Philips’ Distributor DWR installs Strand dimmers at The Durban Playhouse, South Africa
18 October 2011,
"When I first looked at The Durban Playhouse Company tender we'd won, I had to wonder if we would complete it," says Dan Riley, head of sales for Philips Distributor in South Africa, DWR (right). "It was a major job and the client had put in clauses stating that the theatre could not close and that shows must go on as normal. A tall order given DWR had been commissioned to change all the dimmers in the building! However I'm delighted to be able to say that the DWR boys pulled it off, on time and on budget."
DWR's Bruce Riley headed up an installation team that included JC Du Plessis, Gedeon Mpofu and Michael van Dyk. "The installation comprised: 11 x Philips Strand EC 21 96 way dimmer racks with full reporting capabilities, explains Bruce. "Six have been installed in the Opera Theatre (originally they were MCM Dimmers), four in the Drama Theatre and one in the Loft Theatre. The dimmer installation is fully networked with reporting in each control room, ensuring the board operator is alerted in real time if there are errors or problems in the rig."
In addition the existing house lighting was converted to an integrated, building wide, central networking system using Philips Strand Vision.net. The foyer and house lighting dimmers - 70 Strand Lighting Environ 2 dimmers - were replaced with Philips Dynalite DLE 120s and DLE 220s, leading edge dimmers, controlled by the Philips Strand Vision.net. The system features two linked central processors; one for the house lights and the other for the foyer lights.
"It's quite amazing how Bruce and his team did it," says Dan "Initially there were going to be three separate lighting systems, but now the entire network can be controlled from any point in the building."
"Things couldn't have run as smoothly without Dylan Heaton, technician at the Playhouse," continues Bruce. "He was an absolute gem, helping us with everything. Le Rien Stoffberg - Technical Manager; Richard Parker - Lighting Manager; Oscar Hlangu - Support Services Manager; Peter Gorman - Head of Maintenance and Malcolm Gray - Engineer, were all incredibly accommodating."
Technical Manager of the Playhouse, Stoffberg comments: "I've worked with the Rileys for a long time. Bruce and his team were amazing on this install, it was like having family here and they worked increadibly hard! For me, it's as much about the after sales service we get as it is about the products. That's where Duncan Riley and his team at DWR really step up to the plate."
Dan Riley concludes: "Enormous gratitude extends to Mhlomuli Moyo and Derek Schonewolf from Igoda Projects (Pty) Ltd, the consulting engineers on the project. We would also like to thank Graham Eales from Philips Entertainment for coming out to South Africa at a day's notice and Bill Richards from Philips Strand Lighting for helping us pull the spec together. It was an honour to be able to supply The Playhouse Company with this dimming system."