Nov 1, 2014 - Building
Thanks to WINSTA®: Reducing Faults and Gaining Time
In 2015, the Schweizerische Post [Swiss Postal Service] is relocating their headquarters to Wankdorf City, a business park in Bern, Switzerland. The imposing new construction is located across the tracks from the new commuter train station in Wankdorf. Elektro Burkhalter AG, the company responsible for the electrical installations, relies on the WINSTA® Connector System from WAGO — with good reason.
In the future, this will be the city’s new office park. Currently, it is only a massive construction site: the land designated as Wankdorf City, north of Bern will soon be home to the new headquarters of many organizations including SBB, Losinger Marazzi and the Swiss Post. The latter will move into an imposing building, named “Majowa” in 2015. With eight floors and 30,000 square meters, it offers space for 1,800 offices. And these dimensions are making electrical installations particularly challenging. Lights, blinds, fire alarms, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, multimedia units, door monitoring, access control, IT systems — they all require electricity and must be appropriately networked.
Stefan Iseli was challenged with this task. He is the project manager at Elektro Burkhalter AG, which, together with Scherler AG, is responsible for the electrical installations. For Iseli, it is not just the enormous volume that demands meticulous preparation. It is also the time pressure.
“The building times for modern, large construction sites are decreasing, contributing to a noticeable increase in pressure,” he admits. And this is definitely the case for Project Majowa. This time crunch is one of the reasons that Elektro Burkhalter did not resort to conventional cabling for the electrical installations, but instead decided on the WINSTA® Connector System from WAGO. With WAGO, prefabricated components are delivered to the construction location as partial, readymade solutions and installed by the electricians on site. This saves a tremendous amount of time. The potential for installation errors is also reduced. This is because the WINSTA® Connector System allows only one possible connection — the correct one. “That makes it sound too easy,” qualifies Iseli. “Our electricians have to concentrate hard on their work; something can always go wrong. After all, we are working with electricity.” In addition, a simple plug connection does not work for all connections. Depending on consumer and plug type, the electricians still have to connect wires to the terminal blocks according to specifications. However, according to Iseli, there are significantly fewer mistakes with WINSTA®.
Planning is Decisive
The successful partnership between WAGO and Elektro Burkhalter has existed for several years now. Remo Marti from WAGO recalls projects that were similar in scale to the Swiss Post headquarters in which Elektro Burkhalter relied on WINSTA®. He knows from experience how important early planning can be. “We tailor our products to the customer's requests, and partially manufacture them specifically for that customer.” For Iseli, this means that, “We have to know early what we need so that we can order it in time. WAGO's advice during the initial planning is very important. I don't simply consider WAGO as a vendor; rather, I think it is an important project partner.” For the Post headquarters, the quantities extended into the thousands: 1,300 floor sockets, connections for approximately 3,000 lighting elements and 1,600 mixed valve installations for building sanitation, heating and ventilation systems. In addition, more than 1,800 connections for sensors and around 2,000 ribbon cable adapters were required. The components are stored in sheds near the construction site while they await installation. The time saved during this type of work, versus conventional cabling, is huge. Ultimately, the pluggable system does not just provide advantages during construction, but will also be beneficial down the road. Maintenance will be easier and more efficient.
The Lights Go On in 2015
Until then, work continues full-time at the construction site. In addition to the electrical installations, the entire inner structure of the building is being built. Until the approximately 1,800 postal service employees move in, plugging, screwing and cabling will continue at full throttle. Project Manager Iseli is confident that the lights will go on promptly in the new Swiss Post building in 2015. However, he is not counting his proverbial chickens just yet by adding that, “The electrician is the first on site and the last to leave. We have to be flexible up to the finish.” By selecting WINSTA® products, Iseli is confident that the plan will work.
- The WINSTA® Connector System saves time with components that are prefabricated to customer requirements.
- Coded plugs and sockets prevent installation errors during wiring.
- Future maintenance will also be easier and more efficient.
Photo: etextera.ch, Losinger Marazzi AG