Safeguarding high-value materials and processes

Metals processing company proactively manages critical systems for regulatory compliance.

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Klein Steel Service, headquartered in Rochester, N.Y., supplies the nuclear and petrochemical industries with custom fabricated steel components. The facility processes and distributes 12,000 tons of custom metal components to 2,400 customers nationwide. Every piece of the process is automated and, because all the components are inter-networked and interdependent, huge health and safety risks could occur if any one of the company’s network servers goes down. To ensure compliance with stringent regulations, new application monitoring software supports the quality of materials, fabrication methods, testing, inventory, tracking and delivery.

According to Klein Steel Service senior systems integrator Rob Smura, the unified infrastructure and application monitoring software (Ipswitch) gives him the freedom and flexibility to adapt his monitoring approach based on immediate business needs. He can continuously monitor the network and servers that assure the on time delivery and regulatory compliance of the steel components used in nuclear and fossil fuel power plants.

Smura first installed the software three years ago to help him monitor each of the company’s equipment and servers. This included installing the software on a VM (virtual machine) to monitor the connection between the inventory robot picker and their ERP system, as well as the dedicated polling server (to validate movement in and out of work cells) and the NOC (network operations center) view that shows the live status of the network.

“I used the same solution at my previous employer and when I started here I found I was constantly putting out fires every single day,” Smura recalls. “I felt like I needed to put on a fireman’s suit before coming to work because that’s all I did. But once we got everything configured on the new software, my job went from ‘fireman’ to ‘hero.’ That’s a great feeling for any IT manager.”

The system notifies Smura that the network is running along smoothly, is down, or is about to go down, enabling him to proactively fix any errors before users even know something has happened. In addition, systems that used to be down for hours before anyone knew about it are now monitored for issues every two minutes.

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