Managing multiple sites with a single BAS

As technological advances add features and enhance performance of plant BASs, systems are being harnessed for wider application.


As technological advances add features and enhance performance of plant BASs, systems are being harnessed for wider application. Important building management objectives range from improved HVAC equipment schedules and increased workforce productivity through enhanced environmental conditions, equipment diagnostics, and improved energy cost control and monitoring capabilities.

At Graco, Inc., a Minnesota-based fluid handling systems and components firm, an added goal was linking multiple remote sites to a single BAS. In 1995, management committed to air conditioning the company's Minneapolis plant. Corporate Facilities Manager Mike Hatling responded with a plan to replace the facility's aging rooftop units and install a BAS to manage them. His vision was to install a system that would extend to other company facilities and allow his staff to manage all aspects of their mechanical systems effectively, efficiently, and centrally.

The result was the installation of more than 50 rooftop units with built-in controls at two facilities linked to a BAS from the same vendor. The second plant was a new 333,000 sq-ft structure located in nearby Rogers, MN. Tying both plants to a single BAS gave the company unified comfort control along with the benefits of a single supplier, and took the company closer to being able to remotely dial in and check conditions at multiple sites.

The system was soon extended to other facilities and applications. At the Rogers plant, the BAS now monitors air compressors as well as the HVAC system. Then, chillers at a third facility were linked to the central BAS. Most recently, rooftop units at the firm's Sioux Falls, SD, plant were connected to the BAS by phone line. The Minneapolis corporate maintenance staff monitors the equipment. Notes Hatling, "If a problem arises, a phone call is often all it takes to solve it."

In addition to centralized control, the BAS is also helping manage energy costs. Among the applications is a regular check of outside air damper positions. The system provides real-time instant access to data on the central display. The company plans to improve maintenance and control strategies further by converting pneumatic controls to DDC.

Information for this section was provided by Graco, Inc., Minneapolis, MN, and The Trane Company, La Crosse, WI. The BAS is a Tracer Summit from The Trane Company's Building Automation Systems Div., St. Paul, MN.

No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Learn how to create value with re-use; gain productivity with lean automation and connectivity, and optimize panel design and construction.
Machine design tips: Pneumatic or electric; Software upgrades; Ethernet advantages; Additive manufacturing; Engineering Leaders; Product exclusives: PLC, HMI, IO
Industrial wireless cyber security: More complex than black and white; IIoT at the I/O level; Process modeling; Cyber security research
Robotic advances: Software, form factors; System-based ROI; Embedded control; MES and information integration; SCADA and cyber security; Position sensor; Controller, I/O module
Learn how Industry 4.0 adds supply chain efficiency, optimizes pricing, improves quality, and more.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Cyber security attack: The threat is real; Hacking O&G control systems: Understanding the cyber risk; The active cyber defense cycle