April 2016
Interview

AutomatedBuildings.com

Babel Buster Network Gateways: Big Features. Small Price.
Control Solutions, Inc. - Minnesota

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EMAIL INTERVIEWMatt Newton and Ken Sinclair

Director of Technical Marketing, Opto 22



Control Hardware Manufacturer and Software Developer

Our groov product lets facility managers and systems integrators quickly create and deploy secure mobile interfaces to building automation systems.  It uses Internet of Things technologies like HTML5, requires zero programming, and includes event logging and notifications via email or text if an event occurs.


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Distech Controls

SinclairTell me about your products and company?

Newton:  Opto 22 is an automation and control hardware manufacturer and software developer. The company has been in business for over 40 years and manufacturers all of its products in the USA. Our goal is to make automation and control simple, no matter what the application is. Our products are easy to use, highly reliable, and used in mission-critical applications worldwide. Our gear is installed in various applications ranging from building automation to energy monitoring and control. You’ll find our systems in power plants, theme parks and probably in the building you’re in right now.

SinclairWhere does your company play a role in the building automation market?

Newton:  We have a wide variety of control and I/O products. Our SNAP PAC product family offers Programmable Automation Controllers (PACs) that support the BACnet MS/TP and BACnet/IP protocols, which makes it easy for our products to interface with building automation subsystems. Our SNAP I/O product line features over 100 different types of I/O modules to connect almost any type of equipment to a control system. Our products are used to automate chillers, boilers, VAVs, VFDs, water treatment systems--just about anything in a building. Our groov product lets facility managers and systems integrators quickly create and deploy secure mobile interfaces to building automation systems.  It uses Internet of Things technologies like HTML5, requires zero programming, and includes event logging and notifications via email or text if an event occurs.

SinclairYou mentioned the Internet of Things. Where do you see the IoT playing a role in building automation?

Newton:  Yes, the IoT is being mentioned everywhere. And that’s definitely warranted. The IoT makes some pretty neat things possible by allowing different types of systems to connect to each other and share information over standard, well-defined and understood technologies. Buildings and the systems that automate them are already starting to connect to the Internet and cloud computing systems. For example, imagine an HVAC system that subscribes to a local utility’s energy curtailment program and knows how to save the building owner 18% on their annual energy costs. Or a chiller that sends its compressor’s oil temperature to the cloud to schedule predictive maintenance service calls before the system fails. These are the types of applications the Internet of Things is delivering today.

CatNet SystemsSinclairWhere do you see your company's role in the Internet of Things?

Newton:  Opto 22 has always been at the forefront of adopting the latest technologies in our products. We were the first manufacturer to add Ethernet connectivity to an I/O system. Now we’re implementing IoT technologies like RESTful APIs, JavaScript and Node.js.  These are the technologies that are going to connect the unconnected building to the Internet of Things.

SinclairWhere can we find helpful information on the Internet of Things?

Newton:  We published an Internet of Things Primer on our website that lays out the building blocks of the IoT and what people should be doing to get ready for it. We also cover a lot of IoT topics like security and basic networking on our blog.

IoT Primer Link: http://info.opto22.com/iot-primer-offer

Blog Link:  http://blog.opto22.com/optoblog/topic/iot



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