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Rotterdam Zoo chooses smart solution for Oceanium seawater

Blijdorp Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the Netherlands. The park in Rotterdam is an impressive 25 hectares in size. The Oceanium is the 'water world' section of Blijdorp Zoo, including a public laboratory, coral reef, kelp forest and a bird rock named after Bass Rock. The most impressive thing in the Oceanium are the enormous sharks.

The water in the Oceanium consists entirely of clean seawater. Every month, 2% to 5% of that water is exchanged so that the sharks, tropical fish, corals, king penguins, sea lions and polar bears can swim around safely.

A digital strategy for the sea

These days, we can get almost anything we want off the internet with our smartphones. A pizza delivered to your door or a bank transfer - with a swipe or click on your smartphone, it's done in no time.

The Oceanium wanted to bring this digital comfort into its water world and use a digital strategy to make its maintenance smarter and future-proof. It called on Koning & Hartman to develop and implement this digital strategy in collaboration with the Oceanium's technical experts.

Automatically controlled cleaning process

The Oceanium's seawater is cleaned using protein skimmers and bio-towers. All the water is cleverly used several times before it is discharged. This cleaning process requires large filter installations, controlled by PLCs. The Programmic Logic Controllers ensure that the filter installations work and that the water is pumped around in the right way. Data is read from the PLCs to check whether everything in the process is running as desired. Other important data such as the water level in a basin, the water temperature and the water quality or the status of the pumps are also visualised via a central network.

ICONICS for clear insights

In the digital strategy for the Oceanium, Koning & Hartman's Smart Industry team recommended ICONICS as a software package for data visualization. ICONICS allows the user to create dashboards with which the staff of Rotterdam Zoo Blijdorp can check the status of all the animal facilities within the Oceanium at a glance. Processing data over a longer period is also very easy with ICONICS, such as a trend overview of the water level of the shark tank over the past year. If something goes wrong in one of the animal houses, ICONICS immediately generates an alarm signal on the dashboard or on the staff members' smartphones. All data is available on the central dashboard as well as on smartphones.

Involvement and training for staff

The digitisation project started with a three-day ICONICS training for the technical department of Rotterdam Zoo. By involving the staff in the project from the very beginning and because the Diergaarde Blijdorp experts worked together with Koning & Hartman on the development in ICONICS, the technical department of the Zoo was able to assume its leading role in the technical field both during and after the project.

Result: satisfied sharks and satisfied employees

The successful cooperation between Koning & Hartman's Smart Industry team and the technical department of Rotterdam Zoo produced excellent results:

  • Successful implementation of ICONICS which prepared the Oceanium in Rotterdam Zoo for the digital future.
  • Savings on the energy bill through process optimisation.
  • Insight into the current status of all accommodations in the Oceanium through a single dashboard.
  • The ability to visualise and analyse all data from the PLCs.
  • Timely generation of alarms to warn the staff in time of problems.
  • The entire process up to and including the full implementation was done in cooperation with the technical department of Diergaarde Blijdorp, which means that all knowledge is also present in their hands. Diergaarde is therefore not dependent on a third party in the future.
  • Satisfied sharks.

More info?

Are you also looking for a smart solution or advice for your industrial installations? Koning & Hartman is specialised in projects for Industry & Manufacturing. We advise, supply and implement solutions that offer connectivity and insight into your installations.

We offer both remote installations (hardware and software) and central backoffice and dashboarding with standard products that we fully customize to your needs and your project.

More knowledge, more value:

  • Personal advice
  • Standard hardware and software from renowned suppliers
  • Customised solutions for smart industry
  • Technological insight
  • Service and support


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