Case Study: Retail Giant, Aeon, Automates Lighting System With Phoenix Contact Solution

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  • Aeon, the biggest shopping center in Johor, Malaysia, needed a solution to centralize their  Existing Car Park Area, Extended New Car Park Zone & Shopping Mall Corridors Lighting Monitoring & Control system. Previously, their lighting controls were operated manually by switching the lights via a “ON/OFF” switch.
  • The client was also searching for an alternative to reduce operational cost without compromising on safety and reliability.
  • Phoenix Contact’s Malaysia team met their needs by producing a complete solution that reduced cost without substituting on safety and reliability.
  • By utilizing Phoenix Contact’s solution, the client could now control their lighting centrally using pre-programmed scheduler to automatically switch the lights on or off without the need of additional manpower and monitor the system for lighting breakdowns or power outages.
  • The client also achieved a decrease in energy consumption, essentially lowering the cost of operations.
  • Overall, besides reducing their electricity intake and operational time, our solution allowed them to save cost in complex installations, hardware purchases, and future maintenance.

Customer Profile

Image result for aeon

The client, AEON, is the largest retailer in Asia with a retail network comprising around 300 consolidated subsidiaries and 26 equity-method affiliated companies ranging from convenience stores, supermarkets, and shopping malls.

One of their subsidiaries is located in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

Officially opened in 2006, the shopping center is the biggest mall in Johor to date. It boasts the biggest hypermart and is located at Johor’s affluent area, making it the most visited mall especially on weekends.

Being a premium shopping center in Johor, they needed to explore options towards electrical efficiency and ensure this undertaking do not dampen the experience of their visitors.

Challenge: Improve energy and system efficiency without disrupting shopper’s experience

The client needed a Lighting Monitoring & Control System to reduce the operational expenditure of running a shopping mall. Since they operate from 10 am to 10 pm (which means that they’ll be switching the lights on at 8 am and will close later than 10 pm), they will have electricity running almost more than 12 hours a day.

They wanted a solution that was not complicated and immediate, as to not interrupt their shoppers, while also considering a cheaper and efficient solution.

During previous lighting installations, the client experienced high cost from hardware materials such as indication lights and timer delays, which resulted in sophisticated hard wiring that took time to install.

Solution: PLCs and HMI – Acquire data remotely through user-friendly interface.

Parking Lot Dark Empty Lights

Working closely with Phoenix Contact’s Malaysian team to get to the root of the issue, the Phoenix Contact Malaysian team managed to propose a Lighting Monitoring and Control System which utilizes our PLC and HMI technology instead of the conventional hard wiring to the hardware Timer Relay, which takes a considerable amount of time.

By utilizing Phoenix Contact’s solution, the client manages to not only save cost on hardware and time taken for installation but also able to save space because of the slim designs of our hardware such as the Inline I/O terminal and QUINT power supply.

In future, if expansion is required, they do not need to install an additional local control panel which would incur further cost.

Through the usage of Phoenix Contact’s PLC and HMI, the client could now also program the system to be controlled remotely via an intuitive graphical interface, encouraging energy saving.

Instead of relying on cluttered and expensive wires, the system now uses a remote I/O which transmits information seamlessly, even in harsh industrial environments – something which physical cables could not withstand.

Information on the Products used:

HMI Human Machine Interface

Easy monitoring and user-friendly displays

The basic purpose of an HMI is to allow convenient and intuitive graphical interface with a process and for control systems to be more interactive and user-friendly. HMIs provide a simple display that helps an operator determine machine conditions and make simple settings. The following are the most common uses of HMIs:

  • Display of lighting status,
  • Simple operational commands such as stop/start
  • Scheduling Controls & Monitoring

PLC Components

PLC – Programmable Logic Controller. Can be confused with TLC (Tender Loving Care)

PLCs have grown throughout industrial control applications because of the ease they bring to creating a controller: ease of programming, ease of wiring, ease of installation, and ease of changing. All PLCs have the same basic components. These components work together to bring information into the PLC from the field, evaluate that information, and send information back out to various field. Without any of these major components, the PLC will fail to function properly. PLCs span a wide range of sizes, but all contain six basic components as shown below.

  1. Power supply
  2. Input module
  3. Output module
  4. Processor (CPU)
  5. Rack or mounting assembly
  6. Programming unit (software)

Remote I/O Configurations

Colorful Blocks, colorful blocks everywhere.

It is common in the industry to centralize PLCs in relation to the process being controlled. This cuts down on the number and length of cabling used to transmit information to and from the main PLC. In some cases, this is not feasible or ideal because an industrial environment can be quite harsh on the sensitive electronics used in PLCs. For this reason, remote I/O modules have come into existence. There are many advantages to using remote I/O modules, including:

  • Remote I/Os eliminate expensive point-to-point wires by networking just a few, or thousands of, process signals onto one digital communication link.
  • For data acquisition, remote I/O modules send signals from field-mounted sensors, transmitters, transducers, and alarms directly to DCS, PLC, and PC-based systems.
  • Ability to send control signals long distances to remote switch with remote I/O.
  • Unburdening of an overworked computer system by distributing signal conditioning and intelligence.
  • Can be used as an expansion I/O to add points to main PLC network system.


The client was extremely happy with the solution and had an immediate impact by benefiting on the pre-programmed “Auto Scheduling” function.

This allowed them to save significantly on electricity bills and wasted manpower, just to switch off the lighting systems.

In future, when the mall conducts an event, the Monitoring & Control system could be pre-set to specific schedules, ensuring that business runs smoothly without human error.

For more information, please visit us on our website or speak to our local representative for a demonstration or site visit.



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