Varta Microbattery chooses Ascom solutions for the safety of its employees

Thanks to the ease with which they can be connected to third-party systems, Ascom solutions were perfect for helping Varta Microbattery GmbH focus on safety.

The challenge

Varta Microbattery GmbH focuses on maximum safety for its employees and consistent efficiency in its processes. This fast-growing company was faced with the challenge of quickly integrating another site in Nürtingen into its existing processes. Until this point, they had relied on Cisco’s collaboration platform for some time.

The goal was to implement a reliable wireless infrastructure for voice communication, which included issues of safety like emergency calls, first-responder alarms, and fire alarms. In the event of an emergency, managers, first responders, and plant firefighters should be quickly and efficiently notified about critical situations like personal alarms, occupational accidents, fires, or damages (water ingress, gas leak, etc.). It was also important that the new system be compatible with Cisco Unified Communications Manager, which Varta uses for telephony purposes.

If something happens and someone needs help, Ascom's solutions help us find the injured person - no matter when, where, what, or how it happened.
Joachim Rieger, Head of Rescue Team at Varta Microbattery

The Ascom solution

A comprehensive Ascom IP-DECT infrastructure, with 120 IP-DECT base stations and a total of 600 DECT handsets, has been implemented to ensure reliable and secure wireless communication throughout the entire factory at the Ellwangen and Nürtingen sites. A range of solutions have been implemented with the IP-DECT infrastructure, such as zone-based alarms in case of fire, personal alert systems, a first-responder alarm, and hazard alarm transmission systems.

Safeguarding workers with Ascom personal alert systems enables a rapid, precise, and coordinated response to personal alarms. These alarms can be triggered and sent via man-down, no-movement, and pull-cord functions on the terminal, even if an employee is unconscious or unable to initiate an emergency alert on their own. Personal alarms are shown on an alarm at the gate and are simultaneously sent to the first responders according to location. This system significantly reduces the time from accident occurrence to assistance or rescue of the respective person.

Medical incidents are reported to the gate on an internal emergency number via the first-responder alarm. There, the calls in the alarm web interface are classified as one of three emergency categories (first aid, advanced first aid, and emergency call), while the first-responder group is alerted based on the 5 Ws (who, what, when, where, why). This allows alerts to be sent to first responders who are near the scene of the accident. If these first responders do not take action within a specified time, the alarm is forwarded automatically. First responders can also log in or out of the first-responder group using their DECT terminal, which promotes efficiency within the group and better group planning.

Hazard alarms are also reported to the gate by voice call via the internal emergency number. As with first-responder alarms, the specific circumstances of the emergency are requested, then sent to the corresponding employees from the plant fire department, facility management, or maintenance via the alarm web interface.

The alarm web interface is configured individually so that employees at the gate can dial a preselected number and report a hazardous situation or medical incident using the displayed button, for example. Available texts and groups are then automatically adjusted to the respective situation.

Varta’s executive management were also interested in connecting the fire alarm control panel to the alarm server and a zone-based alarm system. Fire alarms are transmitted to the DECT terminals based on the zone plan. In the interest of efficiency, an alarm is first detected exactly where it was triggered, and it is then verified to determine whether there is a real fire or it is a false alarm. Employees will then only need to evacuate the affected zone. This avoids the time-consuming and often unnecessary evacuation of large parts of the workforce.

Read more customer stories