Johnson Controls has just released version 9 of its Metasys Building Management Systems (BMS). As one of the most advanced and feature-rich BMSs on the market this release, with its full front-end revamp, brings a special advantage to building managers in that it resets the benchmark for BMS alarm management.

“Intelligent systems constantly send out status updates and, in many buildings, the monitored points have expanded from 50 to 50,000 seemingly overnight,” notes Russell Hattingh of Johnson Controls. “With no logical way of displaying that information, it’s become really hard to make intelligent decisions.

“With v9, Johnson Controls has focussed on getting this right, putting the Metasys BMS a step ahead of its competitors and giving building administrators the power to leverage their investments in intelligent technology.”

Resetting the benchmark for BMS alarm management

What’s new in v9?

What is new in v9 is what information is displayed in the Metasys user interface and dashboards and how it is displayed.

“The challenge administrators face is that BMS are receiving inputs from multiple sensors on building systems (e.g. chillers, lighting and access control systems) and simply displaying them without a logical ‘map’ to indicate how building systems are interrelated or how they impact one another,” says Hattingh.

“For example,” he explains, “if a chiller fails, the BMS will send out alerts indicating that the required water temperature has not been reached and air handling units are dealing with air temperatures that are too high ― alerting dashboards lighting up like Christmas trees and the user has no logical way to identify and address the root cause.

“The typical response is that administrators simply hit the ‘kill’ switch and manually troubleshoot systems,” he says. “This completely negates the value of installing intelligent building systems. If less serious alarms cannot be differentiated from the alarms that can have a greater impact on the building the results can be catastrophic.

For example, if a chiller has tripped due to an overload, it can impact the temperature of the working environment. In a food or pharmaceuticals manufacturing plant which may contain temperature sensitive chemicals or foodstuffs, this can have a serious impact on production, or on the products themselves, leading to losses.

The new Metasys v9 capabilities can significantly reduce downtime and risk. With the version update, alerts are depicted graphically in a decision tree that maps logical relationships, making it easier to diagnose problems. When the root cause is acknowledged, all alerts are muted. The BMS is also able to self-diagnose problems, sending a single alert rather than 500 individual system alerts.

Administrators and service providers benefit

The BMS interface allows administrators to log into the system, review the problem history and reset and restart systems remotely as needed. In addition, with the right information to hand, specialised solution providers, such as access control or chiller service teams, also benefit.

The BMS is able to analyse the fault and advise what is wrong with the system, what needs to be fixed and what parts may be needed. This means the service provider can bring along all necessary tools and components and get the repair or maintenance done without delay.

Available now

Metasys v9 is available as an upgrade to all existing license holders. The Metasys BMS is also compatible with the majority of BMS and building systems. With a plug-and-play interface, getting the most from intelligent building systems is no longer a challenge.

About Johnson Controls

Johnson Controls is a global diversified technology and multi industrial leader serving a wide range of customers in more than 150 countries. Our 117,000 employees create intelligent buildings, efficient energy solutions, integrated infrastructure and next generation transportation systems that work seamlessly together to deliver on the promise of smart cities and communities. Our commitment to sustainability dates back to our roots in 1885, with the invention of the first electric room thermostat.  We are committed to helping our customers win and creating greater value for all of our stakeholders through strategic focus on our buildings and energy growth platforms.

Enquiries: Russel Hattingh. Tel. +27 (0) 11 921 7141

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