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A pair of apartment blocks in downtown Rio de Janiero use bespoke building automation systems based on CC-Link – the fieldbus communications systems originally designed for industrial automation.

Within the Bernini Buildings, ambiance-setting fountains and water gardens, plus a swimming pool and sauna, are all controlled as an integral part of the automation system, as are air conditioning and ventilation, lighting, security and access, and a range of other functions.

Cetem Automacao Industrial installed the industrial automation technology, including CC-Link fieldbus communications, claiming that they would be cheaper, more reliable, more flexible in light of inevitable future changes, and easier to install and commission than a conventional building solution.

Fieldbus is a wiring scheme that connects every water pump, ventilation fan, A/C unit, light and door closure in a ‘ring main’ or ‘data highway’ circuit; a small computer then controls which signals are coming from or going to which device.

The architecture of the control systems is the same for each of the Bernina towers – both consist of a Mitsubishi FX controller, along with a CC-Link Network Master.

Each CC-Link network consists of four stations, all connected and controlled from the single FX controller control station located on the first floor.

Two of these stations control general-purpose public lighting, while another station controls the water pumps and the fourth station controls fans for air circulation.

The use of these automatic controls provides correct operation of building systems with less personnel, resulting in reduced costs.

The CC-Link networking reduces electrical wiring installation costs and provides increased system and building diagnostics that provide important data for the maintenance staff to improve the overall maintenance and safety of the entire facility.

Operator-interface panels from Mitsubishi display real-time information on the various systems being controlled.

CC-Link is used to split the control systems into distinct sections – each one dedicated to a particular function.

The water-control section includes the swimming pool, fountains, water landscaping, whirlpool, and reflecting pools, managing water levels, flow rates and filtration standards.

There is also an energy-saving and water-conserving function that monitors pumps and motors to make sure that they are running optimally.

The water section also controls the sauna, ensuring ideal settings for comfortable use without excessive energy consumption.

The air quality and climate control is accomplished through circulating fresh air and maintaining air flow in the public common areas, including hallways, ground-floor meeting rooms and offices.

The control panel for the air handling fan is on the seventh floor and is connected via the CC-Link network to the FX Master on the first floor.

An I/O Block with CC-Link compatibility operates the fan and receives control signals from the first-floor FX Master.

The use of the CC-Link network, requiring only a single communication cable to connect the fan to the control on different floors of the facility, saved many man hours during the installation of the building automation system and simplified commissioning.

The lighting-control system manages lighting in public common areas: hallways, ground floor meeting rooms and offices, parking garage, pool lighting, lighting in and around the reflecting pools and fountains, as well as outdoor pathway lighting.

The lighting control system, connected via CC-Link networking, provides an extra level of safety by automatically providing sufficient light for security monitoring without personnel having to turn lights on or off.

This method of lighting control also provides for increased energy savings by only providing lighting when necessary.

When natural lighting is sufficiently bright, artificial lighting is turned off.

The installation of panic buttons throughout the public areas provides an extra level of security to the building occupants.

The use of CC-Link networking to connect these panic buttons allows security personnel to pinpoint the location of the activated panic button and provide fast response.

This type of panic button security also allows for automatic recording of incidents for detailed review of the security occurrence.

CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA)

The CLPA is the organisation of manufacturers of CC-Link compatible products and users of CC-Link technology. The CLPA oversees and manages the CC-Link specifications, provides technical support and conformance testing and promotes the worldwide adoption of the CC-Link open automation network technologies. The CLPA was formed in November 2000. Global adoption of CC-Link is demonstrated by the following:

  • Over 12 million CC-Link devices have been installed
  • There are more than 2,100 members of the CC-Link Partner Association
  • There are more than 1,300 certified CC-Link products available from over 280 manufacturers

CC-Link is acknowledged by third party research to be the leading choice for open automation networks in Asia. By adding CC-Link to their portfolio, companies will be able to access up to 20% of the Asian market not accessible to Western technologies. To assist companies with this, the CLPA offers the “Gateway to Asia” (G2A) programme, G2A provides development and marketing assistance to companies who join the CLPA and develop CC-Link products.

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