AutomatedBuildings.com
Product Review - July 99
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The Enflex MG-200 TCP/IP Network Host
Ken Sinclair, Editor AutomatedBuildings.com

The next few years are going to be very interesting in the Automated Buildings Industry as internet servers become automation controllers and automation controllers become internet servers.


Your editor had the opportunity of taking the 2 day class which provides management/administrators a complete overview of the EnFlex System. Based on this experience and working with the above product I have prepared the following product review.

wpeC.jpg (11117 bytes)Is it a DDC control panel? Is it a metering device? Is it an internet server? Yes!!  It is all of the above and more. I see this product as a pioneer in the evolution of automated buildings to internet/intranet networking and control.

As noted in AutomatedBuilding.com's July news release HONEYWELL CHOOSES ENFLEX CORP. GATEWAY TO "PUT BUILDINGS ONLINE" Honeywell thinks so too.  The product is a compact, robust piece of hardware running a Unix/Linus operating system that behaves as a small, complete capability internet server, supporting most net protocols.

EnFlex Corp's description of the product follows:

"The MG-200 is a fully functional TCP/IP network host capable of interfacing with a variety of networks and devices as well as directly metering electricity and indirectly metering water, gas or other meters through built-in pulse counters. MG-200 systems may be networked together with other MG-200 to provide system expansion capability. The MG-200 has been designed to be cost effective in very small commercial applications. The modular architecture of the MG-200 allows it to be installed in a basic form and upgraded over time with new network and data interface modules as connectivity technologies and service offerings change."

We are using the product in a demo to illustrate how on-line energy accounting could be greatly simplified with a good intranet interface. The product is installed in a building and is accumulating months of electrical and gas pulses. Access is over the intranet and information when demo is complete, will be available anywhere on the network to all stakeholders.  Our demo application only uses a fraction of the total capabilities of this hardware.  If the user interface tools (Operating System Software) were enhanced the product would be a very powerful cost effective new breed of internet controller.

It will be interesting where the EnFlex/Honeywell merger will take this powerful piece of hardware.


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