Logistics and technical facilities

Feb 12, 2016
As dependable as a vehicle made by Mercedes-Benz: Advance operational planning and intelligent planning of the technical facilities makes for smooth-running procedures.
The Mercedes-Benz Museum is extremely popular. Since opening it has been visited by an average of over 700,000 people each year. Its internal capacities are correspondingly large: up to 1200 visitors are able to tour the exhibition at the same time. On very busy days, between 3000 and over 6000 people visit the exhibition between opening time at 9 a.m. and closing time at 6 p.m. In addition to the permanent and special exhibitions, major events also attract many thousands of visitors to the Museum, for example the Open Air Cinema. And the programme of events also includes more than 100 customer events each year.
This entire programme runs without a hitch, although there is only one day each week available for preparation and follow-up, maintenance and vehicle logistics: the Museum is closed on Mondays, otherwise its doors are open to visitors all year round from Tuesday to Sunday. There has not been a single unscheduled closing day in the last ten years. It is thanks to the planners at the beginning of the millennium that this busy schedule is the smooth-running daily norm at the Museum.
Optimum operational planning
An establishment such as the Mercedes-Benz Museum which opened ten years ago is designed for generations to come, and over the years the uses to which it is put are developed further. The original planners were unable to predict all the future events held there in detail, ranging from the Social Media Night to top-class auctions of classic cars. But according to Markus Tomiak, for many years the head of Facility Management and now head of Event Management, they were able to prepare by creating the corresponding conditions: "We defined over 100 event scenarios, assigned them to specific rooms and arranged for licenses where necessary." This portfolio of reference events included scenarios for conventions, parties and gala dinners in separate event rooms, in the exhibition areas, in the atrium or even throughout the building.
Advance planning to ensure smooth operation: this is also the principle used in the Museum's day-to-day working procedures. Management of the technical facilities is based on preventive maintenance, and repair work on guaranteed times for a return to operation. This prevents malfunctions rather than having to react to them. This approach also allows better planning of the work involved, and the effects on visitors are reduced to a minimum.
A healthy climate for the future of the collection
Fire protection, lighting and safety: Many different systems have to operate reliably for the entire operation to be dependable. Critical factors also include aspects that might not at first occur to the visitor – for example the air conditioning. In fact this is of decisive importance for the protection of the valuable exhibits. After all, several thousand visitors per day bring a great deal of heat and moisture into the building. However, the temperature and humidity can only be allowed to fluctuate within very close limits. The same principle applies in an automobile museum as in an art gallery, as Ursula Wehinger, head of Museum Development, explains: "Owing to the many different materials to be found in historical vehicles, we have many exhibits whose preservation is extremely demanding."
It is the highly sophisticated air conditioning system that ensures the same conditions all day throughout the Museum. This ventilates the building, and also works by activating the concrete structures which contain hundreds of metres of heating and cooling pipes. Highly complex, but effective. And after ten years of operation and more than seven million visitors, the good condition of the vehicles and other exhibits delivers a very good verdict on the functionality of the Museum.
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