Innovations in Comfort, Efficiency, and Safety Solutions.
EMAIL INTERVIEW – Ken Sinclair and Michel Lemieux
Michel Lemieux, VP Sales & Marketing
Overview of Strato Automation
You can build your own widgets on top of your BMS system to meet your specific market needs.
Can you please give us a brief overview of Strato Automation? It seems
it is a new name in the building automation industry?
With pleasure! Although the name is new to most of your viewers, we
have been around as a Canadian based manufacturer for the past 15
years. Like many manufacturers we started as an integrator looking for
a new product line since the one currently used became obsolete. All
the good ones in our area were already taken, we decided to simply
start from scratch since we wanted a line that was more contractor
oriented. So, in early 2000, the development started with the first
installation being made in 2005. 15 years later we now are at Gen3 of
the product line with an installed base of roughly 1200 sites in the
general area of Quebec, Canada!
The first question I typically get afterwards is why did it stay local for 15 years???? Well first the contractor was happy being just that. A contractor! 2nd, the whole product line, literature, and software suite was tailored to the French-Canadian market in French language. Not very useful for the rest of Canada or the US market.
Early in 2019, the company was sold to
private equity and it was decided to share this gem with the rest of
the world. Most of the first year was spent getting the product and
offer ready for the Anglophone market and a great deal of effort was
made translating all that was needed using proper English BMSA lingo.
It is all done, and we are now open for expansion business.
Sinclair: What makes your offer different from the rest of the industry? What makes you stand-out?
Lemieux: Well, at first, I will simply state that this is a BACnet system. It that sense our devices are BTL listed. Our devices like our VAV’s, controllers and communicating thermostats can be used with various BACnet front ends using our factory loaded application programs.
Now what is unique is that all our hardware is compatible to both our light commercial offer (Strato Zoning) and large facility offer (Strato Enterprise). The controllers although preprogrammed, can be edited or customized by adding simple side loops or fully re-purposed / reprogrammed if you want to use them as programmable controllers. So, one comprehensive product line can tailor from small to very large facility.
Another interesting angle to our offer
is the simple fact that we do not charge for our software suite. All
free…..independently of the project size and the number of points!
Sinclair: Free???? Always? Even updates?
We simply ask for registration. Our first project site installed in
2005 runs the 3 generations of products and is maintained and updated
automatically by notifications. It runs the latest and greatest version
of our software suite.
Please allow me to get back to a very
important feature of our architecture. I like to say that we have an IT
friendly and IT centric approach to BMS. 100% of your project file
which typically includes: event logs, trends, controllers, users,
programs, graphics, updates, alarms,etc….. is stored in a true native
SQL flat file. So yes you can integrate through BACnet or Modbus. But
if you have the access rights and the parsing information of the SQL
database you can build your own widgets on top of your BMS system to
meet your specific market needs. Our local ESCO has made amazing
integration for his own NOC using this direct database integration
method. You can build customized asset management the way you see fit
directly on top of our system.
Sinclair: What does this run under? What is used to host the project SQL files?
A simple Windows™ environment! Since our software server suite is free
you can run it on your client IT server infrastructure if you want.
Just give us a separate partition, install the Server suite and off you
go. Or we also sell small industrial Windows 10™ full solid-state PC if
you want to run this on a separate machine. IT department of clients
love it because it is an environment they understand well. They can
use their Windows™ user policies, set their own antivirus, set the
operating system update policies, reset the cache and reboot
automatically one per month if they want. Again, something they know
and are comfortable with.
Also, archiving and restoring is a
simple as copying 2 folders. You want access to the small server?
Remote desktop into it or plug an HDMI display with USB mouse and
keyboard. Hard to beat simplicity.
Sinclair: So what is used to create, access and modify those SQL project files?
Strato Enterprise Workstation. Which BTY does not speak a word of
BACnet. It is simply a SQL browser which is fully tailored to our SQL
database project files. And again one free software that can have
multiple instances installed on a project does all the required
functions based on the profiles of your users: End users, service,
commissioning, designer, etc…..
That seems interesting! It seems it can provide solutions for various
market segments. Where can one learn more about this product line?
it is highly scalable. We have done light commercial offices, day care
facilities, light municipal work, shopping malls, college, huge school
boards (59 buildings / 39K + data points), industrial refrigeration,
hospitality, condos, etc. Yes we can do a lot and have done a lot in
the past 15 years!
Have a look here. These are some of my LinkedIn posts on Strato Automation:
To learn more you can visit us at www.stratoautomation.com or reach out to me directly
• Michel Lemieux
• VP Sales & Marketing
• Office: 438.799.5099
• Cell: 438.521.3296
• Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Web: www.stratoautomation.com/en/home
• LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/michel-lemieux-7b834713
Cheers to all and keep safe!
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