San Jose, CA — Echelon Corporation, the world’s leading control networking platform provider, released findings from a recent online survey that shed light on plans for building automation systems of the future. Survey results indicate that a majority of planners intend to integrate lighting, HVAC and security systems into a common platform, and that almost half of building automation projects involve legacy systems running multiple protocols from different vendors. The conclusion is that multiprotocol and converged solutions will be key to extracting optimal benefit from the emerging Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
Results of the Echelon survey, which was conducted online for four weeks in January and February 2014, include the following:
- Seventy percent of respondents said they plan to integrate their disparate building lighting, HVAC and security systems onto a common platform—nearly one-third of them in the next 12 to 18 months.
- Almost half the survey respondents indicated that more than 50 percent of their building retrofit projects involve multiple protocols.
- Nearly two-thirds reported that at least a quarter of their current retrofit projects involve multiple protocols.
Over the years, building automation systems have been developed using disparate protocols such as BACnet, LonTalk, DALI, C-Bus, Modbus, KNX, etc. that currently do not intercommunicate.
“The convergence of siloed building automation systems will bring multiple benefits to building owners and tenants,” said Wendy Toth, chief marketing officer, Echelon. “With a single converged network, building operators can lower costs; more easily create powerful, integrated applications that boost energy efficiency while increasing comfort for people in the buildings; and choose best-of-breed products from a variety of vendors.”
Market researchers such as those at IHS predict that the IIoT will comprise a billion industrial and commercial devices by 2017, and that the IIoT will add 500 million new units per year. Such predictions provide tremendous economic incentives to bridging currently separate industrial device networks.
Multiprotocol Support Crucial to IIoT Potential
Potential IIoT benefits depend on both existing and new building automation devices being able to interoperate with one another, running whatever protocols evolved within their particular domains.
“The reality of today’s building automation projects is that a large percentage involve devices running multiple legacy protocols,” said Toth. “Building operators have difficulty justifying a migration to the IIoT for ‘rip-and-replace’ projects. Instead, they need a smooth, phased migration to a common platform that integrates legacy devices along the way—which is exactly what Echelon provides.”
Multiprotocol support offers significant benefits for the business of building automation companies. Instead of designing, manufacturing, supporting and tracking different unique products for each protocol option, companies can reduce their number of SKUs (stock keeping units) when a single device can be configured to support multiple protocols. Companies can also expand their business. For instance, those that traditionally have made only LonWorks products can now also compete for BACnet bids, and vice versa.
About Echelon Corporation
Echelon Corporation, a pioneer in developing open-standard control networking platforms, delivers all the elements necessary to design, install, monitor and control industrial-strength ‘communities of devices’ within the lighting, building automation, grid, Internet of Things, ‘maker’ and other markets worldwide. Echelon develops and sells complete systems and subsystems for target applications, plus system-on-chips (SoCs), embedded software, and commissioning and management tools for OEMs. With more than 100 million Echelon-powered devices installed worldwide, the company helps its customers easily and safely migrate existing control systems to the most modern platforms, while bringing new devices and applications into an ever-growing global Industrial Internet. Echelon helps its customers reduce operational costs, enhance satisfaction and safety, grow revenues and perform better in both established and emerging markets. More information about Echelon can be found at http://iiot.echelon.com, or www.echelon.com and at the company’s blog at blog.echelon.com.
Echelon and the Echelon logo are registered trademarks of Echelon Corporation registered in the United States and other countries. Other product or service names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.
This press release may contain statements relating to future plans, events or performance. Such statements may involve risks and uncertainties, the risk that Echelon’s offerings by themselves or combined with other applications or offerings do not perform as designed or do not offer the expected benefits and savings; the risk that the market does not adopt interoperability as reflected in the survey; risks associated with international sales; and other risks identified in Echelon’s SEC filings. Actual results, events and performance may differ materially. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. Echelon undertakes no obligation to release publicly the result of any revisions to these forward-looking statements that may be made to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.