The idea of commitment to one company seems quaint in an age where the average person spends about four years at a job before moving on. Mike Fong knows a thing or two about commitment though. This July marks Fong’s twentieth anniversary with ASI Controls. Through his journey from technical support to Chief Operating Officer he has seen a lot of change, but it’s the things which have remained the same that kept him committed to ASI.

Mike Fong, COO of ASI Controls

Fong joined ASI Controls in 1998 after completing his degree in mechanical engineering at UCLA and a stint working with an Andover dealer in the San Francisco Bay Area. Through Dave Thompson, a former employee, Fong met Bill Chapman who hired him to serve as a technical support representative.

“It was a landmark time at ASI,” Fong said. “ASI Expert was close to release. Before that, we had software tools that ran in DOS. Our focus was more on OEM than resellers. The release of  Expert was a watershed moment for us because we could connect with customers who did not have their own controls department.”

Fong played a critical role in shaping the direction of technical support. He created some of the first technical resources and helped to develop ASI’s Essential Training class, which he still teaches. Initially, customers traveled to San Ramon for training. Fong noticed the challenge of convincing east coast customers to make the trip. He suggested that ASI take its training program on the road.

“I take a lot of pride in establishing our training program and building it to what it is today,” Fong said. “Our attendees frequently praise us for the quality of the classes. I think the impression we make on our customers during training is second to none in terms of what we provide, both in, and out of the classroom.”

As Fong’s career grew so did his responsibilities. He took on increasingly larger roles as Technical Services Manager, VP of Technical Services and finally Chief Operating Officer. While much has changed for Fong, one thing has remained the same— valuing the relationship with customers and understanding them on a personal level. Fong owes much of his customer-first mindset to ASI’s founder, Bill Chapman, who was his mentor.

“Bill Chapman set an example,” Fong said. “I probably learned more from him than anyone else about how to treat customers. We may not always do what is best for us from a financial standpoint but we will never have trouble sleeping at night because we know we are treating our customers right.”

Chapman’ words after a particularly difficult support call have stuck with Fong through the years. “Not everyone thinks like you do, it’s up to you to understand how they think and present it in a way which resonates for them.”

Fong has applied that mantra throughout his career toward each interaction with customers. His focus remains helping them solve problems and passing on the knowledge he has acquired throughout his tenure at ASI.

“Mike’s knowledge, diligence and expertise are highly valued by customers. His logical, patient, problem solving nature and attention to detail make him the go-to guy,” Francis Chapmen, CEO said. “His professionalism inspires the rest of the team to deliver the outstanding support ASI is known for.”

Fong credits ASI’s emphasis on people as part of what kept him with the company. It allowed him the opportunity to also balance his commitment to his family.

“This is a family first kind of company,” Fong said. “I have a son with special needs and they have always given me leeway to attend to that when I need to.”

While Fong has had plenty of opportunities to reflect on the past 20 years his focus remains on the future. His steadfast presence keeps ASI moving toward developing better and more efficient products and creating training and service initiatives which make them easier to install.

“I really believe in listening to our customers,” Fong said. “We understand that the market is changing. Today’s installers are often less experienced than their predecessors, so we are working toward cutting the learning curve and time-to-install with things like auto serial numbering, wizards, and wireless technology.”

Fong helped build ASI Controls into what it is today. To say anything less would be a disservice to the impact he has made over the last two decades. He remains the ever-present engine helping to push the company forward, one satisfied customer at a time. ASI Controls offers its warmest congratulations to Mike Fong on his 20 years of dedication and looks forward to more years of unparalleled service.

You may have heard about Siemens buying J2 Innovations this week, and because J2 is the OEM provider for the framework that ASI Controls IntelliFront front end software is built on we wanted to share some information about this event with you.

J2 Innovations will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary, with no changes in their visionary leadership team and no restrictions on their ability to provide OEM solutions. They will benefit from having more resources available to continue development of the framework that makes IntelliFront the most efficient, scalable and effective front end on the market. Near-term priorities include a distributed architecture that enables new Cloud-based features and increased support for OEM partners like ASI Controls.

We remain committed to IntelliFront and will continue both promoting IntelliFront and releasing innovative new features and enhancements.

What does this mean for ASI Controls?

We do not anticipate any major changes. J2 remains committed to our OEM partnership, and we remain committed to making IntelliFront the best front end in the industry.

Can I still purchase IntelliFront licenses and upgrades through ASI Controls?

Yes. Customers will be able to buy IntelliFront licenses and upgrades without interruption.

Will ASI continue to support IntelliFront?

Yes, you can expect the same outstanding support we always strive for.

