Birmingham’s NEC selects Zetron digital consoles for operations centre

Advanced touch-screen communications consoles from Zetron are helping staff at the UK’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC) to stage some of the largest exhibitions, sports events and concerts in Europe

Birmingham’s NEC selects Zetron digital consoles for operations centre

The National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham, UK, is using Zetron control technology to help stage and operator events at the site. Four Zetron DCS-5020 Digital Consoles consolidate eight UHF radio channels and 10 phone lines onto each operator screen, enabling NEC venue operations to orchestrate an army of support staff, external agencies and contracted services.

As well as standing by to coordinate responses to security and fire alerts, operators also use the consoles to ensure that traffic flows smoothly from the motorway network into the site’s 17,000 car parking spaces, that visitors find their way around the 600 acre site to any one of 20 event halls, and that supporting services from cleaners to caterers are ready to swing into action at a moment’s notice.

Installed by Zetron partner Servicom, the consoles have brought greater calm and efficiency to the NEC’s newly commissioned 24/7 operations hub, according to security manager Gary Masters - and readied it to take on a wider role. ‘With eight different radio channels and 10 phone lines, at busy times we’d have staff with a radio in one hand and a phone handset in the other. People were reaching over each other to make and take calls - it was far from ideal.

‘Following our installation of DCS-5020, operations staff wear headsets and can access and transfer any phone line or radio channel just by touching an on-screen icon. It is so simple and so intuitive to use. Now our people just get on with managing multiple teams to give visitors a safe and happy experience without thinking about the technology.

‘The deployment of the Zetron consoles has given us the ability to be more informed, more proactive and even more than previously the logical place in which to make real-time operational decisions. I can foresee us taking on a wider role as the NEC continues to develop,’ said Masters.

The DCS-5020 Digital Console combines a small footprint with substantial capacity, putting up to 30 telephony and digital and analogue radio channels under finger-tip control. Around the world it is increasingly the system of choice for small to medium sized static control rooms in public safety, transportation and utilities, as well as for emergency response vehicles.

A single system supports up to 16 customisable screen-based operator consoles. Distributed processing gives the DCS-5020 flexibility, scalability and robustness, delivering the high degree of resilience required for mission-critical 24/7 applications.

Written by Wireless magazine
Wireless magazine

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