Advanced touch-screen communications consoles from Zetron are helping staff at the UK’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC) to safely and efficiently stage some of the largest exhibitions, sports events and concerts in Europe.
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, says
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
“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.”
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.
Located just eight miles from the centre of Birmingham, the UK’s second
largest city, and co-located with major air and rail links, the NEC boasts
more than 186,000 square metres of covered space across 20 halls. It
welcomes some 2.1 million visitors a year to more than 140 trade and
consumer events, providing for their every need with on-site facilities
including hotels, bars and restaurants.