n31l
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 8:27 pm

Re: collaboration needed any one interested?

Sun Apr 08, 2012 4:31 pm

Have you factored in the cost and time getting your new system 'CE' marked. look what it did for thr Pi

bobc
Posts: 86
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 8:01 am

Re: collaboration needed any one interested?

Sun Apr 08, 2012 5:05 pm

I confess I have never heard of FCUs or BMS, but there are many things I don't know about! I am familiar with USB, Modbus and LonWorks though.

Where I said "industrial use" I think that includes your "commercial use". In particular, we find that USB connections fall over when positioned near to electric motors, which is the sort of thing you have got in FCUs.

In order to get some sensible software requirements you will need someone who understands your application area. I think it is a long shot that you will find a software engineer here familiar with applications like BMS (who is not already employed by the competition!).

I fear that you making a mistake that many budding entrepeneurs make, they look at the raw hardware cost and think "I can make it much cheaper than that!". A rule of thumb is to allow a factor of 5 between raw cost and sale price, otherwise there is insufficient margin to run a business. For things that require consultancy and support, that factor probably needs to be more like x8 - which is why you might see £50 of kit selling for £400.

Commercial sales is a tough business, and competing on price is not necessarily the best way in. Bear in mind that if you can take advantage of cheaper hardware, so can the competition and they already have established sales channels.

As a freelancer I often get people saying "I have this great product I just need someone to write the software" and it is tempting to get involved. But I know too many people who worked hard on a promising project and ended up out of pocket.

Good luck with your search, anyway!

thexman
Posts: 259
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 2:18 pm

Re: collaboration needed any one interested?

Sun Apr 08, 2012 6:52 pm

bobc

we find that USB connections fall over when positioned near to electric motors, which is the sort of thing you have got in FCUs.

not somthing ive found my self. im currently running several modules right next to a 24V transformer 3 X 240v contactors and a 3 speed motor with electric heater. the modules are less than 3 inches from the motor no problems.

could you explain what you were experiancing with your product.?
one armed controls engineer, my grammar is bad but lets face it most keyboards don't suit a one armed man

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rurwin
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Re: collaboration needed any one interested?

Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:02 pm

Just to make my position clear, I'm not the person you are looking for; although I have been in the SCADA business for 25 years, I'm in approximately your position albeit in realtime C.

What you have there may well be an interesting project, but I think you need two people to make it work. You need your web programmer and you need an electronics engineer. Only a proper electronics engineer can guide you through the labyrinth of getting those modules into a saleable system. As n31l above said, you almost certainly need the system EMC certified. It is possible to do that without huge expense, but not without someone who really understands it.

You may also need a salesman.

thexman
Posts: 259
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 2:18 pm

Re: collaboration needed any one interested?

Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:25 pm

rurwin

nice to see another SCADA engineer on here i also have done SCADA systems funny story but it was in a brewery so plenty to drink over but been spending my last few years programming Trend controls, Priva from our dutch friends, two years ago completed a Siemens PX course and Desigo, picked up Cylon along the way, North Obsys ,LonWorks, BacNet for just about everything nowadays If i really have to ill teach my self Java and PHP but im getting a little old in the brain and have you seen the price of the books well it would increase my sale price by a couple of hundred pounds in the first year at least

Yes im awear that the final devices would need EMC or CE approval ive done CE approval before about 14 years ago i worked for a Chiller manufacture they wanted to sell in Europe as well as the uk and were told there product needed CE so we did all the paperwork and took a chiller to there test facility as the lead controls engineer we were asked to make the chiller load unload start stop emergency stop power up power down null the controller force all the output channels to max output etc. the funny thing was the controller had a CE sticker on it. the chiller mechanicals didnt. lol
one armed controls engineer, my grammar is bad but lets face it most keyboards don't suit a one armed man

StuntMonkeh
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:39 pm

Re: collaboration needed any one interested?

Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:30 pm

First off I would just say I have skim read most of the posts so if I duplicate what someone else has said I appologise.

Like most here who are BMS engineers, I have many years experience of control systems. Trend, Andover, Delta, Honeywell etc.

I must admit to having had similar thoughts about using the RPi platform. However the conclusion I can to was as follows;

I personally don't see a market for another closed control platform unless you have a serious level of funding for R&D and marketing. No one in their right mind will specify or pickup a system that only a handful of people can use.

