Weintek Forging Building Intelligence with KNXnet/IP
From a residential house to a complex industrial factory, the demand for convenient, energy efficient and feature-rich Building Management Systems is continuously growing. To achieve this level of automation, it will be necessary to install more sensors and controllers for intelligent monitoring and control, which can be costly. Furthermore, the demand for interactive devices is growing. A possible scenario is for the lights to turn on when the sensor detects a resident has entered and turn off again when the sensor detects the resident has left.
Responding to the increasing demand for Building Management Systems and technological advancement in IoT applications, the Weintek R&D team has integrated KNXnet/IP protocol directly into the HMI, as a solution for intelligent buildings. KNXnet/IP is an international standardised network communication protocol for building automation, which means it can integrate with different brands of devices.
1. HMI as a Control Unit for Many Devices
Conventionally, the interoperation of devices is accomplished via detected data transfer between HMI's and switches. As the communication method may vary between devices, installing the devices can be a troublesome task, making it difficult for users to integrate different devices effectively to achieve centralised management.
Now with KNXnet/IP protocol, Weintek HMI plays the role of a control unit. In this architecture, the Ethernet network is used as the Backbone, and all the KNX PLC's use a common multicast IP address (default: 18.104.22.168). The on-site devices are connected to KNX PLC's I/O via a Line Coupler, and all the devices to be interconnected use the same address.
As shown in the diagram, three devices connected to Line 2 use address 1.2.1. To trigger these devices, the user only needs to control address 1.2.1, imagine the lights turning on when a person enters the room.
Visualisation, monitoring and control can be provided via WeinteK HMI. As long as the HMI is connected to KNX PLC's using the same multicast address, it can control all the devices.
* The above example shows a Backbone with three Line Couplers, where the devices underneath have a KNX address and are connected to the corresponding KNX PLC.
2. Simplified Wiring and Greater Flexibility to Add Devices
In the conventional architecture, as shown in diagram A, the interconnection of devices requires complex wiring, and rewiring for retrofit installations can be very troublesome.
In the KNXnet/IP architecture, as shown in diagram B, as long as all devices are on the KNXnetwork, they can communicate with each other and will be interoperable. The user only needs to assign KNX address for the devices, and then use Weintek HMI to monitor and control. The new architecture not only reduces the cost for supporting multiple interfaces, but also simplifies wiring significantly.
Unitronics’ Commitment to Increasing Connectivity and Flexibility
Unitronics have released a new building automation and industrial control gateway module. The addition of this gateway demonstrates Unitronics’ commitment to increasing the connectivity and flexibility of their all-in-one PLC+HMI controllers.
The new KNX Gateway is an external, high-performance, gateway that, allows Unitronics PLCs to communicate with devices using the KNX twisted pair network protocol; equipment using the KNX protocol includes lighting, security systems, energy management and HVAC systems.
The GW-KNX1 converts Modbus communications to KNX, allowing the user to connect UniStream and Vision PLCs to KNX networks via Modbus. The configuration of the gateway is simple; a KNX Configuration tool is available in both UniLogic and VisiLogic. The KNX Gateway module is flexible, reliable and easy to use. This Gateway will open the door to using Unitronics controllers for projects in building management and related industrial systems.