Located in the centre of Norwich City, Castle Mall shopping centre comprises of 60 stores and food outlets, across five levels of retail and leisure, including an 8-screen Vue cinema. The centre also boasts a 790 space multi-storey car park.
The fire detection and alarm system installed in the shopping centre was a Honeywell FC90 system, which was closed protocol and had reached the end of its working life. A replacement system was therefore needed to provide a modern supportable system for the shopping centre.
This is a working shopping centre so minimal disruption to the operation of the shopping centre, retailers and shoppers was of paramount importance.
The installed system was a Honeywell FC90 fire panel with Honeywell variant System Sensor field devices (detectors, manual call points etc). The FC90 system is now obsolete and both the Honeywell FC90 panel and its direct replacement the Honeywell XLS1000 are closed protocol systems, meaning software support and parts are only available via Honeywell.
Therefore, the client initially thought their only options were to migrate the panels to Honeywell XLS1000 and still be restricted by closed protocol ties or replace the entire system, panel and field devices in one go which would be costly and disruptive.
Senseco advised that the Honeywell FC90 and XLS1000 panels are Edwards panels which have been rebranded. The Honeywell XLS1000 and Edwards EST3 panels are identical other than the logo on the front. The field devices are Systems Sensor devices with a protocol change to make them closed protocol Honeywell versions.
For Castle Mall a new network of EST3 panels were installed alongside the existing FC90 panels. By having the “SDU file” which is the system configuration, we were able to download the site programme to the EST3 panels. (If XLS1000 panels were installed we would not have needed to change the panels, just downloaded the existing SDU file with an EST3 dongle). However, the loops remained Honeywell to run the Honeywell field devices at the first stage. A new graphics head end computer was installed.
We then changed a loop of devices from Honeywell version System Sensor Devices to standard System Sensor Devices. This meant we could reuse existing detector bases, so the change over caused minimal disruption. We then downloaded to this loop to change to System Sensor protocol and the panel ran with one System Sensor Loop and the rest Honeywell Loops. We then changed the remaining loops in phases.
The site now has a fully supportable fire system which was changed with minimal disruption and they have a choice of service providers.
Robert Bradley and Sarah Smith the Castle Mall shopping centre managers were delighted with the result and stated at the time: “The change over from the old closed protocol system to the new system went really smoothly. The approach Senseco suggested meant the project could be carried in phases with minimal disruption to our normal operations.” Senseco were retained to maintain the system after the changeover due to the service provided and close working relationships forged with the centre.
Robert Bradley who has recently returned to Castle Mall stated “Senseco continue to provide a great service in maintaining the system to keep it operating at its peak condition”.
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