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Can Your Building Automation Do This?

We’ve come to expect traditional Building Automation Systems (BAS) to be able to visualize data, control stuff, schedule stuff, and provide historical data for trouble shooting and analysis. Next generation building automation systems take it many steps further. There have been a number of enhancements in the user experience and additional user applications that make it easier to manage and operate an intelligent building. 


Do your technicians have their own GUI?

There are now multiple stakeholders involved in running a facility, from facility managers to technicians. Their user experience traditionally was limited to HVAC equipment graphics. With FIN Supervisory & Control, operators now have the ability to also see a quick summary of all the points visually with hyperlinks to the mini history, command points, and schedules all in one interface. 


Does your BAS have summary graphics?

One of the most powerful visualizations needed in running a building is to see the relationships of equipment, meters, and systems all summarized in a table. Historically this has been so labor intensive that it’s often not done. With FIN, our Summary app literally builds itself by running wizard based configuration. The result is aggregated data at the floor, equipment, and system level. 


Is your navigation automagical?

As your Building Automation System grows and new floors or buildings are added, the custom navigation is typically a long, arduous, and manual process. The hard coding of navigation files and hyperlinks on graphic screens often results in broken links as changes are made. The FIN Framework is based on Haystack tags, which contain relationships that are leveraged to automatically generate both the navigation bar and related graphic hyperlinks. 


Is your favorite graphic available on your mobile phone?

Typically the user experience is limited to graphics suited for a workstation, which limits the mobility of a building operator. Great software, like the FIN Framework, is designed with mobility and responsive web design. This means that in addition to the workstation graphics, tablet and mobile phone graphics are dynamically generated from the same content. Even more helpful is a feature in FIN that allows users to save their “favorite” graphic screens and quickly access them from shortcuts on a phone, tablet, or at their workstation.



Are your O&M Manuals just a click away? 

Every project requires a complete submittal package complete with control drawings, sequence of operation, and data sheets. Typically, these are lost on a shelf or file someplace in the form of operating and maintenance manuals. Wouldn’t it be great to have access to this information in the context of what you’re looking at while using your BAS? With FIN, any and all content can be quickly and easily accessed through our O&M app. This can also include links to training videos, architectural drawings, and communication bus layouts (just to name a few). 



Finally, a way to eliminate sticky notes!

As a BAS grows, so does the number of users on the system. Often times there is an increased need for communication about the system between operators. If you’ve ever looked at a busy operator workstation, you know that it can be littered with sticky notes and written reminders to other users. To solve this challenge, the FIN Notes app was developed to provide a simple but effective method for capturing information in the context of the graphic. For example, if a VAV’s sensor is defective, a “note” could be added to that graphic and becomes available to all operators in the system where they can view and add to the note. 



Can you access your building remotely without the need for IT?

At the end of the day, when facilities members go home, accessing the system can be difficult and expensive to implement. The process of getting a secure remote connection lies in the hands of the IT security team, whose job is to limit risk. With J2 Innovations Edge2Cloud that problem goes away by implementing a cloud connection to the edge instances of FIN. With just a few mouse clicks or snapshot of a QR code, a new device or server can instantly be added to the online map, which provides secure remote access to the site. 

Smart Building software has been evolving to be even more intelligent than its predecessors. FIN Framework is the next generation of BAS, offering solutions to many of the pain points the industry has been experiencing for years. Discover what FIN can do for you here.

B. Scott Muench

Scott joined J2 Innovations as a partner in 2011, and is now Vice President of Customer Experience. He has a wide range of responsibilities including evangelism, business development, training, and operational excellence. Scott is well known as an industry expert in smarthomes and smart buildings. He is a past president of ASHRAE, and is currently a board member for Project Haystack. Scott attended Clarkson University for Mechanical Engineering and graduated with a BS/Business in Organizational Innovation.

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Topics from this blog: End User Smart Buildings FIN Framework Technology Building Automation System

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