Why manufacturer Heiploeg makes IXON mandatory for machine builders


The Heiploeg factory contains machines from various machine builders. All these machines contain an IXON router, as Heiploeg asks the machine builders they work with to build these in. This way they are certain that they can set up a secure connection where they can keep the management in their own hands.

Heiploeg is a leading shrimp supplier and processor in Europe. The factory in Groningen, The Netherlands, has, among other things, processing, sorting, and packaging machines with the objective of developing and supplying a wide range of shrimp products.

Heiploeg shrimps 4-min     Heiploeg shrimps 3-minHeiploeg shrimps 2-minHeiploeg shrimps 1-min


About 10 years ago, Heiploeg's IT infrastructure was still fairly conventional and limited. With the rise of Industry 4.0 and the implementation of SAP as an ERP system, Heiploeg saw a need to adapt and, where possible, integrate their operational technology (OT) and IT systems. 

In addition, Heiploeg wanted to provide remote access to the machine builders of the machines in their factory through a VPN connection so they could provide faster service and better remote support. Until then, the factory was working with different cell phones and dongles to reach machines. Each supplier brought its own solution. However, this created security risks.

To eliminate these risks as much as possible, Heiploeg decided to standardize on one remote access solution. They started looking for a suitable solution that had to meet two important criteria: Heiploeg had to be able to set up a secure connection and keep the management in its own hands.

Machine at Heiploeg 1


This is how they ended up with IXON, which offers them an integrated hardware and software solution that not only addresses technical and operational challenges, but also ensures a future-proof, secure and efficient way of working.

A secure connectionControl cabinet Heiploeg 3

By using IXON's certified router, Heiploeg creates a secure VPN connection separate from their internal networks. This reduces the risk of unauthorized access from outside and limits the risk of a security incident spreading to the critical corporate networks.

"IXON continually invests in development and research into new security measures. We know the VPN connection is secure and don't have to worry about it," said Jos Bos, Technical Engineer at Heiploeg.


"Three years ago we had the security of our infrastructure assessed in detail by an external party. This showed that IXON met all security requirements."

- Jos Bos, Technical Engineer at Heiploeg

Management in their own hands

Heiploeg makes the use of IXON mandatory for its machine builders. Heiploeg's purchasing conditions state that an IXON router will be built into every machine they purchase. 

"We would like to keep the management in our own hands and remain independent of external suppliers. It's one of the discussion topics we bring up when we negotiate a project with a machine builder. We then talk about PLC preference, for example, but also about service. And we see this as part of service," says Klaasharm, Technical Manager at Heiploeg. 

Jos explains: "We like to configure the router ourselves, so we aren't dependent on them and can manage it ourselves. We can then send the machine builder an invitation to access our IXON Cloud portal, possibly send documents along with it and track who is performing which actions."

Heiploeg shrimps factory        Machine at Heiploeg 5


One of Heiploeg's main goals is to make production as efficient as possible.

"The impact IXON makes on Heiploeg is that it enables remote service and support in a secure way. It is crucial to our operations and we can't do without it because downtime has to be limited."

- Klaasharm Haan, Technical Manager at Heiploeg

Heiploeg has a good, stable technical department with people who have worked there for a long time and are familiar with the equipment. They solve many breakdowns themselves, but if they can't figure it out themselves, they find it important to receive effective support from a partner. "Good support with a stable network in a secure environment is then essential. Especially when it comes to software, you don't want something to go wrong halfway through," Klaasharm points out. 

Machine at Heiploeg 3-1

"When we have purchased a machine and it's commissioned, the machine runs 98% well afterwards. For that last 2%, the machine builder then has to monitor and support remotely for several weeks. That saves them a lot of time that they would otherwise have had to be here on site when there is often little going on," Jos adds.

Klaasharm continues: "If we want to put the impact in numbers, it's very simple. If the machine builder had to send someone for a whole day, it would easily cost us more than €2,000 including travel time and such. Now they can simply access the machine remotely and that either costs you nothing, because it's part of their service, or you get an invoice for half an hour of between €50 and €100. That's not only much cheaper, but also much faster."