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EMAIL INTERVIEW Alex Leneveu and Ken Sinclair
Leneveu, Director of Operations
Spartan Peripheral Devices
Alexandre Leneveu has been with Spartan Peripheral Devices for the last 2 years as Director of Operations and is involved in new product development and is heading our ME8000 R&D project (wireless valve actuator).
Alexandre has had many years of experience in the HVAC industry with product distribution and integration.
Alexandre’s mechanical engineering background in the pulp and paper equipment design, project management and R&D has allowed him to successfully achieve the design of the wireless products at Spartan Peripheral Devices.
Wireless Valve Actuators?
The market is missing the end devices and we wanted to be the first to introduce this wireless valve actuator.
Sinclair: Why is Spartan into Wireless?
Leneveu: Spartan has been manufacturing actuators and valves for more than 15 years. Since we completely manufacture housing, gears, PCBs and software at our Montreal office we have an advantage to be able to develop the wireless valve actuator. We have developed many processor based products in the past and we feel it is the right time to incorporate a new line of wireless products.
Sinclair: Why do you feel it is the time?
Leneveu: Many times in the past, Spartan has introduced new technical innovations. We believe we are at the forefront of this new era. Standards are still being developed. Most of the concepts of wireless in the commercial applications are applied to the input side of the BAS system. Dealing with worldwide clients, we have seen a lot of advancements in wireless technology. Most of them are used in a one to one type of communication.
The new wireless devices such as room temperature sensors, light sensor and occupancy sensors are all designed to supply information to a BAS system.
The market is missing the end devices and we wanted to be the first to introduce this wireless valve actuator, and 16 months later we are unveiling this to the market.
Sinclair: How do you integrate your product with other?
Leneveu: We have chosen to base our product on the 802.15.4 protocol. This protocol is an open protocol that many developers are currently designing add-ons (stack and application profile) to fit their needs or even gateways to link to their BACnet or LonWork BAS systems. We would like to keep our products available to different developers. Of course ZigBee is one of the many stacks developed that really enhanced the feature of 802.15.4.
An interesting feature of our product is, it is able to be used as a router within a mesh network. Fundamentally, an actuator requires a lot of power to do its action. Our actuator runs on 24Volts AC, the 802.15.4 chip is always under power and it is not relying on batteries and therefore we are able to use a high power processor. A high power router is available to the network to enhance the meshing strength.
This is where our product teamed up with other companies will make a strong alliance.
Sinclair: Do you see the wireless market replacing the wired market?
Leneveu: Not in the immediate future. The retrofit market will be the first one to engage in the wireless technology. Many current applications use on-off signal. To obtain more efficiency you need better control that requires additional wiring that is not feasible in many hotels, museums and many old architectural buildings to pass all this new wiring for reason of construction and or access to those rooms.
Sinclair: When will this product be available?
Leneveu: We will be unveiling the product at AHR2008 New York City. I will be giving a theatre presentation at noon Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008. Our booth number is 247 please come by for a more in depth presentation of the wireless actuator. This product will be available early spring 2008.