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Intelligent hypermarkets
Article taken from "Fieldbus & Networks", issue 255 - February 2003

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Groupe Casino has automated all twelve hypermarkets of its Argentinean division Libertad using Automa's solutions.

by The editorial team

The international Groupe Casino is the French retail holding and founding member of the World Wide Retail Exchange, an association involving another sixteen large world retail organizations. In Argentina, the Libertad division has given the group a leading position and works in all the most important cities in the north of the country, such as Mendoza, Cordoba, Santiago del Estero, San Juan and Tucuman.

Automa LatinaA lot of the company's shopping centres and hypermarkets use automation developed by Automa Latina, which is a young and dynamic company specialized in Building Automation and industrial automation, and a landmark for foreign and local companies planning to set up in South America.
Automa Latina has always worked in the design, development, installation, testing and constant maintenance of centralized control systems for hypermarkets.

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Automa in Argentina

Its goal is to create intelligent buildings by integrating all the different systems in shops: lighting, energy consumption control, air conditioning, environmental checks in closed car parks, refrigerating room supervision, heating and fire-fighting equipment, ecc. Using Automa's Super-Flash software, which is designed to generate applications for industrial supervision and HMI interface, the centralized control system manages and coordinates all the functions of each plant in an integrated way.
The lighting system, for example is managed with on-screen identification of the circuit status; manual control from a PC; scheduling for each day of the week; luminosity control based on analogue sensors, generator set activation and emergency lighting switch-on in particular conditions. In the event of anomalous and potentially hazardous situations, such as a short circuit, presence of smoke in the building or similar conditions, the centralized control system turns off the lighting system and activates a state of pre-alarm or alarm, depending on the case.

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Lighting system screen

As for control, all the systems use PLCs in strategic points where most of the entrances/exits are located. Communication is guaranteed by fieldbus networks, which are connected to all the system equipment to be controlled or supervised, such as electric variable analysers, PLCs, air conditioning, fire-fighting equipment and TVCC.
Automa Latina also supplies remote control, allowing Libertad to supervise all its shopping centres all over the country from its headquarters, using the Internet (and e-mail) or modems, which send alarm messages to one or more telephones. After entering the system access password, you can also monitor and control the plants from the keyboard.
With this 24-hour control of the various systems and real-time management of pre-alarm and alarm situations, the supervision applications ensure that the technological plants in the hypermarket are safe and reliable and perfectly conserve food.

A close-up of Super-Flash
Super-Flash is Automa's integrated software environment designed to generate applications for industrial supervision and human-machine interface. This development system is based on a 32-bit structure that keeps the development system's performance at maximum levels while offering using new and even more application possibilities. Super-Flash is multi-platform, so it can generate applications for Windows and DOSX environments, and in the near future, CE and Linux. It is also equipped with different standard modules (alarms, recipes, printouts and trends, ecc.).
The new version 3.6 is completely integrated with the Windows operating system and has a brand-new editor, which improves performance and simplifies use.
Automa also provides telephone support which can answer any queries in real time. By spring 2003, the "Getting Started" manual will be available to help users create their first applications. You will be able to download this manual for free from the company website. You can also download Super-Flash Runtime 3.6 from the "Freedownload" section, where you can find future upgrades. The development system is free: it is not a demo but a complete solution to be used immediately. You can purchase hardware keys to run the applications later on, depending on their size.
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