The gateways from MBS, which support numerous classic bus protocols, have now also been equipped with a driver for MQTT (Message Queue Telemetry Transport) that offers much more than just pure data communication. This in-house development opens up the possibility of using the devices in cloud communication. «This turns our gateways into real edge devices, because they give building automation access to the network of a service provider and can exchange data packets between the various network structures,» emphasizes Nils-Gunnar Fritz, Managing Director of MBS GmbH.
With the expanded equipment, the company is pushing the path of commercial building automation towards the Internet of Things (IoT). Here, MQTT has established itself as the most important network protocol for machine-to-machine communication (M2M) in order to use the cloud services of the various operators.
From the communication interface to the edge device
The new bus protocol driver from MBS supports all MQTT requirements and has extensive features in addition to the classic functions. So the idea was implemented that you can configure the gateways themselves, but also all other existing drivers via this network protocol. Now it is not only possible to parameterize the drivers via a cloud, but also to make settings and set data points. After installation in the system, the gateway registers itself in the cloud via MQTT. A BACnet scan can then be started automatically or manually in order to address the existing devices and query which data points with which properties are available in the system.
Finally, the scan result is transferred from the gateway to the cloud. Incidentally, communication does not have to be restarted manually during this process. If a reset / restart of the bus protocol driver was previously required after a new parameterization, the gateway now does this automatically. This makes work considerably easier, especially with distributed properties, because the presence of a technician is no longer required on site. There is even no need to log in via SSH (Secure Shell), as the login is automatically processed via the cloud.
Leveraging the advantages of the cloud for building automation
Another feature of the new MQTT bus protocol driver is the ability to freely define the data content. While there used to be very rigid specifications for shipping, the data format can now be freely selected. This has the advantage that the gateways can be used independently of the respective cloud operator because they are compatible with all providers.
This means that there are essential prerequisites for driving digital transformation processes forward in building automation as well. Because with automated processes, property management can be made simpler, safer and more energy-efficient. «Our gateways offer property operators the opportunity to take advantage of the cloud for building automation with predictive maintenance or group-wide energy management,» says Fritz.