There are plenty of FCU controllers on the market. I couldn't see this solution working out any more cost effective. Neither would I risk installing hundreds of controllers without serious consideration! If there is a problem it could cost thousands to fix in man hours alone.

When it comes down to pricing control systems the majority of the cost is not actually in the control system hardware. A controls company will not win or lose a contract on the manufacturer of controls system. I have never really seen a price difference of a high enough figure.

Labour is the highest cost of any controls contract. I wouldn't dare pickup another system just because it was few hundred quid cheaper. There are other costs that must be considered; training, commissioning, support etc.

I think there is a market for an open source hardware/software solution for the BMS market. The Tridium Sedona Framework model goes some way towards this, but as far as I can see, its a token gesture.

thexman
Posts: 259
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 2:18 pm

Re: collaboration needed any one interested?

Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:25 pm

And tridium training is costly and doesn't suit ever type of controls engineer with the amount of free programming required

The main reason for selecting the Pi was a simple cost thing and Linux I all ready have a working demo box with a costly embedded Linux option at over 200 pounds the module I've been developing and the software won't need lots of engineering as its designed by an engineer who fully understands the requirements of a modern bms system an also
I've worked in the industry for over 20 years like your self I wanted to bring the parts from each system into one and so far I've achieved what I set out to do

I know marketing and getting this into sites will be the hardest push and the most costly part of the project it's been 14 months to this point from circuit design proto type production and software it's been a hard slog this far I haven't underestimated the pitfalls and the market I'm trying to get into 60% of the uk market is trend that's a hard market place to make a change in
one armed controls engineer, my grammar is bad but lets face it most keyboards don't suit a one armed man

StuntMonkeh
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:39 pm

Re: collaboration needed any one interested?

Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:05 am

I'm trying to get into 60% of the uk market is trend that's a hard market place to make a change in
I couldn't agree more. They have spent a great deal of money in getting consultants to spec their equipment and are very fussy over who they sell their equipment to.
The main reason for selecting the Pi was a simple cost thing and Linux I all ready have a working demo box with a costly embedded Linux option at over 200 pounds the module
The Pi might be okay in the short term but is it going to be fast enough?

What do you think the maximum I/O count will be for one Pi?

Would open sourcing both the hardware and software enable you greater traction in the marketplace?

There are a few people out there making their own controls for their own OEM products. I certainly know Swegon have developed their own.

I'm not at all knocking what you are trying to do. It sounds a great project and you have at least given it a good amount of thought.

I had a look at your Yoctopuce website.

The modules need to be DIN rail mountable and I would suggest that they plug together to expand your I/O. As I understand it you need to have a USB cable from every module... That would be a nightmare in a panel.

NinjaBlocks is a no go for BMS. If your internet connection goes down you loose all your control. Not good!

thexman
Posts: 259
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 2:18 pm

Re: collaboration needed any one interested?

Sun Sep 16, 2012 5:31 pm

The idea for panel mounting doesn't need din if you look at the enclosure page we made a Case that's magnetic or screwed to back plates, the stackable 4port hub we make are much more less cable intensive we also do a 16 way hub that's panel base mount and USB cables in various sizes

Other Linux boxes with 1.2ghz processors have been able to support 32 devices with a varied range of io so I suspect the maximum to be 32 devices for retail limits with the pis price it makes sence to share the work load down to 16 devices as optimal

I'm currently writing BacNet compatible points for the io using the BacNet standards hard work


Thanks for the feed back if your at all interested in seeing a demo box working let me know and I'll see if I can arrange

I've just done a load of sweagon units with BacNet was a fun little project using Siemens px
one armed controls engineer, my grammar is bad but lets face it most keyboards don't suit a one armed man

bravocontrols
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2016 6:43 am

Re: collaboration needed any one interested?

Tue Sep 13, 2016 7:04 am

Thexman, I see its been a while since you posted but I am very keen to cooperate with you on the open source building automation system. I have decades of experience making open source BMS systems but am really new to the Pi environment. Here's a quick look at where we're at right now, its a traditional looking BMS system with a raspberry Pi 'Compute' module for the brain. Next step is to port some of our code over to this engine and fumble our way along in this new Raspberry world.


https://www.bravocontrols.com/blog/2013 ... ontroller/

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