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What man would without the theater, without art, without actors, without demonstrations? With art we can go beyond the limits of time and travel, for example, back in the Ancient Greece, to the origins of the theater. But what art and automation have in common? Simple: A modern theater is not possible without them. Which role Mitsubishi Electric plays, shows this application in Łódź.

Teatr Wielki in Łódź is the artistic successor to the famous Łódź Opera House. Thanks to the passion and commitment of the "Association of Friends of the Opera", the theater was founded. The main representatives of the association included Władysław Raczkowski (Polish conductor, pianist), Tomasz Kiesewetter (both Polish conductors, pianists, etc.) and Mieczysław Drobner (Polish composer, music researcher and educator).

Since 1967, the Teatr Wielki 288 has premiered, including classics from opera, ballet, musicals and operettas such as works of modern Polish artists. On the stage of the theater, the operas "Lord Jim" and "Maria Stuart" by Romuald Twardowski premiered. The productions of "The Devils of Loudun" and "Ubu Rex" by Krzysztof Penderecki will remain unforgotten. However, none of these achievements would have been possible without the soloists, performers, and collaborators who have always been the greatest strength of the theater.

Over time, Teatr Wielki gained in prestige, but also grew older: The ravages of time made modernization work necessary on many parts of the stage. Her manual control system fell off more often. Thanks to the support of a European fund, the 2012 building has finally undergone major modernization, for the first time in over 40 years.

The show must go on

mitsubishi120416The EU-funded infrastructure project at Teatr Wielki aimed to shape and develop regional cultural identity in the province of Łódź through opera art. In this context, Mitsubishi Electric was offered the opportunity to participate in the design of a concept and to support it with appropriate components. To this end, the automation experts proposed the use of state-of-the-art regenerative frequency converters.

Already at that time, the automaker had some experience especially in the field of theater, because several of its control systems had already been successfully installed in venues such as Tarnów and Koszalin. Therefore, the Polish company AB Industry, which had been awarded the contract for the overall project, approached Mitsubishi Electric with a cooperation proposal.

The modernization measures should ultimately allow a faster change of scene, so that even the most demanding ideas can be perfectly brought to the stage. With a faster stage change, made possible among other things by frequency converters, the transition from manual to automated operation of the technology should be initiated. Until then, the stage technology had been controlled by several operators.

The modernization work was started by 2013 under the leadership of Grzegorz Kruchły, Infrastructure Manager of Teatr Wielki, and Grzegorz Kozioł, Inverter + LVS Product Manager, Mitsubishi Electric Europe BV in Poland. "A regenerative converter reduces the costs incurred for the energy supply and the realization of the electrical installation. This also reduces the total cost of ownership, "explains Grzegorz Kozioł.

Different control modes and fiber communication

However, in some aspects, this project was significantly different from previous ones. The combination of different control modes (from fully automated to manual) and the synchronization of several drives via fiber optic communication resulted in special requirements. In order to meet these requirements, it was ultimately necessary to develop special converter software. Last but not least, Mitsubishi Electric application experts at the company headquarters in Japan, who worked closely with their Polish counterparts, supported this. For her, the project was the first application of its kind in Europe.

The automation concept at the Teatr Wielki in Łódź included not only the installation of 62 frequency inverters, but also the integration of a "Melsec iQ Platform"With motion modules for motion control, HMI control units of the GOT series and a Scada system.

New actors, regenerative converters

mitsubishi140416The reduction of energy consumption and additional 60% savings in installation costs and 40% savings in the space required for the control cabinet made it possible to reduce the total commissioning and operating costs.

"This project is very important to us. In previous years, we had already realized several projects in theaters, but the challenge that awaited us in Łódź was something special for various reasons. The most important aspect for us was to promote art with our work and to enable great productions for the future. Added to this was the challenge of different control modes in this case. That's why we worked closely with engineers from Japan. Thanks to the support of AB Industry, we were able to complete the project in just 18 months. And today, together with art connoisseurs, we can enjoy fantastic performances in the theater, "says Grzegorz Kozioł.

Regenerative inverters have an integrated braking function to recover the braking energy. This can save energy and reduce costs in high-torque applications such as winches, elevators, winders, conveyors, test machines and centripetal tailors. In addition, the regeneration function allows smaller and more cost-effective automation systems. Even simpler, more compact distribution systems are possible, which has a positive effect on the space requirements in control cabinets and on the associated costs.

Total energy consumption lowered

Regenerative drives can effectively address three key issues that can arise, especially in drive systems in high torque, high power applications: Such applications are a significant factor in overall energy consumption. They usually require a lot of space. And they bring big problems in terms of heat dissipation. The energy recovery system integrated in the converters enables the drive to feed regenerative braking energy back into the grid without any significant loss. This energy can then be used for other purposes, which in turn helps to significantly reduce overall energy consumption and operating costs. In addition, regenerative energy produces less heat than ordinary braking resistors. As a result, no additional cooling devices are necessary, which saves space and energy. In general, drives with regenerative converters require up to 60% less network cabling and up to 40% less area than conventional solutions (depending on the inverter performance).

Together with the considerable energy savings of the drive itself, this results in a considerable reduction of the total cost of ownership (TCO).
Above: The automation concept at Teatr Wielki in Łódź includes not only the installation of 62 frequency converters, but also the integration of a Mitsubishi Electric Melsec iQ platform with motion motion modules, GOT series HMIs and a SCADA system.

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