Voice Alarm System for GSK, Ulverston

We will soon begin the commissioning of a large, network distributed, voice alarm system at Glaxo Smith Kline’s Ulverston site.

GSK has had a factory in Ulverston since 1948 and when it opened it was used to manufacture penicillin. The antibiotics are still produced in Ulverston and continue to save many thousands of lives every year. In March 2012 GSK announced that Ulverston would be the location for a new state-of-the-art factory. It will be the first new GSK manufacturing facility to be built in the UK for over 40 years.

This has been a long project which began late in 2012 when we were contacted by Secure Electrical Engineering Ltd.  SEE wanted to know if it would be feasible to upgrade GSK’s existing Spector Lumenex voice alarm system.  This system dated back to the 1980’s and as a result the system was becoming harder to maintain. In addition some parts of the system even pre-dated the Spector Lumenex installation. Some of the loudspeakers even dated back as far as the 1960’s and 70’s!

The Proposed Voice Alarm System

To bring the system in line with the current EN54 standard meant a complete replacement system for the site. Not only did this mean an upgrade of the Voice Alarm Control & Indicating Equipment but also the replacement of all of the site loudspeakers and cabling. This has been no small task for SEE involving the installation of over 800 new loudspeakers and over 16km of cable.

First of all, we carried out a week long survey of the site. This determined the location and types of the loudspeakers that would be required. As a result we assessed that the bulk of the site could be covered using Penton’s EN54-24 compliant loudspeakers. However, several buildings contain clean room areas or areas with explosive atmospheres. Consequently we specified DNH’s CR6 clean room loudspeaker and its ATEX rated variant for these areas.

As a result of the survey we could then work out the optimum amplifier sizing. Due to the number of fire zones and the size of the site we decided to provide a distributed system. This comprises of six equipment racks which are strategically located around the site. Each rack being networked together using an EN54 compliant fibre ring. Application Solutions Vipedia-12 voice alarm routers provided us the perfect solution.

Each of the six racks have been designed to be easily expanded to cater for the sites ever evolving nature.


Secure Electronic Engineering Ltd    Application Solutions    Penton loudspeakers     DNH Loudspeakers