Systems Associates Inc. uncouples a high-end hotel from a massive central BAS System 

Each year more than 50 million people visit Las Vegas to gamble, relax, and enjoy the city’s entertainment. In this desert oasis, daily temperatures can fluctuate between the 60s to over 100 degrees in a matter of hours. These constantly shifting conditions are why Las Vegas is home to some of the world’s largest conditioned spaces.

waldforf astoria las vegasThe Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas is one of these spaces— with more than 51,000 square feet of lobbies, entertainment, conference facilities, hotel rooms, and private condos. The building is one of six structures in City Center, now called Aria a complex spanning an entire city block. In its original design, a single massive central plant provided utilities to this behemoth of structures while a central BAS system provided control of the entire complex.

Early in 2020, Hilton Hotels, owner of the Waldorf Astoria, received notification from Aria they would be uncoupled from the complex’s central building automation system in March. From now on, they would purchase utility water from Aria but otherwise would have to manage the building on their own. Hilton needed a fast, reliable solution, or the Waldorf Astoria’s critical HVAC systems would shut down.

They turned to Systems Associates Inc. of Bowling Green, Ohio.

Systems Associates had just three months to design, plan, and implement a new BAS system. With several options at their disposal, they chose ASI Controls.

Fast, Straightforward Implementation was critical

Aria had a date set in stone where they would pull the plug. After that, the hotel would be dead in the water. To add complexity, the Waldorf Astoria closed for the COVID-19 outbreak early in the project. This provided a limited window to complete the installation without hotel guests on the property. At the same time, it left a sense of uncertainty around finishing the work before the reopening.

Systems Associates leveraged ASI Controls’ ASIC/3 line of programmable BACnet controllers to provide an expedient solution. ASI Controls designed its ASIC/3s to integrate seamlessly with a wide range of non-ASI controllers and sensors. This allowed Systems Associates to integrate a range of third-party components. The result is a truly customized solution.

“The ASIC/3 line gave us the flexibility to integrate third party sensors, frequency drives, and BTU meters. Their Ballrooms had a sprinkling of building pressure transducers and CO2 sensors that were also necessary to integrate into the VAV controls,” David Clover, vice president of Systems Associates’ controls division said.

Flexibility to meet the building’s unique needs

asic/3 6115 vav

Hilton tasked Systems Associates with designing a controls solution for the lobby spaces, spas, ballrooms, back of house, eight flat-plate exchanger systems, as well as six pool heating exchangers. Systems Associates utilized twenty-five ASIC/3-9540 programmable system controllers to provide top-level management of core building systems and nearly two hundred ASIC/3-6115 programmable VAV controllers to provide terminal control in individual spaces.

ASI’s ASIC/3-6115 VAV controllers allowed Systems Associates to program nuanced custom sequences for each VAV box. Control was then routed via BACnet MS/TP to the ASIC/3-9540 controllers and managed through Systems Associates CONTROLIQ front-end.

“All of the top-level ASI Controllers are running BACnet protocol MS/TP routing,” Clover said. “We utilized third party BACnet routers to isolate strings of VAV boxes in order to allow more frequent polling and logging of data.”

Lower hardware costs and a lower cost of ownership

waldorf astoria panel remodel

As with any project, material costs can weigh heavily on profits. Systems Associates offers multiple controls line to its customers. After comparing the levels of functionality, reliability, and hardware costs, ASI was the clear winner.

“The [lower] expense of ASI versus some of the others was tantamount,” Clover said.

ASI Controls have the lowest total cost of ownership because it engineers products to be reliable and higher quality. It uses superior components and assembles the majority of its controls products domestically. It also sources accessories, such as Belimo actuators and ACI Sensors, from respected manufacturers. Plus, ASI offers an industry-leading five-year warranty on its controllers.

Everything’s under control

Through working with ASI, Systems Associates completed the massive project in just three months. They removed the previous BAS system, installed new controllers, remodeled enclosure, and installed a new front-end without any major issues.

“This ranks up there as one of the bigger projects in our thirty-plus year history—and in record time too,” Clover said. “At this point, there’s not a mechanical system in the building that’s not under our control.”

