December 2013
Interview

AutomatedBuildings.com

Daikin Integration to BACnet, Modbus, KNX, WIFI, Mobile Apps
Intesis

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EMAIL INTERVIEWBarry Haaser and Ken Sinclair

Barry Haaser, Executive Director, LonMark International

Barry Haaser is the Executive Director of LonMark International, a member-based non-profit association for the certification, education and promotion of interoperable control systems for the benefit of manufacturers, integrators and end users.



LonMark Interoperability Standard To Support Industrial Internet of Things

The IIoT refers to industrial objects, or “things,” that automatically communicate over a network to share information and take action.

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SinclairWhat can you tell us about this new initiative from LonMark?

Haaser:  Not much has changed technically for LonMark over the past 20 years. As we prepare to celebrate our 20th anniversary, it is ironic that LonMark will undergo a significant technological transformation. Over the course of the next year, LonMark International will migrate its interoperability platform to support the rapidly growing market for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

SinclairI’ve heard of IoT. What is IIoT?

Haaser:  The IIoT refers to industrial objects, or “things,” that automatically communicate over a network to share information and take action. IIoT solutions must meet the challenging requirements involving industrial-strength reliability, hardened security, wired and wireless connectivity, and backwards compatibility with large installations of legacy devices. In other words, this is IoT for non-consumer applications, such as building automation, lighting control, restaurant equipment, etc.

SinclairDoes that mean that LonMark devices will be part of the Internet?

Haaser:  What this primarily means is that controls vendors will be able to utilize popular chipsets and System On Chip (SOC) platforms running IPv4 or IPv6. Simple LonMark devices can now have native IP network support.  LonMark networks typically move small amounts of command and control data between tens or thousands of devices in a secure environment. Companies will be able to support their traditional ISO/IEC 14908 control networks and have the option to migrate toward IP-based networks utilizing popular wired and wireless transports such as Ethernet, IEEE 802.11, IEEE 802.15.4 and IEEE 1901.  A LonMark device being part of the Internet is a choice the owner/integrator makes based their needs and security requirements.  But yes, LonMark devices can be part of the Internet.

SinclairDoes this mean that LonMark is abandoning LonWorks?

Haaser:  No, LonMark is enhancing not abandoning LonWorks. What’s really cool about IIoT is that companies can support their existing LonMark products as well as new IPv4/6-based products using new wired or wireless SOC chips. By adding support for Advanced Transport Services (ATS) like IPv6 to LonMark, we can incorporate emerging communications technologies as needed.  More and more networks are becoming IP-based, so both Echelon and LonMark International are providing a clear migration path for products to communicate using current and emerging IP communication technologies.

Control Solutions, Inc SinclairHow does IIoT impact system integrators and installers?

Haaser:  The IIoT platform will give system integrators a better selection of tools for network installation and configuration. Plus, it will be easier to connect heterogeneous networks together, for example LonMark and BACnet or with Modbus or EnOcean. Integrators are combining BACnet, LonMark and ModBus networks together in buildings everyday. LonMark intends to make this type of integration easier by creating an interface to enable better connectivity with other network protocols.

SinclairI guess the takeaway here is that buildings are becoming more IP centric?

Haaser:  That’s right, buildings are becoming more IP-centric. IP-based technologies are an important piece of the puzzle in today’s control networking solutions. That includes buildings as well as LonMark members supplying interoperable products such as restaurant kitchen equipment, transportation systems, industrial automation, outdoor lighting, energy metering and smart grid devices. What LonMark brings to the party in all of these markets is a common application layer interface enabling device-level interoperability for both wired and wireless IP-based networks. What’s really great about this new direction is that LonMark members are enthusiastic about the new IPv4/v6 enabled platform.

To read last year's Connection Community interviews - OpenADR 2.0 and the Connection Community

LonMark International and the Connection Community



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