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Blue Diamond Growers modernises operations with HPE Aruba Wi-Fi 6E

June 6, 2024

Posted by: Magda Dabrowska

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Hewlett Packard Enterprise has announced the #1 U.S. consumer brand for almonds and almond milk, Blue Diamond Growers is continuing its 100-year tradition of quality, innovation and food safety by modernising its wireless networking infrastructure with an HPE Aruba Networking Wi-Fi 6E-enabled solution.


The deployment improves mobile and IoT device connectivity in support of the California-based cooperative’s three manufacturing facilities that processes approximately a billion pounds of almonds annually for domestic and worldwide consumption on behalf of its 3,000 grower-owners. Stretching across over 3.3 million square feet of manufacturing facilities, including 40 acres of outdoor crop receiving areas, the new Wi-Fi network also provides AI-powered intelligence that is speeding troubleshooting by 50%.

“Our enterprise has a rich history of using innovation to produce and market almond products,” said Ryan Funk, the IT infrastructure director for Blue Diamond Growers. “Today, we rely on mobile and IoT-enabled technologies for moving almonds that arrive fresh from the field through production quickly, efficiently and safely, which ultimately enables delivering the highest value to our grower-owners.”

Supporting quality, flavor and freshness around the clock

As the domestic almond supply and production leader since its founding in 1910, Blue Diamond relies extensively upon Wi-Fi connectivity for receiving and tracking almonds and almond products throughout its manufacturing, storage and distribution processes.

From crop delivery areas through finished product shipment, Blue Diamond workers use a variety of mobile devices, including scanners, tablets and label printers, all of which feed data into the enterprise’s cloud-enabled ERP solution around the clock. IoT-enabled systems are also extensively deployed, such as for constantly monitoring temperatures across the industry’s largest refrigerated storage capacity to maintain quality and freshness, which require reliable, secure connectivity from APs acting as an IoT platform.

“For innovative global food producers that depend upon connectivity for bringing products to market, fast, reliable and secure networking infrastructure is essential for supplying consumers with high-quality, nutritious and flavorful products,” said Stuart Strickland, the wireless chief technology officer at HPE Aruba Networking. “Whether its mobilising employees across indoor production and R&D facilities or ensuring rapid and accurate crop receipts during 24/7 harvest seasons, high-performance intelligent Wi-Fi enables Blue Diamond Growers to fulfill its core mission: maximise grower returns and deliver the benefits of almonds to the world.”

AI-powered, future-ready and cost-effective

With regulatory approvals in place, Blue Diamond was eager to act on their vision to move to Wi-Fi 6E APs. To answer their mobile and IoT data traffic demands, while minimising operating overhead, the company adopted an AI-powered wireless solution that includes HPE Aruba Networking Wi-Fi 6E Access Points (APs) for indoor facilities and ruggedised outdoor Wi-Fi 6 APs for exterior connectivity. The network is unified and managed with HPE Aruba Networking Central, which streamlines and simplifies administration.

According to Funk, the network intelligence supplied by HPE Aruba Networking Central is important for enabling company’s ultra-lean IT staff to manage multiple geographically-disbursed facilities. “Having a powerful, centralised and intuitive management tool that also supports manufacturing frameworks for NIST and ISO is essential,” he said. “In addition, with HPE Aruba Networking Central, we’re resolving Wi-Fi trouble calls 50% faster, reducing IT overhead while improving user experiences.”

Prior to its new Wi-Fi infrastructure, Blue Diamond began saving more than USD$250,000 annually vs Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) by adopting HPE Aruba Networking EdgeConnect SD-WAN to gain a self-driving wide area network that serves as a foundation for zero trust and secure access service edge (SASE) cybersecurity. In addition, the company deployed HPE Aruba Networking Boost, for WAN optimisation.

Looking ahead, Blue Diamond expects its new networking infrastructure will continue powering company R&D efforts and business growth. “The combination of exceptional enterprise Wi-Fi and ongoing support we receive from HPE Aruba Networking enables us to envision operational and product innovations that were impossible before,” Funk said.

To learn more, visit HPE Aruba Networking.

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