Where can I get IntelliFront training and certification?

IntelliFront training and certification are available through ASI Controls. The ASI fundamentals course (Essential Training) features IntelliFront, and we will add Advanced Training in the future.

Will there be new features in IntelliFront?

Yes. Completing the roll out of the ASI protocol connector for IntelliFront continues to be a major priority, and Automated Commissioning is coming soon.

Will ASI continue to support both IntelliFront and the JASIC Open Systems line?

ASI remains committed to giving you a range of options to best meet customer needs, including IntelliFront on the J2 framework and JASIC Open Systems on Tridium’s Niagara Framework.

In the last few years J2 Innovations has significantly raised the bar for control system front-ends. Their acquisition is a testament to the market leadership position they established through relentless innovation guided by deep industry knowledge. The framework J2 provides puts IntelliFront customers in pole position as the pace of technology changes in our industry continues to accelerate. We look forward to adding more value and features to IntelliFront in the months and years to come.

Many VAR’s have expressed interest in more specialized training. We plan to offer more training classes in the future and are moving toward offering both in-person and online options for some topics.

Help us determine what you would like to learn next. Fill out the form below with your suggestion.

 

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ASI Controls welcomes five new team members. Over the last few months Sam DeAngelis, Tyler Drazich, Annie Yu, James Poston, and Brian Nicholas have all joined our team to help us expand engineering, sales, marketing, and operations. Get to know our new hires!

Sam DeAngelis

Customer Success Manager

Sam joined the ASI Team in January, after being a VAR for over ten years. Sam’s new role at ASI is to support VARs with continuing success in control sales and service, and also with any new growth opportunities. Sam has been in the HVAC industry for over 30 years, starting out in the greater Los Angeles area as an apprentice at Local 250 and relocated to the Denver area in 1994. Sam was an apprentice instructor for 12 years at Local 208 in Denver. In 1997 he founded Colorado Climate Maintenance, Inc (CCM), a commercial HVAC service focused contractor in the Denver and Colorado Spring metro areas. Recently Sam sold CCM and after taking six months off, he joined the ASI Team. Sam enjoys playing ice hockey, as a goalie, a few times a week, skiing in the winter, and driving his sports car, a McLaren 570S, in the summer. He has been married to his lovely wife Pam for 32 years, has two daughters and a son, which all live near him in Lone Tree, CO.

Annie Yu

Accounts Receivable Clerk

Annie started at ASI Controls in January as the Accounts Receivable clerk. She graduated from the University of California, Davis in December where she received a B.S. in Human Development and a minor in Psychology. Previous positions she held were an operations lead/supervisor for the university’s bookstore and a payroll office assistant at the university. In her spare time, she loves trying different foods at new and popular restaurants, being outdoors, and spending quality time with family and friends. She grew up moving around different cities, and now lives in Concord, California.

Brian Nicholas

Marketing Manager

Brian joined ASI Controls in January as Marketing Manager. Previously, he held roles as a journalist, radio producer, and in various marketing positions for several large universities. Most recently, Brian served as a software product manager for a marketing firm which specializes in higher education. He received a B.A. in journalism from High Point University and an M.A. in public relations from Rowan University. A native of Richmond, Virginia, Brian enjoys the outdoors, traveling, and SCUBA diving. Brian fills his spare time writing for a local blog and searching for the perfect cheeseburger. He resides in Richmond with his wife Rebecca and her two cats.

 

ASI Controls also welcomes:

James Poston

Quality Assurance Engineer

 

Tyler Drazich

Senior Engineer

We know that people come and go and that sometimes mission-critical information doesn’t always reach the right person in time. We also understand the frustration of wishing you had information earlier.

ASI is currently improving its process for communicating firmware updates, bug fixes, and essential product information to our customers. To provide the most up-to-the-minute information on our products, we need to know who to contact. Help us get critical technical information to your organization by filling out the form below.

Don’t worry, we won’t spam your contact(s) with marketing or other non-essential information. They will only receive what they absolutely need to know about our products; and of course, they may unsubscribe at any time.


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ASI is now shipping the ASIC/1-6100 with new firmware. This firmware version requires some file updates for ASI Expert. Users need to download the TCL and MDB files to ensure proper operation. Without the TCL file, a lot of firmware revision dependencies will fail and the display will not function properly. Without the asic1.mdb update, the new TCL will fail because some new parameters are referenced.

Log in to your Partner Portal account to download the ZIP files. They are listed under ASI Expert on the Datasheets page.

