Riverford, Wash Barn Farm
Our client was Riverford Organic Farmers. They’ve got a big warehouse in Devon which smells of strawberries! It’s where they box up their organic meat and vegetables into the 47,000 boxes they dispatch to homes across the country every week.
The manager of the facility wanted to provide a sound system for the staff at Wash Barn so that they could listen to whatever music they wanted to while they were at work. There were ten areas across the factory – from a bright white sauce packing room full of people in lab coats pouring herbs and spices into vials, to refrigerated chambers where organic steaks are wrapped up, roots packing (spuds, carrots and kohlrabi), the green room (green vegetables), offices (even vegetables need administrators!), and the recycling area – each of which should have its own zoned speaker system.
10 zones across a vast and complexly laid out production center each needed independent source selection and centralised control. Due to their production schedule all work had to be done during the night.
We installed an array of speakers, each specifically selected for it’s zones limitations. The technical team developed a unique distribution and control system integrated with their network that allowed authorised individuals to take control from any workstation
92 speakers, over 3km of cable and 11 Raspberry Pi’s created a single distributed system that gave employees some much wanted music and managers much needed control.
Due to the very varied environmental and architectural conditions of the different areas within the warehouse, a diverse range of speaker types and installation solutions were required, from directional pendant speakers, to waterproof sealed speaker cabinets, to ceiling cans. In addition to the plug-and-play pleasure that workers at the facility could enjoy through the sound system (via both wired and wireless inputs), managers can also deploy the system for health and safety or emergency announcements.
The team worked across two weeks at night, installing the kilometers of cable needed and fixing speakers according to our plan.
The technical team followed them, developing a site file that integrated with the 10 Raspberry Pi’s the clients team had provisioned to stream the audio to each zone. Finally, we built a remote control system that gave the managers the ability to control source, volume and emergency overrides from any workstation.
The effectiveness of the zoning of the speakers means that Chopin’s piano concertos can be tinkling away in one space, while in the adjacent area Metallica can blast out without a power chord clashing with a dainty G minor. It gave the employees a break from just listening to machinery hammer away all day while ensuring that management could maintain control in the case of an emergency or a much better song to play. Oh, and if it’s your birthday then you got to chose what music played that day, neat.