to wireless signals. This required high density of wireless access points. Using WatchGuard’s analysis tool after installation allowed for the tuning of APs to ensure the network was reliable and a consistent strong signal. The site also operates 6am – 10pm so implementation had to be carried out without downtime or significant interruption.

The Result

Hill and Smith now have site-wide wireless connectivity.

  • Network VLAN for tablets and handhelds
  • A corporate wireless network
  • A BYOD and guest network
  • Any of their wireless networks can be broadcast to any part of the entire 150,000 sq. ft. site
  • Resilient switch network is hardened and scanned by multi-layer systems on the WatchGuard XTM


The Wi-Fi project SysGroup provided, has given us a stable and secure platform for us to extend our software infrastructure. The execution of the project has impressed us and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Rockford IT

Tim Hedges
Hill and Smith Limited (IT Manager)

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