April 2006

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

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Don't change out that old control system just yet!
Just because a new and more powerful type of product is available doesnít necessarily justify changing out existing controls. 

Jeff Reid - President/CEO
Automation Parts Warehouse

Most all buildings require some type of building automation system to control their heating, ventilating, and air conditioning needs. Along with this area of need comes a hefty price tag. Automation systems can range from several thousands to many millions of dollars. Once purchased most systems come with a one-year warranty. During this time many changes can happen to tune the system to meet the customer's specific needs. Once most of the bugs are worked out the system usually runs optimally for many years with great customer satisfaction.

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Control Solutions, Inc

However as the years continue like all things the control system continues to age. The building automation industry is no different then any other in the electronics industry, it continues to offer more improved and more powerful products. This statement brings up an interesting point. Just because a new and more powerful type of product is available doesnít necessarily justify changing out existing controls.  Building owners must ask themselves how this product would benefit their needs and supply their own internal customers better. Usually the answer is rather obvious and the cost analysis versus the specific benefits doesnít equal. So that system then will be used in its current state for an extended period of time.

Up to this point everything sounds very rosy. But there is another item of major concern that must be factored in with all building control systems and that is obsolescence. Every building control system eventually will be declared as obsolete and that specific controls company will cease to offer that product to the customer. Once a system is declared obsolete many controls companies will continue to sell parts for these systems for approximately ten years. As the ten years starts to reach maturity the manufacturing of these parts often comes to an end. At this stage parts for these systems start becoming limited, very limited. At this point building owners will start experiencing problems with availability. This can be very detrimental to this control system. If for example a control panel experiences a board failure often times the whole panel will go down. More specifically all system points within that panel can be inoperable. A board replacement at this point is absolutely imperative. Furthermore no parts available to replace the failed part becomes a crisis to the building owner.

Control Solutions, Inc This is where things can get better. Don't change that old control system yet! We at APW are in the business to help companies keep their old control systems running longer. Presently we have a large variety of Siemens System 600 building control parts in stock. As time continues we hope to expand our offerings to many other large brand name control systems. Many building owners have very limited budgets. Spending $10,000 dollars on a panel upgrade usually doesnít do justice to the budget when all that might have been needed was to replace an obsolete part. APW sells replacement parts at very affordable prices. While these parts most often are pre-owned, they are tested prior to shipment and come with a full one-year warranty.

This article may sound like an advertisement and to some regard it is. But I like to think of this as a service to the industry and a way of giving back to the community as a whole. We are providing an alternative to many customers to extend the life of older control panels they have in service. As an affordable solution we have many parts that can be used to upgrade, expand or retrofit your existing Siemens 600 system. Another service we provide is an outlet to sell your old control system parts. Most systems that get replaced usually find their way on pallets and sit in a storage area indefinitely or are discarded by the company that is replacing the system. Why not recycle that system for cash. Not only will you realize an immediate monetary return but also this is a way of giving back to the industry. These parts will help other companies with parts they may need to keep their older systems running longer. In this writer's opinion this is a win-win for all! I personally invite you to visit our website. Whether you are in need of buying parts or have parts you would like to sell we want to hear from you!



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