October 2012
Interview

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EMAIL INTERVIEWBarry Haaser and Ken Sinclair

Barry Haaser, Executive Director, LonMark International



LonMark International and the Connection Community

Empowering Intelligent Energy Solutions


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Sinclair:  Tell us about the LonMark Connection Community.

Haaser:  The LonMark community has been supporting the world of interoperable control systems for nearly 20 years. Founded in 1994, LonMark International is well known for enabling open, interoperable solutions based on LonWorks technology.

Sinclair:  What’s new in the community?

Haaser:  There are several new things to talk about in the community.  Most people are unaware that the LonWorks technology platform is an international standard known as ISO/IEC 14908-X. There are several parts of this standard, including the protocol and various media types, like twisted pair, power line, fiber optic, coaxial cable, etc.

Another big development this year involves the abolition of device credits for installing devices using LNS-based network management tools. Known as OpenLNS, this new platform eliminates a point of contention for many system integrators and installers.

LonMark International has created the LonMark Ambassador Program in an effort to help promote the LonMark message to a broader, worldwide market using local experienced and trained representatives. LonMark Ambassadors are authorized personnel equipped with the skills and tools necessary to deliver the common LonMark message, support local events and activities, and help LonMark grow worldwide.

Finally, the LonMark certification programs expanded recently. We’ve certified over 500 professionals worldwide and expanded the number of testing centers to 500 in North America.

Reliable Controls Sinclair:  How has the community changed over the past few years?

Haaser:  It is interesting to look back at the make-up of the LonMark community. It started as a group of manufacturers providing interoperable solutions. As more and more products came to market, the community changed and became more integrator focused. More recently we’ve started seeing more end-users join. They are interested in driving multi-vendor interoperability and improved energy efficiency within their operations.

Sinclair:  Can you give us some examples of end-user involvement?

Haaser:  Two key end-users come to mind. First is the US Army Corps of Engineers. Frustrated with the limitations and expenses associated with proprietary systems they published a completely open industry specification. This specification has been copied by a number of entities as a model for enabling open systems and interoperable solutions.

Another important end-user is McDonald’s Corporation with their networked kitchen initiative. Focused initially on enabling connectivity between islands of automation in the kitchen, McDonald’s has embraced the open systems model to include building automation as well. All leveraging a common network architecture.

For more information please visit www.lonmark.org


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