If you have any questions, please reach out to technical support at support@asicontrols.com or call us at 925-866-8808

Next generation controllers which seamlessly integrate into existing building automation networks

ASI Controls Inc. received BACnet B-BC certification for its line of fully-programmable controllers. As commercial HVAC becomes more complex, cross-brand communication between controllers across a BACnet protocol has become a mandatory requirement for nearly every project. The BACnet Labs B-BC certification allows ASI to provide a powerful, cost-effective line of controllers which meet market demand.

BACnet Testing Laboratories (BTL) B-BC certification is an accolade of distinction for ASI Controls. Obtaining the BTL Mark demonstrates a commitment to developing exceptional products which meet rigorous testing criteria.

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ASI Controls recieved B-BC certification for the ASIC/3-9000 line and the ASIC/3-6115

Flexible integration to meet project demands

The entire ASIC/3 line including the ASIC/3-9540, 9520, 9536 and 6115 models received B-BC certification from BTL allowing complete integration with any other BACnet capable device. With the ASIC/3-9000 line, a user can seamless connect multiple ASI devices or competitor’s devices throughout an entire building.

ASIC/3 fully-programmable controllers offer unrivaled flexibility via USB host and USB device connectors, and easily integrate into BACnet. The ASIC/3 9000 series all feature Ethernet interfaces, optional wireless communications, SD-CARD slot, and offer additional integration into Modbus networks.

“These controllers all utilize the same firmware, so they call can serve a dual purpose as either unitary controllers or supervisory controllers for other devices,” said Richard Holman, engineering supervisor.

“It’s an extremely cost-effective and powerful solution,” he added.

Customization without front-end integration

Traditionally, controllers required the inclusion of a separate front end to handle alarm and event management. ASI Controls’ ASIC/3 line improves alarm and event management by allowing the controller itself to generate alarms and communicate events to either other controllers or a front end such as IntelliFRONT or Tridium Niagara.

ASI also integrated next-generation scheduling, trending, and device network management functionality in the ASIC/3 line. With fully-fledged BACnet scheduling and calendaring, users can meet specific customer demands for weekly scheduling, holidays, and exception periods within the controllers themselves.

“We can get really specific with things like UTC offsets,” Holman said. “Users have the ability to schedule UTC offsets down to 15-minute intervals and they can save and restore configurations for each device very easily.”

 

IntelliFront 4.5 ScreenshotUpgrade to an enhanced user experience with IntelliFront 4.5. The 4.5 release offers intuitive a user experience enriched with new features such as an app launcher menu, simplified alarm badge navigation, add/remove favorite views, and the ability to save an existing graphic as a new entity using the Save As Graphic tool.

For developers, IntelliFront 4.5 now has an extensive API library with documentation on FIN Stack properties and allows users to search through documentation categorized by available pods.

Learn more about the all of the new IntelliFront features and enhancements available with the 4.5 release.

IntelliFront creates a seamless and full-featured system experience across mobile, tablet, and desktop devices. The configure-once and reuse approach makes building custom graphics, navigation, data point information, histories, alarms, and schedules incredibly fast and easy. IntelliFront uses the latest industry and commercial protocols including REST interfaces and Haystack tagging, which means it is ready for the cloud and IoT applications.

And with ASI Controls commitment to backward compatibility, it also works directly with ASI hardware as well as BACnet protocols.

Current IntelliFront users can upgrade for free at http://bit.do/IntelliFront45upgrade.

ASI Supports Automated Demand Response

California’s updated building codes adopted in July, 2014 now require Energy Management and Control Systems (EMCS) installed in new commercial buildings to support automated demand response (ADR) functionality.  California’s 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards, Section 120.2 Required Controls for Space Conditioning Systems, sub-section (h) Automatic Demand Shed Controls states that a control system must be able to relax setpoints in all non-critical zones by 4 or more degrees.

The Demand objeGraph showing site kW loads dropping after ADR event signal is receivedct (DEM) in ASIC/2 and ASIC/3 programmable controllers is easily configured to trigger demand response load reductions by changing zone setpoints. In addition to satisfying CA requirements, this feature helps deliver automated energy cost savings in areas with high demand costs.

An ASI Controls EMCS can also deliver automated demand reductions by duty cycling of package air conditioning units, so that all non-critical units are idled for a short period in a defined rotation. Duty cycling ensures demand response yield during ADR events by limiting the total number of active units even when conditions call for full cooling or heating.

How Do Customers Benefit?

Customers who participate in Automated Demand Response programs typically receive demand and/or energy credits for participating in ADR events. Example ADR programs offered by Southern California Edison in Los Angeles, CA include the Demand Bidding Program and Capacity Bidding Program, where customers are paid credits based on how much energy or capacity they deliver during demand response events. The DBP program pays partial credit for yields of 50% to 90% of the energy (kWh) bid and does not include penalties. The CBP program offers higher potential payouts for yield at or over capacity (kW) bid but also includes financial penalties if a customer comes up short.

