Siemens says wireless building automation is catching on

  • February 01, 2009
  • News
February 1, 2009 − According to Jay Hendrix, Wireless product line manager for the Siemens Building Technologies, “The resistance to wireless has mainly stemmed from questions related to reliability and interference. New mesh networking technology has proven that it is able to overcome reliability issues no matter the facility type. Additionally, concerns over interference with other wireless applications, like WiFi networks, are being put to rest by the vast number of field installations peacefully coexisting in the presence of WiFi networks and other wireless technologies.” Hendrix cites the mesh networks ability to automatically form their web-like structure creating multiple redundant communication paths and their self-healing feature which allow an automatic rerouting of message traffic when paths are blocked as the critical elements in providing the reliability end-users demand. Building owners across North American are taking advantage of wireless technology. Wireless networks are supporting wireless communications for field devices such as room or zone controllers and associated room temperature sensors, variable frequency drives, electrical meters, and point modules at prominent commercial and industrial facilities, schools, hospitals, universities, government facilities and military bases. The value proposition of wireless technology in the field of building automation systems is well established and hard to dispute. “By eliminating the need for communications wiring,” said Hendrix, “wireless makes it easier and faster to install field level networks as compared to hardwired alternatives. In retrofit projects this means less disruption to both occupants and the facility.”Additionally, without the constraints of hard-wiring devices can be placed in the optimum locations for sensing and control and easily moved. This flexibility can offer significant life-cycle savings to facilities. For example, buildings where frequent tenant changes drive new floor layouts or manufacturing facilities with frequent physical layout changes to accommodate ever shifting product lines experience a significant payback with every change. Siemens Building Technologies announced a two-year track record in the deployment of its APOGEE Wireless building automation solution across a variety of industries, from commercial office buildings and schools to industrial facilities once thought too unfriendly an environment to make wireless technology practical. Over the last two years Siemens has shipped more than 25,000 wireless control devices that are now on the job in hundreds of buildings and facilities across North America. Siemens was the first company to commercialize wireless mesh technology for use in building automation and introduced the industry’s first wireless field level network in 2005. Over the years, numerous enhancements to the solution, including the addition of battery-powered room sensors to the wireless network, have created a substantial market opportunity for the company. The number of devices and networks currently being deployed are evidence of the growing trend toward full acceptance and utilization of wireless technology in building automation. As a leading provider of energy and environmental solutions, building controls, fire safety and security systems solutions, Siemens Building Technologies, Inc., makes buildings comfortable, safe, secure and less costly to operate. With U.S. headquarters in Buffalo Grove, Ill., Siemens Building Technologies employs 7,400 people and provides a full range of services and solutions from more than 100 locations coast-to-coast. Worldwide, the company has 28,000 employees and operates from more than 500 locations in 51 countries. Learn More

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