Commander provides effective integration

September 2002 Products

Developed by UK-based North Communications and now available in South Africa, the Commander makes the connection between building-control systems and the worldwide web.

The Commander is equipped with a 10BaseT Ethernet port for connection to IP, and a HTML server for viewing in standard browsers, such as Internet Explorer. Messages from building-control systems can be converted to e-mail and sent using simple mail transfer protocol (SMTP) to multiple e-mail addresses.

Commander supports the IPBUS protocol, which allows a number of Commanders to share data, or provide data to extremely rich graphical user interfaces across IP. This means the IP layer can be used not only for management information, but to pass data between building systems anywhere in the world. BACnet/IP is also supported, providing similar capabilities for buildings or estates where the BACnet automation standard is adopted.

Commander adds functionality to existing building systems by collecting, processing, caching and serving information needed for site-wide or wide-area control. For example, Commander will act as an intelligent alarm router and also e-mail fault messages to different maintenance providers. For systems lacking time functions, Commander also provides distributed timer-based control and event scheduling.

Compass points

Compass points are the most widely used integration solution for building systems in Europe and are compatible with over 200 proprietary building systems including network standards such as Echelon LonWorks, BACnet, EIB, and MODBus. Compass allows direct binding of values from one system to many systems directly over a twisted pair network, alleviating single point failures such as PC based drivers and servers. The compass driver list is vast, including interfaces for CCTV, fire detection, leak detection and energy monitoring systems. Multiple Compass points may be networked using Commander as the IP Gateway.

Commander features ZiP, a low-cost modular input-output system developed specifically for simple monitoring and control. ZiP is suitable for small sites such as retail outlets and telecom base stations that need to be networked on a larger scale over IP, ISDN and PSTN networks. ZiP is like a compass point and can therefore be networked using the Commander, expanding communications onto the corporate WAN.

For more information: Chris Grice, Inet Industries, 031 767 0201,

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