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Smart server brings more automation and control

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The solution combines both building automation and lighting control to give customers more options when developing smart buildings

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Echelon's new controller allows more flexibility when planning in smart functionality
Echelon's new controller allows more flexibility when planning in smart functionality

Echelon Corp is introducing what it claims is a first-of-its-kind converged controller for building automation, lighting controls and Internet of Things (IoT) applications combined with power line communication meshing capability.

 

The company, which specialises in control networking for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), says it is incorporating feedback from its customers and has built the SmartServer 2.2 on open standards, allowing customers the flexibility to easily add IoT applications and connect a wide range of devices for a more robust, integrated system managed by one head-end user interface. The universal gateway and controller supports multiple protocols including LON, BACnet and Modbus.

 

It supports power line communication meshing which enhances outdoor lighting networks by maximising the capacity of a single controller. As a result, fewer segment controllers are required which gives customers greater cost efficiency. The ability to integrate a wide range of lighting, building and IoT devices at greater distances enables customers to expand the reach, scale and performance of their connected networks, as well as the ability to implement standalone networks.

 

Enhanced connected networks give customers the flexibility to customise a mix of applications such as:

  • Integrating parking lot lighting with building automation for simplified installation, management and maintenance
  • Creating sound masking for enhanced productivity
  • Interfacing between two or more emergency systems for improved safety

For example, a building’s intercom and call boxes can be integrated into the building automation infrastructure for a customised security system. In the event of an emergency evacuation, all doors can automatically unlock and the event can be immediately communicated internally to employees, and externally to first responders for a safe and rapid exit by building occupants.

 

“Having the ability to offer a solution that crosses both building automation and lighting control will give our customers more options with regard to the types of systems they can create that help support their overall business objectives. For instance, customers that have large buildings and large parking lots can now have a single control for the entire system. This can save them lots of valuable manpower,” said Alan Slabodkin, vice president Western Allied, which provides construction, retrofit, maintenance and controls services.

 

“The integrated solution can also enable us to expand our customer base because we’ll be able to offer a wider range of customised, automated systems that address the needs of new and different markets.”

 

Performance enhancements reduce commissioning time and increase responsiveness of Web pages that interact with the converged controller. Peer-to-peer connection capability for all applications lets integrators use SmartServer 2.2 to create networks that provide rapid response to events.

 

For example, lights in a parking garage can be programmed to automatically illuminate when a car triggers a motion sensor in that specific location, allowing the garage owners to create a safer and more inviting environment, while reducing their energy consumption and cost.

 

“The insight we have into the challenges that our partners and their customers are trying to address helped us recognise that one integrated, scalable network that they can use to manage their systems and applications would be a huge advantage,” said Rick Schuett, senior vice president of worldwide sales, Echelon. “Customers now have a platform on which they can easily add on smart, Internet-based applications and dynamically adjust systems to continuously meet their ever changing and growing business demands.”

 

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