May 02 2023

How Satellite Broadband is Transforming Manufacturing in Asia Pacific

Satellite broadband is proving essential for closing connectivity gaps in APAC’s manufacturing sector and enabling continuous innovation.

In spite of the recent return to positive growth in industrial production across the APAC region, the manufacturing sector faces increasing pressure to innovate and better adapt to changing work environments. This comes in addition to major trends shaping manufacturing, including the growing prevalence of the industrial internet of things (IIoT), increasing reliance on remote work, and rapid evolution of manufacturing robotics.

Being on the frontlines of the fourth industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0, manufacturers must adopt modern technology systems, such as IoT and industrial automation solutions, most of which are dependent on broadband connectivity. These include solutions that enhance supply chain visibility, boost operational capability, and facilitate remote work for knowledge workers. In response to these growing needs, about 76% of manufacturers intend to increase their investment in digital tech, presenting a three-fold rise from before the pandemic.

Why do Manufacturing Firms Crave Uninterrupted Broadband Coverage?

With manufacturing becoming more high-tech, connectivity has become the vital backbone of the industry. Data needs to be transmitted quickly, safely, and reliably to keep production lines running smoothly and accommodate growing trends, such as just-in-time manufacturing and lights-out factories. The ability to make informed, near real-time decisions depends on internet connectivity.

One of the biggest challenges highlighted by the pandemic was the need for manufacturers to become more accountable, and that depends heavily on gaining visibility into supply chains. For example, manufacturing headquarters need to be able to track vehicles in transit that are delivering essential supplies, and the timeliness and accuracy of that information depend on reliable connectivity.

IoT is one of the most disruptive trends in the manufacturing sector, and it is fast becoming an integral aspect of high-tech manufacturing. For example, sensors in shipping containers can track shipments and monitor environmental variables, and sensors connected to vehicles and machinery can predict maintenance issues before they result in unexpected downtime. However, accessing that data requires every sensor to be connected to a centralized server that gives back-office staff complete visibility and control over their operations. Having a high-speed network also makes it possible to leverage IIoT data to continuously enhance processes and carry out proactive maintenance operations.

Of course, broadband internet is also vital to manufacturers when it comes to communicating with customers and product developers. Unified communications, which incorporates instant messaging, email, and voice and video conferencing, is essential for working effectively across global supply chains and remote workforces. In a truly connected environment, manufacturers can instantly share data with customers, suppliers, and stakeholders. Kacific offers a turnkey service to address the challenge in near real-time data collection and analysis with a secure accessible network.

Our secure and easily accessible network ensures your data is always available, while our pay-per-sensor plan makes it easy to scale up or down without breaking the bank. With Kacific’s IoT as a service, you can finally focus on what really matters – making the most of your data.”

Given just how essential broadband connectivity has become to manufacturing operations, it is also vital to achieve connectivity resilience. While it might be preferable to use fiber-optic or 5G where available, no single networking solution should be relied upon entirely, especially when it comes to mission-critical operations like health and safety monitoring systems. This is
why every manufacturer needs a dependable backup, especially if they are operating in one of the many areas of the APAC region which are at risk of natural disasters or lack dependable fixed-line or mobile internet connectivity.

Fortunately, satellite broadband can solve some of the biggest connectivity challenges in the Asia Pacific manufacturing sector, including:

• Protecting manufacturing facilities with remote monitoring and security.
• Allocating bandwidth across multiple manufacturing facilities and other assets.
• Connecting on-site IoT sensors, actuators, and other devices.
• Protecting against unscheduled downtime with a backup internet connection.

Case Study – Lightspeed VSAT Solution Keeps a Food Manufacturing Company Connected During Fiber Outages

RD Tuna Canners Ltd, a leading food manufacturing company in Papua New Guinea, faced significant challenges due to internet connectivity issues. Frequent fiber downtime became a major concern for the company as it relies heavily on the internet to keep business operations running, these include video conferencing with customers, sending contracts via emails, and making online banking transactions. As a result, the company incurred a loss of productivity and revenue frequently. Frustrated with their plight, the company turned to Lightspeed, internet service provider partner of Kacific Satellite Internet, for help.

Lightspeed worked with RD Tuna Canners Ltd to implement a VSAT solution powered by Kacific’s satellite internet, providing a reliable secondary source of internet connectivity to keep the business running during fiber outages. The pairing of Kacific’s affordable bandwidth plans like a 7-user unlimited internet plan with 60 Mbps speed at K1,658 a month and affordable and easy-to-install 1.2m small aperture terminal kit (VSATs), made it possible to quickly install the VSATs in remote and isolated areas, even in terrestrial regions. In addition, Kacific’s flexible technology is open for integration into different networks, allowing for seamless integration with RD Tuna Canners Ltd’s existing systems.

Thanks to the Local 24-7 support and excellent customer service and flexible plans provided by Lightspeed, RD Tuna Canners Ltd was able to receive prompt assistance and support whenever needed, ensuring uninterrupted business operations during a three-month fiber outage caused by an earthquake in September 2022.

Today, RD Tuna Canners Ltd can run operations seamlessly and drive growth by relying on satellite internet connectivity to power their business when fiber connections become unreliable. With unlimited affordable plans subject to fair usage policy, and over 99% service level availability, Kacific and its partner, Lightspeed, have provided a cost-effective solution that meets the needs of the manufacturing firms, ensuring they can stay connected and productive no matter what challenges they face.

How can Satellite Broadband Help Manufacturing Firms Stay Connected?

Satellite broadband can offer a solution for manufacturing companies addressing connectivity gaps, particularly in rural areas where fiber-optic or 5G broadband may be unavailable or unreliable. Kacific1’s Ka band geostationary satellite offers highspeed internet service with powerful spot beams, making it a suitable option for transmitting large amounts of data with small affordable terminals or antennas anywhere in 25 countries. This makes it ideal for connecting manufacturing plants in industrial regions that are often located far from cities and fiber lines.

After all, many regions in APAC are vulnerable to tropical cyclones, earthquakes, and tsunamis, any of which can fast render local communications infrastructure inoperable for days or even weeks at a time. In these cases, satellite broadband can provide continuous connectivity without having to rely at all on local infrastructure. For manufacturers, this helps protect vital supply chains while at the same time fostering innovation.

Kacific is a next-generation broadband satellite operator providing coverage throughout the Asia Pacific region. We are committed to bringing universal connectivity to manufacturing firms using compact and cost-effective VSAT terminals. Contact us today to find out more.