Case study: Denmark’s largest energy supplier secured with Siemens access control solution

DONG Energy
DONG Energy

Siemens has built a strong working relationship with DONG Energy, Denmark’s largest power generator.  Having successfully delivered a number of diverse projects for the company, the most recent has seen Siemens work with DONG to establish one common access control system across all of the company’s 85 sites throughout Denmark.

Producing more than 50% of Denmark’s power and approximately 40% of its heat, DONG is one of the leading energy companies in Northern Europe.  Its business is based on producing, distributing and selling energy and energy-related products through traditional power plants and wind farms,  not only in Denmark but also in the UK, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Poland and France, as well as through hydro-electric plants in Sweden.  The publicly owned company today employs around 6,000 personnel mostly working at its Danish sites.

DONG believes that maintaining a good working environment and a high level of safety for employees and suppliers is a prerequisite for operating a healthy and efficient business.  This corporate responsibility being an integral part of its values and vision, the company requires all staff to undergo a safety and security certification course for each of its sites at which they work or visit.  This attitude was the major driving force behind a move to improve the access control systems deployed at the 85 sites in its homeland, though the initiative also addressed recommendations made by the Danish authorities that regularly monitor security and safety at Denmark’s critical infrastructure facilities.

As a result, DONG Energy determined to establish a common access control system across all of its sites in Denmark to increase the security level and to ensure easy access for all employees to centralized and decentralized power plants, city stations and office buildings alike.  DONG placed the order with Siemens for the new, multi-site, access control system specified by its own Facility Management team. The contract was duly completed on schedule and all DONG Energy employees are now able to use the same card to access all sites anywhere in the country.  The project included not only implementation of new systems and the replacement of old, third-party systems, but also the facility to interface with DONG’s System Application & Products (SAP) system for exporting human resources data.  (SAP creates a common centralized database for all the applications running in an organization: financial, personnel, production operations and materials, plants, and archived documents.)

DONG Energy control room
DONG Energy control room

Siemens developed two applications specifically for DONG Energy to provide the system with ‘Present/Not Present’ and ‘Muster Station’ functionality.  The ‘Present/Not Present’ feature was developed to save time during day-to-day operations by enabling key personnel to be located quickly and efficiently whenever intervention or specific actions are required.  The ‘Muster Station’ capability is part of the evacuation application also specially developed by Siemens.  Dedicated readers are installed on pillars at key assembly points – or muster stations – where employees and visitors present their cards to confirm they have safely evacuated in case of emergency.  Emergency response teams (fire brigade, police etc.) can then use the system to print a list of all members of staff that are still on site.  This is, of course, vital in optimizing the rescue/intervention process.

The new Siemens access control system provides freedom of movement for thousands of employees in a secure environment at numerous locations scattered throughout Denmark.  It is flexible, scalable and easy to use and in its entirety comprises: 6,000 contactless smart cards and proximity cards, 79 door controllers, 617 readers or proximity coupling devices, and four printers.  The system is also installed in smaller substations and office buildings throughout Denmark and has the capability for future expansion into other international locations.

The advanced central controllers of the access control system play a crucial role, as they are the interface between the integrated software and the field-level devices (reader interface modules, input-point modules, and output-point modules).  Two types of controllers are installed, which work in tandem on the same site.  Communication between all the controllers in the system takes place peer-to-peer, independent of the server.  So if connection to the server should be interrupted, operation of the system is unaffected.

Following the successful implementation of the access control system, Siemens was also awarded the service contract for three years.

DONG Energy is aiming to be a major international supplier to the whole of Northern Europe.  The company has approximately 70 current licences for research of oil and gas and is undertaking drilling activities in the Danish and Norwegian part of the North Sea.  With over 20 years’ experience, it is also the current market-leader in offshore wind-power, having built more wind farms than any other company in the world, most of which are based in North West Europe.  The company has a history of working with Siemens – itself a leading player in the offshore wind industry – on various innovative projects.  In 1991 the two collaborated on the construction of the world’s first offshore wind-farm at Vindeby in Denmark and have since cooperated on many offshore projects including Middelgrunden near Copenhagen, Nysted and Horns Rev 2 also in Denmark and Burbo Bank and Gunfleet Sands in the UK.

The Siemens Industry Sector (Erlangen, Germany) is the worldwide leading supplier of environmentally friendly production, transportation, building and lighting technologies. With integrated automation technologies and comprehensive industry-specific solutions, Siemens increases the productivity, efficiency and flexibility of its customers in the fields of industry and infrastructure. The Sector consists of six divisions: Building Technologies, Drive Technologies, Industry Automation, Industry Solutions, Mobility und Osram. With around 204,000 employees worldwide (September 30), Siemens Industry achieved in fiscal year 2010 total sales of approximately €34.9 billion.

The Siemens Building Technologies Division (Zug, Switzerland) is the world’s leading provider of safe, secure and energy efficient solutions for buildings („Green Buildings“) and building infrastructure. As a service provider, system integrator and product supplier Building Technologies offers building automation, HVAC, fire safety, security, low voltage power distribution and electrical installation technology. With around 42,000 employees worldwide (September 30), Building Technologies achieved a turnover of €6.9 billion in fiscal year 2010.

*Pictures courtesy of DONG Energy A/S

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