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ABB lighting control at Kiasma, Helsinki’s museum of modern art

REFERENCE CASE STUDY

MicroSCADA Pro works like a charm, helping to manage lighting in both exhibition areas and work spaces.


Located in central Helsinki, Kiasma is home to the contemporary art collection of Finland’s National gallery. Its ultramodern architecture and program of exhibitions, workshops, and theatrical performances, have made it a magnet for contemporary artists from around the world. Now, thanks to an ABB monitoring and control system, visitors, artists and employees are assured of optimal lighting throughout the building.

The museum, which has more than 9’000 square meters of exhibition space, was completed in 1998. Almost 8’000 works of art are in the building, on display or in storage facilities. By 2011, its automation systems were nearing the end of their lives and Kiasma chose to replace them with ABB’s intelligent KNX building automation products. MicroSCADA Pro was chosen as the user interface for the lighting system.

The museum needed to manage lighting in both exhibition areas and work spaces, which pose very different challenges, and each exhibition requires a unique lighting scheme to ensure that the desired affect is achieved.

“Many artists have very detailed requirements,” said Matti Leino, exhibition technician for Kiasma’s exhibitions.

The lighting also needed to be automated for activation at specific times and in specific ways, as well as shutting down in areas that are not in use. Achieving all this with the necessary levels of precision and reliability was a challenging task.

ABB’s MicroSCADA Pro software allows operators to program specific lighting schedules for different rooms via a convenient user interface, accessible from a laptop.

“We can see instantly what the lighting will look like and then modify it to get exactly what the artist wants,” said Leino. “Then we can store the settings and link them up to the time-based controls. It’s easy to use and very reliable; and we’ll be able to adapt it as our needs change.”

Leino worked closely with ABB project manager, Achim Behr, on the design of the user interface. Together, they created a logical system of menus and commands, optimized for the needs of the museum, and he’s very pleased with the results:

“This was the first time in 11 years that no one called me in the summer holidays to complain about lighting problems,” he said with a smile. “Everything works perfectly and we’re set for another 15 years.”

“The standard MicroSCADA Pro software is used for managing and monitoring electricity systems, like power distribution networks,” said Behr. “We’ve delivered similar systems to airports, metros and railway traffic systems. Kiasma was a different kind of customer, but the success of this project demonstrates just how versatile this software is. It works like a charm.”

ABB’s automation products have also been installed in neighboring facilities. In the Helsinki Music Center, the city’s new purpose-built concert hall, ABB’s intelligent building system controls not only the lighting, but also the smoke extractor system.

In the headquarters of the leading Nordic media group, Sanoma, which is just down the road, ABB’s MicroSCADA Pro monitors and controls electricity use, as well as the elevators and uninterruptable power supply (UPS) devices.

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