Automation Story

All trades in one place.

Building management system (BMS) in a Logistics Center.

Central warehouse for 250 drugstore branches

In 2017, the seventh logistics centre of the drugstore chain ROSSMANN was built in Malsfeld, near Kassel. With 2100 drugstores and annual sales of 6.4 billion euros (2017), Dirk Rossmann GmbH is the second largest drugstore chain in Germany.

From Malsfeld, around 250 branches in southern Lower Saxony, northern Hesse, Westphalia and Thuringia are supplied with the company's own logistics fleet. For this purpose, 25,000 m2 of storage space is available for the extensive range of goods and 50 truck loading stations.

Rossmann Logistics Center.

All trades perfectly networked.

Advantages of a cross-discipline BMS:

  • Integration of all trades in one system.
  • Data exchange between systems of different manufacturers, protocols and interfaces.
  • One user interface for all trades.
  • Smart automation by linking different trades.
  • Reduced energy and resource consumption.
  • Lower operating and maintenance costs through TPM.
  • Secure remote access to all building services and system components using a smartphone or Tablet PC.

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16 trades in one system

VISAM GmbH was awarded the contract for the planning and implementation of a building management system (BMS) based on the VBASE automation platform. In total, more than 16 trades with different interfaces from all areas of the logistics complex were to be integrated into the BMS. As a multifunctional and manufacturer-independent system, VBASE was able to fully exploit its strengths and provide the necessary drivers for the existing systems.

The actual storage area of the logistics centre consists of three hall segments with high shelves, which are spatially separated from each other. Offices for administration, staff rooms and other storage areas are located on a mezzanine floor. Additional premises for technology and infrastructure are also part of the extensive logistics operation.

Control: central, on-site or in the browser

A fanless industrial computer with VBASE Server-RT was installed as the central BMS server. The components used are suitable for continuous operation and minimize the maintenance effort of the BMS control centre. A VISAM Touch Panel (VTP) was installed in each of the three hall segments for on-site operation of the lighting in the warehouse, with which the luminaires of the individual rows of shelves can be switched on/off and dimmed.

The server reports any fault messages from the entire BMS system directly to a constantly manned control room. An additional option for status display and operation via web browser via the VBASE Web-Remote has been integrated for doorman, security personnel, maintenance and plant management.

Energy monitoring and controlling

The primary task of the BMS is to control the hall lighting, outdoor and advertising lighting, heating/ventilation and air conditioning as well as comprehensive energy monitoring. Numerous signals from different systems and sensors also had to be evaluated and processed.

The lighting in the warehouse area is controlled by three lighting management controllers (one per hall segment) with a total of 28 DALI bus segments. The operation and status display of the hall lighting is carried out via the BMS server or via the VTP operating units and contains detailed displays of the operating times of each individual luminaire.

For energy monitoring, a digital electricity meter and network analysis devices with Modbus interface were integrated, via which VBASE permanently records the energy consumption and provides an exact consumption history with daily, weekly and monthly courses for analysis (VBASE SmartMeter function module).

Situation-depending controlling

The VBASE function module for the automatic sunrise and sunset calculation according to geo-coordinates was used for the most economical operation of outdoor and advertising lighting under appropriate lighting conditions. Function blocks in VBASE encapsulate recurring functionalities in a module and can be easily integrated into automation projects via the development environment. The automatic function block can be overridden at any time by setting a timer or by manual operator input.

By detecting the weather signals in the outdoor area, the roof windows are automatically closed under appropriate weather conditions, such as rain and strong winds, in order to prevent damage to the windows or stored goods. The same applies to alarm messages from fire and gas detection systems. In the event of a fire alarm, the roof windows are closed to reduce the oxygen supply. Heating and other systems are shutting down. With a gas alarm, however, the roof windows are opened to add fresh air. Heating and other systems are also shut down.

The permanent recording of the temperatures in the individual storage areas makes it possible to control the indoor temperature by using the chiller (if too warm) or the hall heating (if too cold). VBASE also permanently calculates and documents the Mean Kinetic Temperature (MKT), which expresses the effect of temperature fluctuations on stored goods. A VBASE function module was also used for this function, which already provides the MKT calculation.

Trades and systems that have been integrated in the BMS:

  • Warehouse lighting
  • Outdoor and advertising lighting
  • Sun protection
  • Roof windows
  • Burglar alarm system
  • Fire alarm system
  • Temperature, inside
  • Weather, outside (wind, rain etc.)
  • Electricity meter / power analyzer
  • Hall heating, dark radiators
  • Gas warning system
  • Heat pump
  • Reciprocator chiller
  • Office heating
  • Office air conditioner
  • Office ventilation
  • Various operating and fault signals (transformer, power supply, etc.)
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