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BT IP Connect Global links Vossloh-Schwabe locations worldwide

While light emitting diodes are part of daily life today, the trend is away from just illumination towards complete lighting management systems. One of the pioneers in this field is Vossloh-Schwabe Deutschland GmbH. As an independent Panasonic Group brand, it’s responsible for global development of the “Components, systems and entire solutions for Lighting Technology” business area.

With over 1,000 employees in more than 25 locations worldwide Vossloh-Schwabe is one of the largest internationally-focused Panasonic Group companies. To link its headquarters with worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales locations, Vossloh-Schwabe selected BT as its global connectivity partner.


We chose BT because its worldwide presence was important, and the various service classes of IP Connect Global allow us to optimise network performance.”
- Christian Kintsch, Head of IT, Vossloh-Schwabe, a Member of the Panasonic Group


Vossloh-Schwabe, part of the Panasonic Group, has evolved from a pure component manufacturer to a specialist provider of complete LED and lighting management system solutions. “The lighting market is in the middle of the largest technological upheaval in its history,” says Setsuo Mizusawa, Chairman of Vossloh-Schwabe General Management.

Deployed in municipal, commercial, and private applications, Vossloh-Schwabe LED lighting management systems can, for example, control light intensity and duration in intelligent street lighting for cities and communities and thus reduce costs. Klaus Breisch, General Manager at Vossloh-Schwabe, explains: “We concentrate on system solutions. Light management systems increase comfort and energy efficiency. Thus our customers can save energy, decrease maintenance costs, and contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions.”

A multi-zone sensor with person recognition manufactured by Vossloh-Schwabe can differentiate between man and machine, and provide an action field replacing the task of five to six conventional sensors. One such application field is in the area of logistic and storage. The sensor recognises when a person or group of persons enters a warehouse and forwards this information to the controller, which switches on the lights in the relevant zone. As soon as the controller sees that the area is free it switches off the lights after a programmable delay.

“In addition the sensor can measure the incoming daylight in each zone and dim down the artificial lighting accordingly,” says Diplom-Ingenieur Helmut Doll, marketing manager at Vossloh-Schwabe. “This reduces energy costs. At the same time capital expenses can be reduced. Up to now for each single storage zone a sensor needed to be installed but now the new sensor offers such a large capture radius that only one central installation covers all zones.”

A further application example is seen on public streets. “During night time when there are not many people about, the lighting for a crosswalk can be reduced to a cost saving minimum,” says Helmut Doll. “As soon as a person approaches the zebra crossing the sensor recognises this and brightens the light while they’re crossing. This allows communities to achieve significant cost savings without reducing security.”

Vossloh-Schwabe is present at several locations in Germany including Urbach, Lüdenscheid, and Kamp-Lintfort. Furthermore, sales offices exist all over the world and production facilities are located in Tunisia and Serbia. Vossloh-Schwabe has concentrated the production of LED solutions in the Serbian factory in Svilajnac. “With that we guarantee our partners a flexible and cost effective supply from Europe,” says Klaus Breisch, “and this with the very high quality requirements of the Panasonic Group.”

Fast, secure, and reliable communications between those worldwide locations is essential for Vossloh-Schwabe. Therefore eight years ago it sought a partner to implement a company-wide network.


BT won the tender because no competitor could match its international MPLS (multi-protocol label switching) reach. That original order has been extended several times. “We’ve performed benchmarking exercises between various providers and BT has taken pole position in both service offer and costs,” says Head of IT, Christian Kintsch..

One of the key BT advantages has been its physical presence at locations where Vossloh-Schwabe is also sited. Herrmann Kloch, account director at BT, says: “This has been proven in Serbia, for example, where the technical infrastructure was quite bad. To connect the Vossloh-Schwabe plant there was a real challenge, which was solved satisfyingly thanks to our location in situ.”

In 2013 the Vossloh-Schwabe network was transitioned to BT IP Connect Global, featuring internet-based access and SSL encryption. Allowing connection with different VPN clients, the option of internet based access means BT IP Connect Global can support and transmit both voice and multimedia signals virtually anywhere.

This is enabled by differential classes of service (CoS) allowing the network to distinguish between traffic with high priority (such as ERP applications, voice, and multimedia) and less critical data (such as e-mail). Time critical applications are treated by the network with preference according to customer’s individual requirements even when less important traffic increases significantly.

“Furthermore, Vossloh-Schwabe takes additional services from BT,” explains Hermann Kloch. “They include BT Compute to protect Vossloh-Schwabe internet connections via proxies in our data centers with firewalls, as well as BT One Collaborate for international conferencing services.”


Co-operation with BT offers Vossloh-Schwabe a number of advantages. Besides optimized network costs the efficiency offered by the different service classes is especially important. That allows Vossloh-Schwabe to allocate fine-tuned individual network priorities to its business applications, guaranteeing optimum benefit from the deployed bandwidth.

With IP Connect Global Vossloh-Schwabe requires only one network and one provider to cover its total worldwide requirements, avoiding the need to manage several provider contracts in parallel.

Because BT IP Connect Global represents a real any-to-any IP VPN infrastructure, each company site has access to every other site over the network. Thus specific point-to-point connections between single branches are not necessary, which makes configuration easier and avoids lengthy lead times. Moreover the worldwide presence of BT guarantees that technical or infrastructure related problems do not create obstacles for deployment of the VPN network.

Core services

  • BT IP Connect Global
  • BT IP Connect Web-VPN
  • BT Compute
  • BT One Collaborate