A Voice Alarm installation
When it comes to camping, caravanning, or leisure mobility, ERWIN HYMER WORLD in Wertheim is the first port of call. Europe’s largest showroom for new and used vehicles also has a specialist workshop and service area, an outdoor shop, plus a rental station. In addition, the premises host workshops, training and large-scale events. As a result, large numbers of people can frequently be found there.
First opened in 2006, the original showroom complex was renovated during 2015-16. In the course of this renovation, a new voice alarm system needed to be installed – one which would meet all the current safety regulations. The new system would additionally be used for professional event sound reinforcement and transmitting recorded music with the highest levels of sound quality, as well as for announcements.
Due to the scale of the project, which would potentially involve large amounts of visitors and a range of different events, requirements regarding the technical conception, installation and implementation of this voice alarm system would prove equally demanding. The existing electro-acoustic system would be replaced by a standard voice alarm system, which, in turn would be linked to the existing fire alarm system. Various areas of the complex would also need to be simultaneously covered with different (audio) programmes. In the event of an emergency, the voice alarm system would be used to trigger a standard evacuation procedure.
The new system would also need to be able to cope with an extremely diverse range of acoustic challenges: The showroom areas at ERWIN HYMER WORLD are very large and are fitted out with highly reflective surfaces including concrete floors and high, bare ceilings. In addition, hundreds of vehicles with smooth surfaces are on show here – whose positions may be changed at any time. The result: long reverberation times, as well as reflections from the floor, walls and glass frontage. As a consequence, the existing electro-acoustic system was delivering poor levels of speech intelligibility.
As no adjustment to the room acoustics would be required in the showroom area, purely electro-acoustic provisions were made with the installation of a VARIODYN D1 professional alarm system. This has access to equalizer and delay functionality via DSP (Digital Signal Processing). On the loudspeaker side, 58 Voice Alarm-Series systems were deployed in total – LINEA LEN-20 (50 W) models. The passive 100 V loudspeaker systems have been specially developed for voice alarm applications and have EN 54-24 Type B certification. An extensive measurement process preceded the selection and positioning of the various loudspeakers. The multi-channel capacity of these voice alarm systems enables different audio programmes to be used in various showroom areas. Moreover, the speakers’ excellent directional characteristics mean lack of disturbance in neighbouring areas.
A large part of the floor space that is not closed off can also be used as an event area. Sound coverage for this space therefore involved greater emphasis on first-class sound quality and audio performance. Since there are no acoustic “obstacles” here, i.e. vehicles, it was decided to install, among other things, three high performance Linea LEN-150 line source speakers (260 W), which have extremely good directivity and a long reach. The 1.50 m long loudspeaker systems are ideally suited to events that require directional sound reinforcement. Some Linea LEN-60 systems were also installed.
The technical team
The project was planned and implemented by Novar GmbH, a Honeywell company from Neuss, and BuS GmbH from Würzburg. Both companies were supported by planning- and sound engineers from Fohhn in Nürtingen. Excellent cooperation by the entire technical team played an important role in ensuring a successful outcome.
“Optimal sound coverage of the various areas, coupled with the simultaneous guarantee of professional evacuation in the event of an emergency represents a substantial boost to our image,” says Anna Weiss, IT/Fire Prevention Officer at the ERWIN HYMER WORLD GmbH headquarters in Wertheim. “Once again it shows that it is not just about professional and perfectly matched products, it's also about the perfect interaction between participating companies.”
Werner Fenn, Managing Director of BuS adds: “Having committed to the sound reinforcement system, everyone involved could then sit back and relax in the knowledge that the complex technology of these high quality products guarantees both a trouble-free course of business and the necessary safety of man and machine in the event of an incident occurring.”