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Engineered Synergistic Interoperability

Synergy Road Map through Eternity Sales for Building Automation

The symbol above represents synergy. When a combination of different resources are combined and work together providing efficiencies greater than the resources deployed, that is synergy. Eternity Sales Inc. uses this method of thinking when identifying products and manufacturers that can and will further enhance our core product offering. Below is a road map of the vendors, core products they offer and how they work in conjunction with each other.

How can Eternity Sales apply this concept to the world of building automation?

ESI provides the tools for just about any building automation application. Whether wired or wireless we represent the companies that when combined together can provide a solution. Think of your application as an unassembled puzzle. With the pieces from ESI, you can assembly your puzzle pieces with the image representing the solution to your application requirements.

New to the Eternity Sales tool box are the Ethernet enabled embedded PLCs from Triangle Research. Incorporating Ethernet at the PLC level offers an alternative to RS232 and RS485 connections that are limited when communicating with multiple controls.

Specific to the building automation application Triangle Research offers the F1616-BA and F2424, offering some unique features not found in traditional PLCs. Both controllers offer the capability to incorporate a wireless ZigBee transceiver, IR control and Light Dimmers:


ZigBeeTM (trademark of ZigBee Alliance) is the commercial name of a specification for a suite of high-level communication protocols using small, low-power digital radios based on the IEEE 802.15.4 standard. Please refer to Wikipedia for a good fundamental description of the ZigBee networking protocols. ZigBee is gaining popularity with building automation and HVAC equipment suppliers as a low cost, secure and open standard intercommunication medium among devices used for the building industry. More equipment will soon appear with built-in support for communication using the ZigBee protocol. (F1616-BA Manual beginning at page 184)

IR Control:

The F1616-BA PLC features a built-in, Infra Red remote control sensor with 38KHz modulation band pass filter (part # TSOP32138).

The IR remote sensor enables the PLC to do the following :

1. Receive and decode IR remote control signals sent by hand-held IR remote controls that are encoded with Sony Corporation’sTM SIRC protocol (which really is just any hand held remote control that comes with your SONY TV or VCR). The decoded signal can be used to trigger any actions under your program control and it is unbelievably easy to program!

2. “Learn” (i.e. records) up to 128 IR remote codes (can be a mixture of different brands of devices) it receives into non-volatile flash memory and playback* the recorded IR remote codes under your program control to turn ON/OFF or to adjust AV devices, air-conditioning settings etc.

(F1616-BA Manual beginning at page 172)

Light Dimming Control with Zero Crossing Detection:

You may have used one of those commercial light dimmers to control the brightness of incandescent light bulbs. Modern light dimmers are mostly based on controlling the “firing angle” of a type of semiconductor switch known as “TRIAC” (which stands for “AC transistor”).

Controlling lamp brightness this way is highly efficient. Unfortunately the transfer function is non-linear (i.e. the brightness is neither proportional non inversely proportional to the firing angle) and therefore it has limited applications in precision digital control system. But it can provide low cost control for devices such as lamps, since the operator who receives instant visual feedback can vary the firing angle manually until a satisfactory brightness is obtained.

The F-series PLC CPU must know the precise moment the zero crossing occurs so that it can schedule the time interval when it needs to send out the firing pulse to turn on the SSR. This can be accomplished by feeding the AC power through a bi-directional opto-isolator and the output would drive input #6 of the F-series PLC. The falling edge of the signal detected at input #6 would send an interrupt to the CPU to start the scheduling of the various time slots that each light dimmer output is to fire a triggering pulse. This means that if you activate the light dimmer control, you must configure input #6 as an interrupt input for capturing the zero crossing signal and therefore input #6 will no longer be available for other functions (such as for HSC or Pulse Measurement)

Note that all F1616-BA inputs are opto-isolated and can be connected to AC or DC inputs. If you are using 24VAC for your PLC inputs (i.e. you are connecting one of the 24VAC wire to the COM terminal), then all you need to do is to connect the other 24VAC wire to input #6 and voilą! – you instantly have a zero crossing detection signal at input #6 – It is that simple!

(F1616-BA Manual beginning at page 178)

Combine the capabilities found within the Triangle controllers with ESI's other products and you have a powerful and scaleable solution:

From a hardware perspective, these controllers can be connected via Ethernet enabling a powerful networking scheme through the utilization of switches and routers. ESI distributes products from Westermo. They offer both unmanaged and managed Ethernet switches. In addition to Ethernet, they also offer products that communicate via Fiber, for longer distances and a more reliable connection in harsh environments. To understand more about the networking capabilities provided through these products, please view the following link addressing our Industrial Networking Synergy Solution.

Within building automation, you may experience various communcations protocols. This is where Kepware's KepserverEX comes into play. Kepware has created a server suite specifically for Building Automation applications. Within this suite of drivers includes BACnet/IP and ModBus ASCII, RTU and TCP/IP (used by the F1616-BA and F2424). Additional drivers include System Monitor, U-Con and CID. (click on the active link that will take you directly to the product page in ESI's web site to learn more).

Manuals for BACnet/IP and ModBus TCP/IP can be viewed through these active links.

Connecting the control side to the client side is Kepware's KepserverEX OPC server software. Through their server software, multiple connections and multiple drivers can communicate back to a single OPC client. A powerful tool within Kepware's toolbox is their iSNMP driver. Simplified Network Management Protocol (SNMP) uses the Management Information Base (MIB) feature from the device and provides continuous management of the Ethernet network. In addition to the drivers and iSNMP capabilities, Kepware offers plug-in modules providing even more capabilities, such as Data Logging, Advanced Tags, Security Policy, SNMP Agent and Alarms and Events. Combining Kepware's capabilities generates its own synergy within this synergistic solution.

ESI offers a powerful front end at the control side via Touch screens from KEP, thus providing the operator / end user with a graphical interface that is full programmable, addressing unique requirements for any application.

ESI's front end solution, also known as HMI SCADA or OPC Client is KEP's Infilink. This tag based package combines both the development software and Client software in one package. You are not buying modules but purchasing run time licenses only.

It was stated earlier that the F-Series PLCs offer ZigBee functionality through the addtion of a third part transceiver (provided by Digi International) ESI offers a wireless solution directly through one of our vendors. We offer the components and expertise through CNC Computer Integration whereby with the installation of a wireless access point, each controller can be interfaced through the controller RS232 port with the WireFreeCNC wireless data relay point. WirefreeCNC.

How can you, your company, your customers, your vendors benefit from synergy?

One thing about synergy and the products we offer is that there isn't just one way to do something. Flexibility is another dynamic and benefit of synergy that receives little attention. For example, you can establish your network connection through the controller Ethernet port or the touch screen Ethernet port. You can have one touch screen and multiple controls or vise versa (one control and multiple touch screens).

It is all about the tools in the tool box that enable flexibility.

Back to Synergy Home Page

(Portions of information provided were extracted from the Trianagle Research F1616-BA product manual.)


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