 

Niagara AX will reach its end of life in 2021. ASI strongly recommends upgrading early to ensure a smooth transition to N4 and mitigate risk. After the end of life date, the manufacturer will no longer provide support to AX users.

As AX is phased out, incentives are available for resellers who wish to upgrade any current AX projects now. Tridium is offering a 20% discount on legacy AX JACE upgrades until December 15, 2020.

2020 JACE TRADE-UP INITIATIVES – Americas and EMEA Region

This initiative will run until December 15, 2020. Customers that take advantage of this opportunity will receive a 20% discount when replacing legacy AX JACEs. Any AX JACEs purchased after January 1, 2017, are eligible for an additional 10% discount.

2020 JACE TRADE-UP INITIATIVES – Americas and EMEA Region

This initiative will run until December 15, 2020. Customers that take advantage of this opportunity will receive a 20% discount when replacing legacy AX JACEs. Any AX JACEs purchased after January 1, 2017, are eligible for an additional 10% discount.

All incentives will be available for a limited time. Please contact sales@asicontrols.com for more information on how to take advantage of them.

On August 1 ASI began shipping all IntelliFront appliances with version 5.0.

IntelliFront 5 contains a host of enhancements and new features including a new DB builder, new host app, updated connectors, workflow improvements, and bug fixes. A new template creation wizard also makes integrating controllers faster and easier, further reducing configuration time for systems integrators and OEMs. Version 5 also eliminates the reliance on Flash.

Why upgrade?

IntelliFront’s new framework supports new objects, better tuning policies, and discovery via open standards such as BACnet. An additional update to Modbus has now made it easier to map registers to create points. With this upgrade IntelliFront moves to Haystack 4.0, the most current open IoT standard. This new build supports new definitions, taxonomy, ontology, and query enhancements. IntelliFront 5 works with a host of connectors including BACnet IP, Modbus IP, Modbus RTU, OPC, UA, nHaystack, SQL, XML,  JSON, and many others.

The new DB Builder is much faster in IntelliFront 5 with a new user interface designed to optimize workflows for faster configuration. It now supports multiple trees that show organized project information by application; including graphics, programs, connectors, and schedules. New tools allow for drag-and-drop creation of records to create relationships, to Clone, use Tag bundles, to apply Templates, add Histories, add Alarms, and do Conversions.

IntelliFront 5 has been completely revised to work independently outside of a project and security has been revamped to allow for stronger passwords and improved user management functionality. J2 Innovations created an IT Hardening Guide to help IT professionals implement IntelliFront securely.

What if I still have version 4.5?

ASI will continue to support version 4.5 for as long as possible. Due to the deprecation of Flash this year, version 4.5 will no longer work. We strongly encourage everyone with 4.5 projects to upgrade as soon as possible. Our IntelliFront 5 upgrade page in our Partner Portal provides detailed information.

There is no cost to upgrade to IntelliFront 5 if you have an active maintenance agreement in place which was purchased during the last 12 months.  Those without an active agreement or with an agreement beyond the 12-month window can upgrade once the annual maintenance fee has been paid for the period the license was not under the agreement. Contact sales@asicontrols.com to upgrade.

Edit

As an essential business, ASI Controls continues to operate under guidelines from the CDC and the State of California. Most of our staff are now working remotely with only minimal staff reporting to our office to assemble and ship orders. We’re continuing to fulfill orders according to our shipping policy. While most products are unaffected, some may incur longer than normal lead times. Please contact sales@asicontrols.com with any questions or concerns.

 

ASI Controls has officially released its IntelliFront 5 building automation software platform. IntelliFront provides monitoring, control, scheduling, alarming, visualization, integration, and analytics capabilities designed for rapid deployment and flexible integration for a host of use cases.

IntelliFront 5 was designed in concert with J2 Innovations to be more open, fast, and secure than its predecessors. It builds on previous versions with a host of enhancements and new features including a new DB builder, new host app, updated connectors, workflow improvements, and bug fixes. IntelliFront 5 aims to streamline project integration timeframes for system integrators and OEMs while providing a robust and extensible framework for users to customize the system to their needs.

