Located in the center of a predominant Amish community, Das Dutchman Essenhaus attracts many visitors every year. The expansive facility includes an Inn and conference center, theater, shops, and the always popular family-style restaurant. Essenhaus attracts visitors from around the country and the globe with its family-friendly atmosphere. Visitors find themselves enjoying rounds of miniature golf, taking in live performances, and shopping for hand-stitched quilts and other locally-made crafts.
The shopping fun is often finished off with dinner in the famous Das Dutchman Essenhaus. The restaurant is one of the largest family restaurants in Indiana, seating 1,100 guests. No one should ever leave Essenhaus hungry, given that the family-style dinners are all you can eat, including a salad, choice of meats, vegetables, homemade dressing and noodles. The meal also includes fresh bread with apple butter, only to be topped off by a piece of homemade pie.
The Essenhaus Inn and Conference Center accommodates Essenhaus’s traveling visitors. Each room is creatively decorated with Amish-made furniture and includes an extraordinary view of the countryside. The Lobby is a gathering center to give a welcome to all that enter the inn. Guests consider the inn their home away from home.
Behind the scenes of this quaint little village, KMC Controls has integrated products to control the atmosphere of all the necessary zones. In addition, KMC controllers are taking on some creative assignments complex-wide. According to Facility Manager Joel Miller, “There are many buttons placed throughout the Essenhaus complex that individuals can press when they need something. When the button is pressed, it sends a signal to a programmable controller which, in turn, relays a signal to the appropriate person at Essenhaus.” He continues, “This labor-saving tool ensures that the correct location and individual gets the attention they need right away.”
Lighting at the inn also receives the KMC touch. Like the rest of the Essenhaus, the inn takes on a warm glow even amid the chill of the Christmas season. Programmed controllers supervise the numerous holiday lights that hang, managing the time that the lights will turn on and off daily. Other facility lighting is also controlled in this manner.
“Since the lights and temperatures of the rooms have been controlled by KMC products,” said Joel, “we have noticed a significant energy savings. The electricity is not wasted when no one is around to use it.”
While the standard environmental and process controls have provided ample evidence of energy savings, Essenhaus has also taken some direct energy management steps. With several metering-related inputs, the staff plans to monitor peak power usage.
Another contrast to the old-fashioned community is the operator workstation running a graphical user interface. The famous Noodle House at Essenhaus produces fourteen tons of noodles every week. To ensure that everything goes well with the process, all control system points are monitored. All temperatures in the noodle dryers are recorded and tracked to ensure that problems are fixed even before they arise. The same program is used in the restaurant with the freezers and coolers.
“Being able to monitor the freezers and coolers in the restaurant has helped us a great deal,” Joel commented further. “We can now track the trend of temperatures and fix a problem before it has a negative effect. We have saved a great deal of money, because we do not lose the massive amount of food in the freezers and coolers when one has malfunctioned.”
The appeal of the Essenhaus village has always been its charm and Amish-style hospitality. While its numerous visitors take a step back in time through a low-tech atmosphere, KMC products work behind the scenes, in high-tech fashion, to ensure that everyone is comfortable.