Building Automation: Going Global
On October 20 to 21, the LonWorld® Exhibition and Conference will be held in Shanghai, China (www.lonworldexpo.com). This event, the world's leading forum for the LonWorks industry, brings together suppliers, buyers, and users of the world's leading device networking standard.
This year, the LonWorld workshops will be transformed into a trade mission, enabling companies from Europe, the Americas, and Asia to establish relationships with organizations in China.
The first ever UPnP™ Summit in China will be held in conjunction with the LonWorks developers conference at the 2004 LonWorld®. More information about the Summit and UPnP technology can be found at www.upnp-ic.org and www.upnp.org.
Echelon Corporation announced that they are receiving overwhelming support from both Chinese industry corporations as well as the Chinese government. Sponsors include: Nico Technology (China), Samsung Electronics (Korea), TAC AB (Sweden), ShenYang Huatang (China), Samsung Heavy Industries and TELDA (Korea), ARC Informatique (France), and Distech Controls (Canada).
Echelon Corporation announced the creation of LonUsers España in Spain. The new LonUsers group is meeting on the 14th in Europe to support the LonWorks platform.
On October 26 to 28, BuilConn Europe will be held in Brussels, Belgium (www.builconn.com/Europe/).
This inaugural European forum expands on two years of groundbreaking events held in Dallas whose exhibitors have found BuilConn to be successful in bringing together a new breed of motivated systems integrators who are defining a new industry of networked building systems.
Collectively, this group of endorsing associations effectively represents the buildings industry landscape in the European marketplace. In alphabetical order, the endorsing associations for BuilConn Europe are Association of Building Engineers (ABE), BACnet® Manufacturers Association (BMA), Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA), IP UserGroup™, Konnex, LonMark® International, and Open Building Information Xchange (oBIX).
The European Environment"There is a concrete difference in the adoption rate of systems integration in Europe versus that in the U.S.," said Anto Budiardjo, president of Clasma and BuilConn organizer. "The endorsing associations for BuilConn Europe will make certain that the focus of the event caters to the unique issues specific to the European marketplace. The discipline of integration in many ways is more mature in Europe than North America; I believe that this has been due to a number of products that have been introduced into the European market place as early as the early 90s. Utilizing open systems is an accepted way of doing things in many parts of Europe; many standard initiatives have been around as far back as the late 80s. Some of these still exist, but many, like FND and BatiBus, either have disappeared from the scene or have been absorbed into existing standards.
"The installation of LonWorks-based systems from manufacturers such as TAC and Honeywell has been the accepted norm specially in the northern European countries. BACnet seems to be strong in the German markets.
"The adoption of IT technologies is another story. I do not believe that there are as much awareness of the possibilities and benefits of TCP/IP, Web services, XML, and other such technologies in Europe as there is in North America. Why this is remains a puzzle to me, maybe because much of the IT industry is U.S. based (Microsoft, Cisco, HP, Oracle, etc.).
"BuilConn Europe in October will be an interesting venue to truly understand the above dynamics, especially for those who are monitoring the progress of the adoption of convergence on the global arena. The interest level we are getting from IT and enterprise companies is much stronger than the North American BuilConn events.
"In addition to open standards of BACnet, oBIX, and LonWorks that we see in North America, in Europe there is another very strong initiative called Konnex. Konnex is a "merger" of BatiBus, EIB, and EHSA. This makes the open systems debate more complex."
Konnex Association is the logical consequence of the merging of three Associations; BCI (Batibus Association), EIBA (EIB Asssocation), and EHSA (European Home Systems Association) into one single association.
BuilConn Europe will be co-sponsored by the OASIS international standard consortium. BuilConn Europe will also host the first face-to-face meeting of the new OASIS open building information exchange (oBIX) Technical Committee and will feature information on oBIX standardisation efforts in its program.
From the above, you can see lots of exciting progress being made in the acceptance of global communication standards for large building automation, hence the transition period for controls becoming true global commodities is becoming reduced. ES