Case Study: Environmental Monitoring for Networked Heating Control
Demand for ‘building intelligence’ has steadily increased through recent years, to the extent that energy efficiency, as well as a good return on investment for the building itself, has become just as much as a priority. So, the idea of a “green building” with energy efficient construction can be achieved in conjunction with using intelligent, integral building automation.
Established in 2004 as an independent brand division for a global manufacturer of networked building automation, our client provides solutions based on market-leading technology for heating control, currently saving energy in more than 100 million homes and commercial buildings worldwide.
The original system our client utilised for their heating control & monitoring was dated and restricted in its functionality. Their network of European installation partners were unhappy with the limited range of control it provided solutions - and combined with its dated aesthetics and hit & miss reliability, product sales became difficult. Provision for the supply of a dependable, up-to-date (technically & aesthetically) ‘suite’ of solutions were required with long term (minimum, 5-7 years) availability. Additionally, our client needed a robust (optimised for 24/7/365 running) operating system to run their front-end applications.
BVM quickly identified a range (5.7” – 15”) of industrial Panel PC’s which would guarantee a minimum lifetime availability of 5 years and provide a sustainable upgrade program for provision of low powered, Atom based processor solutions to overcome the reliability and supply limitations of the previous product. BVM provided a configured customised Window XP Embedded operating system, incorporating a special network interface, customised on-screen keyboard and implementation of the write filter to prevent unauthorised modifications to the system. Additionally, a flexible program was put in place to ensure updates could be made to our client’s image whenever requested, or wherever needed, via an easy to deploy image update distribution mechanism.
Value to the client
Through customising a standard family of panel PCs as the base unit, a complete range of screen sizes with higher CPU performance levels were made available to our client, allowing them to address a wider range of installs, consequently boost their sales – and remove the need for additional future development costs due to a fixed upgrade path which has now served three generations (over 11 years) of our solution.
Our client’s European network of installers have continually reported sustained customer satisfaction levels since adopting and deploying the revised control system. This continues today, since the products inception in 2007.
- Since the products initial roll out in May 2007, over 1,200 units have been installed in commercial buildings (offices & warehouses), schools, stately homes and factories for the control & monitoring of heating, achieving over £3.5M sales for our client
- The family of solutions that BVM provide are now entering their 3rd generation having transgressed three iterations of processor technology (Atom N270, N2600 Cedar Trail and Bay Trail J1900), the latter providing availability up to 2028 – and three generations of operating system; Windows XP Embedded, Windows Embedded Standard 7 and Windows 10 IOT 2016 Enterprise 2016, Long Term Service Branch (LTSB)