 IoT ready

The new IntelliFront 5 framework supports all major protocol standards including BACnet IP, Modbus IP/RTU, OPC, SNMP, nHaystack, SQL, EnOcean, and others allowing for broad integration and application across disparate building systems. With this upgrade, IntelliFront moves to Haystack 4.0, the most current open IoT standard that uses tagging to automate the configuration process. It also features new objects, better tuning policies, and discovery via open standards such as BACnet. An additional update to Modbus has now made it easier to map registers to create points.

Faster than ever

The new DB Builder is much faster in IntelliFront 5 with a new user interface designed to optimize workflows for faster configuration. It now supports multiple trees that show organized project information by application; including graphics, programs, connectors, and schedules. New tools allow for drag-and-drop creation of records to create relationships, to Clone, use Tag bundles, to apply Templates, add Histories, add Alarms and do Conversions. IntelliFront 5 can also allow for the auto-generated configuration of an entire project from a spreadsheet.

Secure yet flexible

IntelliFront 5 has been completely revised to work independently outside of a project and security has been revamped to allow for stronger passwords and improved user management functionality. Extensive API documentation is available to allow for enhanced customization.

In anticipation of the end of support for Flash in 2020, IntelliFront 5 has eliminated the need for Flash in its user interface.

ASI Controls offers IntelliFront 5 as a front-end option for all its system integrations. Contact sales@asicontrols.com or 925-866-8808 to learn more or locate a system integrator.

 

Course Overview

The Essential Training course is your introduction to ASI Controls DDC systems. During this 4-day course (day 5 offers an optional IntelliFront certification) you will learn how to assemble a basic ASI system. You will learn about sequences in the pre-programmed ASIC/1 controllers and learn to configure simple ASIC/3 applications for solutions beyond the capabilities of our ASIC/1 line. After programming the controllers, you will learn how to use IntelliFront to build a front end for the controllers. There is an optional certification lab exercise on Friday for customers to become certified IntelliFront programmers.

Cost

 $1,095 (4 days of training without IntelliFront certification or a training kit)

$1,795 (5 days of training with IntelliFront certification, but no training kit)

$2,395 (4 days of training without IntelliFront certification, but with training kit)

$3,095 (5 days of training with IntelliFront certification and a training kit) RECOMMENDED

Course Content

All attendees receive the following:

    • 4 days of training
    • Optional IntelliFront certification (Day 5)
    • ASI Expert software
  • ASIC/3-9540, ASIC/1-8100 and ASIC/1-6100 controllers
  • Micro-SINC and USB device cable
  • Carrying case
  • 24 VAC transformer (to power the controllers)
  • All documentation on USB drive

There is an additional cost of $700 for IntelliFront certification. Certification is required to purchase IntelliFront products. Certified IntelliFront programmers also receive a yearly engineering tool license for the software.

If more than one person from your company attends the same course, or if your company has already purchased a training kit, then each additional person may pay a course fee of $1,095. After December 11, the cost will be $1,395. There is an additional cost of $700 for IntelliFront certification. Certification is required to purchase IntelliFront products. The additional persons may use our hardware for the course, but would not keep the hardware after the course.

Course Date/Location

The course begins at 8:30 AM and runs from Monday, January 13 and runs through Thursday, January 16. Attendees receiving IntelliFront Certification will meet on Friday, January 17 for the examination.

The course will be held at the Holiday Inn Ft. Lauderdale- Airport.
2905 Sheridan Street
Hollywood, FL 33020
Phone: (954) 925-9100

Room reservations: Reserve your room

Room cost: $145/night. Use Group Code “ASI”. Reserve by December 11, 2019 to secure conference rates.

 

 

Candidate

An acceptable candidate for this program should have basic knowledge of HVAC and HVAC control systems. It is desirable that the candidate has some experience with designing, configuring, and/or installing DDC controls systems. The candidate should also be comfortable with the Microsoft Windows operating systems and be fluent in file management.