ASI Controls Advantages

The complexity The ASI system can forecast loads and predict the baseline to assess profitability of demand response participationof calculating baselines to know if participation will be profitable and the need for manual intervention in the process to trigger load reductions both limited the potential payback of first generation demand response solutions. Today however customers can use the OpenADR protocol to receive a signal via Internet and automatically trigger demand response actions by the energy management system. Incentives and subsidies for OpenADR solutions are available to help pay for a new EMCS or to add functionality to an existing system.

Automation removes the manual step but adds risks, a site may unknowingly initiate demand response with no compensation due to unfavorable baselines or even come up short and face a penalty. An ASI Controls EMCS can be programmed to calculate hourly site-specific baselines and use a local weather forecast to predict hourly site loads to display if the default baseline or an adjusted baseline would be most profitable. This feature helps users to maximize returns and minimize the risk of penalties.

ASI systems can also generate automated notifications for future peak demand events complete with cost estimates and a link to a local weather forecast. In a simple case the notification tells a facility energy manager that a peak will be set in 30 minutes, if it’s early in a bill period with a heat wave coming there’s no point in trying to enforce an artificially low peak for the month so the facility manager can override the limit now and avoid unnecessary discomfort. With convenient access to load and weather forecasts and cost estimates based on actual rates customers can make more informed decisions.

An OpenADR client device, the Universal Devices iSisy994Y994i, was added to the ASI Controls price list to provide an OpenADR 2.0 (b) interface for ASI Controls EMS systems. The device can interface to the EMCS via controller inputs to trigger demand reductions. Requiring an OpenADR interface for a commercial building is a step on the road to an eventual SmartGrid where buildings pay for demand and energy based on real-time market conditions, and can also potentially sell demand response yield back to the grid.

Energy Management Cost Savings – Training

ASI Controls wants to help you deliver automated demand response and energy cost optimization solutions. We can help customers understand rate plans to find the best opportunities for payback, teach controls techs how to use ASI Controls energy cost control features, turn site survey data into strategies and payback estimates, and more. Slides from an ASI Controls Energy Cost Control Sales Training can be downloaded here.

EMS_slides

The current slides incorporate electrical rates for Los Angeles, CA but we can provide slides with utility rates for your service area, wherever you are. We can also create an Excel spreadsheet you can use to estimate cost savings and calculate payback based on the electricity rates in your areas, identify opportunities to move to a more favorable tariff, and analyze the potential for solar, advanced energy storage, or thermal energy storage.

Interactive web training and classroom sessions focusing on automated energy cost control can be arranged by contacting ASI Technical support.

pr logo1ASI to Announce New BTL Listings and 5 Year Product Warranty at AHR Expo

San Ramon, CA, January 22nd, 2015 – ASI Controls announces BTL-ASC listings for the ASIC/1-6100 family of controllers for VAV/VVT applications in BACnet MS/TP networks. ASIC/1-6100 controllers are backed by a 5 year limited product warranty that also covers other ASIC/1 and ASIC/3 controllers.

“We are very excited to show our BTL listed VAV/VVT controllers at AHR Expo!” stated ASI Controls President Paul Chapman, “A BTL certification tells customers the product meets the standards for open interoperability, customers get BACnet MS/TP VAV/VVT products that work well together backed by a 5 year limited warranty and comprehensive ASI support.“

“Customers want durable, open solutions that can easily scale and incorporate future technologies,” explained sales manager Bill Messick. “Only ASI Controls is committed to supporting both BACnet and OPC while delivering forward and backward compatibility between product generations.”

Product datasheets are available on the ASI Controls website for ASIC/1-6100 controller models with integrated damper actuators and for models designed for retrofit applications.

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ASI Controls provides state of the art digital controls to manage, monitor, and control building environments. ASI Controls products operate and monitor facilities around the world, including nationwide property networks, commercial and industrial buildings, shopping malls, hospitals, and educational campuses, and as original equipment in Chillers and other HVAC equipment.

March 9, 2015 – (updated) BTL certification was just awarded to the new ASIC/1-8100 BACnet Rooftop Package Unit (RTU) and Heat Pump controller.

BTL-ASC Rooftop and Heat Pump controller

For more information visit www.asicontrols.com or email info@asicontrols.com.

Contact:   Bill Messick, Sales Manager or Connor Chapman, Marketing Associate
Phone:     (925) 866-8808 x121 -or- (925) 866-8808 x131
Email:      sales@asicontrols.com