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New control center for energy suppliers - contact, concept and components convince

A single workstation, equipped with a formation of 20 monitors, seven or eight keyboard-mouse units and six telephones – this picture belongs in the control center of Städtische Werke Magdeburg GmbH & Co. KG (short: SWM Magdeburg), this picture is fortunately a thing of the past. In the course of its 25th anniversary, the company has completely re-equipped its energy control center with the support of JST control room professionals in terms of technology, ergonomics and appearance.

Around 300,000 people depend on SWM Magdeburg as their energy supplier for the supply of gas, drinking water and heat as well as for wastewater. If there is a malfunction somewhere, for example a burst pipe or a leaking gas pipe, everything is in the hands of the energy control center staff. They must coordinate emergency services for fault clearance, if necessary initiate civil engineering and cordoning off measures or organize traffic diversions and fire brigade operations.

Control center as a sign of appreciation

The relevance of this activity is usually only revealed in dramatic incidents. It is therefore all the more important that the workstations in the 24/7 manned control center of the energy supplier meet the highest technical and ergonomic requirements. “These newly equipped premises also have something to do with the esteem in which the employees are held,” explains Maik Steschulat, Head of Dispatching/Network Management Gas/Water/Heat/Wastewater at SWM Magdeburg. “There is a difference between a windowless office in the basement and a room with daylight and quality furnishings.”

JST control centers on the test bench

Maik Steschulat and his team found the desired equipment after precise market sounding with the experts of Jungmann Systemtechnik.
The SWM project team was able to put the JST control centers to the test at Stadtwerke Hannover, as well as Stadtwerken Dresden (DREWAG) and last but not least at their own subsidiary Netze Magdeburg. Maik Steschulat: “I also visited the ko:mon congress and also the JST control room simulator – that was a well-rounded story”.

Contact, concept and components have convinced

When, after a points analysis by an external office and the subsequent invitation to tender for the project, the economic side was also convincing, the decision was made. “At JST we liked the overall concept for the energy control center consisting of furniture, technology and customer service – an acquisition at eye level,” recalls Maik Steschulat, who not only appreciates the personal cooperation with JST consultant Volker Weimer, but also clearly emphasizes the technical competence of the hardware and software specialists.

All relevant data at a glance with large screen technology

What makes the new control center of the energy supplier and thus also the work situation of the operators so remarkable? Each of the three workstations in the energy control room is assigned a large screen wall, which provides a quick overview of all relevant data by displaying network diagrams, diagrams and graphics in BigPicture format, thus enabling faults to be detected without delay. The monitors directly at the workstation, on the other hand, are used for detailed work, such as message and alarm lists or various office applications.

Safety despite removal of the system limit

Other plus points of the new installation: height-adjustable work desks, room climate and acoustics have been optimized by relocating the technology, and the team benefits from the advantages of JST MultiConsolings®. Maik Steschulat: “Everyone is now free to decide which source is to be visualized at what time on which display. This technology also allows us to combine the various network worlds with the main system. We work without system boundaries and still fulfill the IT security according to UP KRITIS (implementation plan critical infrastructures) and IT security law”.

Fear of contact put to rest in a few days

Even if there were initially some skeptical voices from the ranks of the employees (“it can’t be that it all just works by drag & drop”), even the biggest critics were quickly disabused: “Within a few days, all fear of contact was forgotten – that’s quite remarkable”, Maik Steschulat is pleased about the quick acceptance that the new technology has found in the operator team at SWM Magdeburg.

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