KMC Brings Building Automation Systems Under Control

IoT brings visibility to OT networks and building automation systems, but customers need proven solutions that fit their current needs and can scale as systems change or grow. KMC Controls offers building automation systems with security and flexibility for a single building or an entire enterprise roll out. 

 

Image credit: KMC Controls

The Internet of Things and edge computing bring visibility to operational technology systems. Integrating IT and OT systems makes sense as building operators gain more knowledge and control of their systems. In practice, however, it’s a challenging undertaking.

“We’re continuing to see the convergence of IT and OT, but [it’s] a slower merging than what we had originally thought,” says Tim Vogel, vice president of connected solutions at KMC Controls.

Vogel says that many legacy OT systems have to be integrated into the IT network, and many of those pilot projects haven’t gone as smoothly as the industry had hoped. “There has been an influx of vendors with very shiny marketing. But they don’t always understand how OT systems operate, and then they install siloed solutions,” he adds.

 

Gain Control and Visibility

KMC Controls offers a time-tested solution for building controls and building automation systems. The company’s open, secure, and scalable KMC Commander platform works with nearly any existing system, including BACnet, SNMP, and Modbus networks. It supports unlimited users and allows operators to monitor multiple buildings through the cloud-based interface.

Customizable dashboards allow operators to set up gauges and virtual thermostats, monitor trends and analytics, and view live camera feeds and embedded videos. As priorities change, operators can add or reconfigure dashboards as needed. End users can access limited custom dashboards, enabling employees, for example, to adjust the temperature or window shades in their personal office spaces.

KMC Commander allows operators to create system schedules based on building usage patterns. The cloud-based system enables those schedules to be adjusted at any time from any location. Alarms and notifications can be triggered when a data point falls outside established parameters and can be sent via text or email directly to the appropriate recipient.

Integrators can customize the solution by accessing a robust library of fully supported add-ons developed by industry experts using the KMC Commander API. KMC Commander, built on the Advantech UNO series of gateways, is an Intel® Market Ready Solution.

Image credit: KMC Controls

Fresh Air = Healthier Spaces

Since the emergence of COVID-19, building owners have been particularly concerned about their buildings’ indoor environmental quality (IEQ). 

  • Do the buildings have enough fresh air? 
  • Are potential pollutants present? 
  • Is the temperature stable?

Some solutions can monitor these issues but can’t integrate with the building management system. That leads to apprehension in the marketplace, Vogel says.

“KMC has been doing this for 50 years. We have successful projects,” he says. “We have the time-tested capability that helps you measure this information and integrate it into the IEQ system—and we’ll give you a road map to increase your air quality. It’s a more holistic solution.”

Channel Partnerships

KMC Controls works with system integrators to ensure their solutions are properly installed and maintained. It provides a single access point to monitor, troubleshoot, and resolve network issues. Some system integrators use KMC Commander to maintain service-level agreements across multiple clients.  

“Our primary path to market is through the system integrators,” Vogel says. “Because these systems are often highly engineered, it’s good to have boots on the ground to install them. Arrow Electronics is one of the best in the industry. They know that to put together an IT/OT system, you’ve got to have knowledgeable people.”

In addition to qualified system integrators, Arrow offers flexible financing, which can be a differentiating factor in an RFP.

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