Each student needs a Windows 7 or newer PC with free USB port and a wired Ethernet connection. Many students also find it useful to bring an external mouse. Students must have administrative rights to their Windows account on their PC.  Google Chrome is recommended for use with IntelliFront software.

Special Accommodations

Please contact ASI Controls if you require auxiliary aids or services to have full participation and equal access to the facilities utilized for this training class.

Course Syllabus and Travel Information

Jan2020EssentialTraining [PDF]

Register

Early registration pricing is available until December 11, 2019. Prices will increase after that date. 

 

Register button

It’s hard to debate Tridium’s legacy as an industry pioneer in creating a web-served GUI for BAS applications. While Niagara AX greatly improved user experience, the process of creating good looking web graphics for browsers has remained relatively cumbersome; though Niagara 4 brought incremental improvement. Without templates, system integrators still face the time-consuming (and expensive) problem of engineering jobs through Niagara.

Intellifront database builder screenshot
IntelliFRONT 5 Database Builder Interface

There have been many thousands of Niagara sites with supervisory graphics designed through the years, many of which now require upgrading and re-designing. This presents an opportunity for end-users to consider alternatives in the market.

Since 2015, ASI has partnered with J2 Innovations to create IntelliFRONT, the first fully-mobile responsive, HTML5 compliant front end designed to work directly with Niagara. IntelliFRONT boasts a faster graphics creation and system configuration time because we automated many of the traditionally inefficient processes by leveraging the power of Haystack tagging. This means you can create great-looking graphics, update configurations of devices, and batch program edit with the click of a button. The IntelliFRONT Framework is about far more than just the supervisory GUI. IntelliFRONT’s alarming, scheduling, and global control functions are streamlined because we based our software architecture on tagging and the automated configuration that it enables.

Connecting to a Niagara station is effortless using the nHaystack driver, which is freely available via Stackhub.org. A detailed video series from J2 Innovations provides an in-depth look at integration. With IntelliFRONT you’ll see a great pay-off from the first job. Our system integrator partners use IntelliFRONT to manage Niagara-based systems because they like the enhanced user experience they can offer customers, and the lower engineering costs incurred. Speak with our sales department for more information or to find out how to integrate IntelliFront into your next N4 project.

J2 Innovations offers an in-depth video series which highlights the features and benefits

Course Overview

The Essential Training course is your introduction to ASI Controls DDC systems. During this 4-day course (day 5 offers an optional IntelliFront certification) you will learn how to assemble a basic ASI system. You will learn about sequences in the pre-programmed ASIC/1 controllers and learn to configure simple ASIC/3 applications for solutions beyond the capabilities of our ASIC/1 line. After programming the controllers, you will learn how to use IntelliFront to build a front end for the controllers. There is an optional certification lab exercise on Friday for customers to become certified IntelliFront programmers.

Cost

 $1,045 (4 days of training without IntelliFront certification or a training kit)

$1,745 (5 days of training with IntelliFront certification, but no training kit)

$2,345 (4 days of training without IntelliFront certification, but with training kit)

$3,045 (5 days of training with IntelliFront certification and a training kit) RECOMMENDED

Course Content

All attendees receive the following:

  • 4 days of training
  • Optional IntelliFront certification (Day 5)
  • ASI Expert software
  • ASIC/3-9540, ASIC/1-8100 and ASIC/1-6100 controllers
  • Micro-SINC and USB device cable
  • Carrying case
  • 24 VAC transformer (to power the controllers)
  • All documentation on USB drive

There is an additional cost of $700 for IntelliFront certification. Certification is required to purchase IntelliFront products. Certified IntelliFront programmers also receive a yearly engineering tool license for the software.

If more than one person from your company attends the same course, or if your company has already purchased a training kit, then each additional person may pay a course fee of $1,045. After September 20, the cost will be $1,345. There is an additional cost of $700 for IntelliFront certification. Certification is required to purchase IntelliFront products. The additional persons may use our hardware for the course, but would not keep the hardware after the course.

