Real world meets digital: Produal helps building automation providers reap the benefits of digitalisation

As the world turns increasingly digital, the role of building automation is growing rapidly, too. Building owners expect more comprehensive and more detailed, ideally real-time information about what happens in their buildings to manage them efficiently, cost-effectively and sustainably. Naturally, building automation systems, which require more data, are also more dependent on connectivity than ever. This makes the reliability of digital measurement devices and distributed intelligence in control systems supremely important.

So, how are we at Produal addressing these evolving needs in building automation?

Presenting a wide range of reliable, multifunctional measurement and control devices

Simply put, the quality and reliability of measurement and control is the backbone of successful building automation. If measurements are flawed, or unreliable information is fed into the system, even the very best BMS or control system in the world will fail.

When it comes to reliable measurement and control for building automation, Produal’s devices have been an industry point of reference since the 1980s. Today, they represent the very start of a building’s digitalisation chain.

Real-world measurements for the digital realm

The fact is, the real world and the digital world will always be separate. By measuring ambient variables, such as temperature, humidity, air quality, pressure, and airflow in the real world, and delivering the information for the digital building automation system to use, our devices bridge the gap between these two realms.

While traditional analogue signals are still widely used, we’re seeing a growing interest in more intelligent and reliable direct digital communication devices based on, for example, Modbus and BACnet protocols. A fine example of these is our new Proxima CU-LH control unit, which allows distributed intelligence with a local control loop. It’s part of our wide range of stylish, functional and easy to use controllers and room units, which enable the implementation of anything from simple to premium room solutions.

Wired meets its match in wireless Produal Proxima®

As a child, I remember starting phone calls on landlines with “Hello, I’m Francesco, can I speak with…” or just “Hi, how are you?”. Today, on a mobile, my first question is often “Hi, where are you?”, followed by “Can you hear me?”. This goes to show that good old wires are traditionally considered the pinnacle of reliability in data communication.

In today’s world, however, digitalisation speaks wireless. We have our mobile phones, wearable gadgets and wireless connectivity to our car, home, or even boat if we’re lucky to have one. This begs the important question: can wireless be made as reliable as wired? At Produal, we’ve been working hard on this topic, and after intensive development and testing, we’re confident we’ve done it. Based on a fully wireless MESH network, our next-generation wireless Produal Proxima® solution automatically routes data from transmitters to building automation in the shortest and most energy-efficient way, resulting in a smart, self-healing network. If the connection is ever interrupted, transmitters simply reroute themselves.

Easy on the outside, complex on the inside

Besides boasting the obvious advantage of smaller installation costs, today’s wireless monitoring and control systems can also make more of the opportunities provided by digitalisation. The wireless Produal Proxima solution, for example, utilises state of the art encryption in data transmission and sports real-time awareness of the network status, leaving zero opportunity for tampering. To eliminate wireless interference and to guarantee the best possible connection, the entire mesh network has the capability to automatically adapt to the best available wireless frequency.

If this sounds complex, that’s because it is. Making life this easy for our customers was no walk in the park, but today we’ve made all the power of reliable, secure wireless communication accessible via a simple and well-known Modbus protocol. By keeping all the complexity inside our devices, we enable our customers to use them via the standards they already know, over their preferred digital communication channel.

Convenient commissioning and encrypted cloud connections

In a world made more complex by digitalisation, we believe in measurement and control solutions that are simple to use, yet packed with intelligence for reliable building automation. Our MyTool mobile app for Android devices, for example, brings digitalisation to the commissioning phase with extra convenience. Besides simplifying the configuration of measurement and control devices, it enables secure updates of their firmware (over the air for the wireless Produal Proxima® solution), supports adding new functionalities, and allows the uploading and saving of device configurations. What’s more, MyTool has an encrypted connection to the MyCloud backup system in the cloud, where optimal configurations can be saved and shared.

Fast forward to the digital future

At Produal, we aim to play an active part in the digitalisation of our industry and beyond. This includes following the latest developments, pioneering intelligent communication in our products, and adopting digital processes and services that help our customers create healthy, energy-efficient and safe buildings. Our input to digital transformation can be as simple as promptly providing tracking numbers for our product orders, or as complex as developing new, state-of-the-art communications solutions for our intelligent devices. Regardless of the kind of advances we make, we will continue to keep reliability front and centre – while swearing upon seamless security, too.

We’ll be there to help you sense the real world and transform the information you need from analogue to digital. Whether that’s locally at the building or in the cloud, the choice is yours.
Measure – be sure.

Francesco Fausti
Director, product management and export sales
Produal

Passionate to find the best possible solution to technical and commercial cases in collaboration with customers, colleagues and other technical professionals.