Measurement and control in building automation has evolved. But how?

As the devices designed for building automation – especially controllers – become more intelligent, with increased functionalities towards health, comfort, and energy saving purposes, Produal felt the need to design something all-encompassing: a multipurpose solution to meet every present and future demand of building automation.

We wanted something we can develop continuously for a long time – to have the ability to always expand our product functionalities in the face of future requirements. The business of building automation calls for smoother installations and system integrations, while the end users and architect’s demands emphasise the importance of successful user interfaces and design. All of these elements needed to be addressed simultaneously.

Naturally, I didn’t think this was going to be an easy task. But in hindsight, our project has proved to be by far the most interesting and captivating one I’ve ever been involved with.

Bearing in mind that we have done over 2000 different customer adaptations by soldering or by adapting controller software during the past 20 years, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to join a team that shares an ambitious goal: to design a solution that would become hugely beneficial for everyone.

And so, the measurement and control of building automation started to evolve.

 

Four steps towards a better tomorrow…

 

Step 1:  Modular hardware: Produal PUMP® (Produal Unified and Modular Platform) takes shape. The design has a deliberately oversized performance to be able to handle both present and future requirements, and also leave room for possible expansions. All inputs and outputs are multifunctional so that a single controller will suit every application. Along with these, key elements for quick and easy installation have also been highlighted.

Step 2: Modular software: The Produal PUMP® modular software is born.The software needed to be in function modules or blocks so that we could utilise the same blocks and functionalities for every PUMP product. This is a crucial part of the design, as all our future products will share the same user interface and structure. In addition, our forthcoming wireless transmitters and mesh technology will also feature wireless compatibility.

Step 3: The Produal MyTool® mobile app with Produal MyCloud takes its first breath. We asked a question. Is there a single item that has all of the following qualities: A great touch screen, the capacity to store configuration files, and an ability to be connected to a cloud service for secure storage with easy sharing and updating? Of course, there is. Say hello to your smartphone or Bluetooth equipped tablet! Along with the benefit of always having your phone around, an intelligent cloud service will also provide a huge number of future possibilities for an end user in a smart building.

Step 4: User Experience and User Interface design. We have been focusing on a smooth user experience and interface throughout the entire project to guarantee that every PUMP product will be easy to use – all the way from their production, installation, and integration to the benefit of the end user. This philosophy has resulted in an innovative and effortless way of configuring, commissioning and using our products.

 

…and the right tools to make it happen

 

The end? No, this is merely the beginning. The Produal Proxima® Control unit, Produal Proxima® Room unit and Produal MyTool® are the first releases of our new PUMP products. I’m still thinking about the 2000+ different customer adaptations of current products, and I see no end in the different innovative and energy-saving functions that planners and system integrators can come up with. But as a result of this, the Produal Proxima® Control unit is well prepared for any future control function demands. As I used to say: if there’s a possibility – we have the solution!

 

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Pasi Hiljanen
Product manager / room controllers
Produal