BTL Mark: Resolve interoperability issues & increase buyer confidence
EMAIL INTERVIEW – Andy McMillan and Ken Sinclair
Andy McMillan is President and Managing Director of BACnet International, where he works with users and suppliers to expand and enhance the BACnet community. Previously he served as President of a building automation and energy management business unit of Philips Lighting. Andy has been an invited speaker on BACnet and open systems at conferences around the world. He has been awarded a dozen patents, has co-authored a book on data communications and his background includes BSEE and MBA degrees.
Sinclair: What is the PlugFest event?
McMillan: PlugFest is an interoperability workshop hosted by BACnet Testing Laboratories (BTL). Manufacturers bring their BACnet products and live test them with BACnet devices from other attendees in a neutral and friendly environment. Many companies enjoy bringing new products to PlugFest since it’s a unique opportunity to test BACnet functionality and see how those products interact with ones from other organizations.
The workshop includes multiple testing sessions with both one-on-one and round table testing, educational forums, and networking events to build industry relationships.
Sinclair: Why should manufacturers attend?
McMillan: PManufacturers benefit from the opportunity to find out how their products interoperate with a wide range of other BACnet products. The PlugFest process adds to the results of internal QA processes and provides manufacturers with additional information on their products. The result is better products with fewer system integration issues in the field – directly saving product support time and money. PlugFest reduces interoperability issues in the field for all products. This reduces system integration risks and costs while adding to user confidence and accelerating BACnet market growth.
In addition to corporate benefits, there are individual professional benefits. The community of engineers attending PlugFest provides opportunities for experts to mentor, and less experienced engineers to learn. Educational sessions at PlugFest are taught by dedicated experts and can provide advance information on emerging BACnet implementation requirements. It is also a great networking event for technical people engaged in BACnet product development and frequently offers attendees the opportunity to learn about new tools.
Sinclair: Who attends PlugFest?
is designed for engineers engaged in product development and quality
assurance of BACnet products. All product developers who are prepared
to connect to a network and interoperate with other products are
welcome. Products do not have to be complete and do not have to be
fully QA’d, but they must be functional enough to interoperate. The
PlugFest process provides valuable feedback for both new and existing
Sinclair: Where and when is the event, and how can we get more information?
McMillan: PWe will be hosting PlugFest at the University of New Hampshire’s InterOperability Laboratory, the same venue as last year. PlugFest will be held September 10 – 12, 2019 and will be preceded by a meeting of the BTL Working Group the day before, on September 9, 2019.
More information on both events can be found at plugfest.squarespace.com.
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