By Scott Cochrane | President & CEO | Cochrane Supply & Engineering
Original post: automatedbuildings.com
For the brave who live on the edge of technology and the risk takers who dare the typical, a TORNADO has picked them out of their markets and landed them in a new place with unbelievable possibilities and huge benefits for their customers and themselves. Yes, BAS has crossed the technology bridge to IP everything and so comes the dawn of a new exciting era.
Let’s dive into some areas we are seeing a huge change already.
Unlimited data throughput, manipulation, organization, and storage are all possible within a modern BAS IP Controller. Do you want to trend a point every 10 seconds? 1 second? With tags, hierarchy, and structure? Sure… Go Ahead… BAS IP controllers allow you to easily throw data on any IP network and you can pick your software glove to catch it, cloud ready. Turn the typical BAS data into modern data streams like MQTT for quick digestion into your data management solutions. It’s like a BAS wonderland where only your imagination limits the possibilities. With so much data – ANALYTICS, MACHINE LEARNING, and AI are all now within reach and some are trying to go there, quickly. Not to mention cloud-ready BAS data that can be incorporated into other digital universes like BAS data mixed with BIM data visualized through Microsoft HoloLens 2 mixed reality. This is one example of the many tech mountains we will climb to improve building performance, operations, and tenant experience.
CYBER Security!!!! OMG, we are a vulnerable industry and are attracting more attention every day. While the threat of cyber security issues for BAS systems doesn’t seem to make much noise on budget day, we in the industry KNOW many typical MEP BAS specs do not have any cyber security built in. It is typically up to contractors to safeguard themselves from liability as the driving force for change, which is not enough to affect the buildup of hacks due to exposed BAS software on the internet. The increase in IP devices for BAS systems increases the network exposure for hackers to penetrate and create problems. While we see huge advantages for BAS IP controllers and devices, we have opened a new frontier and mandatory design changes to ensure the reliability of our future BAS systems.
Plug and play is REAL with BAS IP controllers and devices. While a good network design and proper planning are key, when laid out properly these systems can be installed in a fraction of the time versus traditional predominant RS-485 networked controllers with hardwire I/O. Installation is a breeze, forget about stripping small wires for hours…. click, click, ethernet patch cables can make quick work connecting controllers and devices. Once on the network, which usually is only a two-step process, the device can be updated, downloaded, licensed, programmed, or configured quicker than the tech can push the buttons on their computer. No more troubleshooting 485 networks or waiting for a token ring to pass, the new IP experience for a seasoned tech is something they remember and tell others how much more efficient it is for them. BAS IP controller and device programming and troubleshooting time are a fraction of their predecessor.
On-prem, independent, dedicated building OT networks are taking shape. This requires new skills for the BAS industry closely mirroring IT-managed service companies, where many of whom came from the telephone industry which collapsed with the twisted pair of phone wires going away. BAS contractors will soon become better at managed IT network services, those who have already leaped are certainly getting the jump on their competition. Even when connecting to building owner networks the need for IP contractor knowledge is paramount to a good customer relationship.
There are no ruby red tech shoes you can click to go back to the way it was, you are STUCK, permanently in the New Land of BAS IP.