Course Date/Location

The course begins at 8:30 AM and runs from Monday, October 14 and runs through Thursday, October 17. Attendees receiving IntelliFront Certification will meet on Friday, October 18 for the examination.

The course will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel New Orleans Airport.

2150 Veterans Memorial Boulevard,
Kenner, LA 70062
Phone: (260)490-3629

Room reservations: Reserve your room

Room cost: $139/night. Use Group Code “ASI”. Reserve by September 20, 2019 to secure conference rates.

 

 

Candidate

An acceptable candidate for this program should have basic knowledge of HVAC and HVAC control systems. It is desirable that the candidate has some experience with designing, configuring, and/or installing DDC controls systems. The candidate should also be comfortable with the Microsoft Windows operating systems and be fluent in file management.

Each student needs a Windows 7 or newer PC with free USB port and a wired Ethernet connection. Many students also find it useful to bring an external mouse. Students must have administrative rights to their Windows account on their PC.  Google Chrome is recommended for use with IntelliFront software.

Special Accommodations

Please contact ASI Controls if you require auxiliary aids or services to have full participation and equal access to the facilities utilized for this training class.

Course Syllabus and Travel Information

October2019EssentialTraining [PDF]

Register

Early registration pricing is available until September 20, 2019. Prices will increase after that date. 

 

Register button

USBIO FrontASI Controls is pleased to announce its new ASIC/3 USB-IO Expander is currently undergoing beta testing. The USB-IO Expander provides a low-cost, easy-to-implement IO expansion for the ASIC/3 programmable controller family.

Powered solely by the host controller, the USB-IO allows users to immediately start using eight additional analog inputs, eight relay outputs, and four analog outputs. By connecting the Expander to an ASIC/3 controller, all of the new inputs and outputs are automatically added to the host controller’s IO count. This new IO looks identical to the host’s native IO and is configured using Visual Expert.

A standard USB 2.0, A-Male to Mini-B cable carries both communications and power. This allows for easy implementation— saving wiring and installation costs. A second USB-IO Expander can be added with the use of a standard USB powered hub.

ASI plans to take the first shipment of from its manufacturing partner, Electronic Design & Manufacturing in Q1 of 2019.

ASIC/3-USB-IO Expander ASI Controls, a leading building automation systems manufacturer has announced an agreement with Electronic Design & Manufacturing of Lynchburg Virginia to build the new ASIC/3-USB-IO Expander. The agreement marks the third ASI product built in the United States.

The ASIC/3-USB-IO Expander provides heating, ventilation and air conditioning controls installers a low-cost, easy-to-implement method for increasing the number of inputs and outputs available for certain programmable controllers.

Powered solely by the host controller, the USB-IO allows users to immediately starting using eight additional analog inputs, eight relay outputs, and four analog outputs. By connecting the Expander to an ASIC/3 controller, all of the new inputs and outputs are automatically added to the host controller’s I/O count. This new I/O looks identical to the host’s native I/O and is configured using Visual Expert.

ASI’s decision to assemble the USB-IO in the United States is one step in a broader effort toward moving assembly of its entire product line within the country. ASI currently contracts a Minnesota-based company to build its ASIC/1-6100 and 8100 products, while ASIC/3-9520 and 9540 products are built in Malaysia.

Mike Fong, Chief Operating Officer, said the company is committed to doubling U.S. production in 2019 and intends on building its next generation of controllers within the United States.

“We are proud to be able to assemble many of our products in the USA,” Fong said. “Aside from contributing to the growth of the American manufacturing sector, we have seen first-hand the benefits in quality, time, and shipping savings by utilizing U.S. workers. It’s a savings we can pass on to our customers.”

Electronic Design & Manufacturing is an ISO certified electronics manufacturer specializing in PCB products. Since 1990, EDM has had a proven track record of building high-quality PCB products at competitive price levels.

“EDM has impressed us from the start,” Fong said. “From the first meeting, they really took the time to fully understand the USB-IO and our manufacturing requirements. We were pleased to discover that EDM shares our commitment to quality and support.”

The first ASIC/3-USB-IO devices are expected to ship from EDM in November.