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Is the grass greener at the Allianz Arena?

The Allianz Arena in Munich hosts fixtures for Bayern Munich and the German National Team. But did you know that one of RS Components’ suppliers, Siemens, plays a key role in ensuring that the pitch is in perfect condition for every game?

Bayern Munich is always seeking new and innovative ways to train its players, make the fan experience better, and become more environmentally friendly.

Siemens and FC Bayern have been in a performance partnership since 2017, with the aim of developing future-oriented solutions and innovative technologies. When it comes to the turf at the Allianz Arena, the pair have taken its game to the next level.

MindSphere® from Siemens is the leading industrial IoT as a service solution that uses advanced analytics and AI to power IoT solutions from the edge to the cloud. Siemens has worked on a solution that enables data to ensure that the pitch remains in the best possible condition, by assisting those who care for it.

Allianz Arena pitch LEDsPicture:

As in many stadiums, the precious turf in the Allianz Arena is tended by ground staff. Every day at 6.30am, they’re on site. Early morning provides the best light for evaluating the turf. It is divided into six imaginary zones, each of which is subject to certain conditions. The stands create irregular shadows on the surface. Some places are exposed to rain and wind, others are not. It’s almost as though there is a separate microclimate at ground level.

FC Bayern and Siemens have developed an app, which assists the ground staff by giving the grass “a voice”. Sensors gather data, which is sent to MindSphere. It then evaluates the data and converts it into actionable recommendations. Water more. Expose the grass to stronger or longer light. Start the lawn heating, or turn it down.

The app allows Bayern’s staff to make data-driven decisions based on a number of environmental factors, which provides business intelligence on the surface that is used by the club and nation’s most prized assets; its players.

The pitch whisperer - Allianz ArenaPictures:

These kinds of recommendations require a huge amount of data: light, temperature, humidity, the lawn’s salt content, wind, the chlorophyll content of the blades of grass. All of this data is supplied by sensors installed on the field by the Dutch stadium lighting expert SGL, allowing its customers to monitor the lighting of their lawn. Current weather data and forecasts are also fed into the system. The data from the playing field is delivered to the collector box once per minute. MindSphere evaluates the data, formulates recommendations, and converts both into clear diagrams. The ground staff keep an eye on the turf via a smartphone – and are immediately provided with specific actions to take.

Jürgen Muth, CEO of the Allianz Arena, knows the emphasis on maintaining a safe playing surface is key to ensuring that the players are protected. He said, “The lawn is tremendously important to us. It’s important for a good game, it’s a major cost factor for us, and it presents a number of risks if it isn’t in excellent shape.”

Lars Oyntzen, a project manager at the Siemens subsidiary evosoft GmbH working on the Bayern program added, “We use the Scrum method, meaning that after each development step, we solicit feedback from the greenkeeper. Because despite all the digitalization, he’s the one with the important domain knowledge, a profound knowledge of that particular lawn! MindSphere makes it easy for us to access the data, visualize it, and hand over the results of the analysis to the user.”

Siemens and Bayern Munich PartnershipPicture:

So when you’re watching entertaining international football on the flawless Allianz Arena turf, you can thank Siemens, IoT, and the ground staff of course.

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I am a 32-year-old tech lover, self-confessed geek and football fanatic! When I am not playing with the latest gadget you will often find me watching my favourite TV shows including Game of Thrones, Young Sheldon and The Big Bang Theory. Feel free to follow me on Instagram @robbiedunion or Twitter @robbiedunion
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