10 Reasons to use the S4 Open: BACnet-N2 Router for Enhancing and Extending Metasys Installations

Johnson Controls Authorized Building Control Specialist (ABCS) partners were originally one of the organizations whose needs we targeted when we developed the original S4 Open Appliances. While the Facility Explorer product meets many of the integration requirements for the ABCS, there remain some significant needs that are not being met, especially as projects get larger and more complicated. With the introduction of cloud-based applications like analytics, continuous commissioning, energy monitoring and management, there is a new desire to provide an on-site agent to access the data in Metasys® systems - without disturbing the day to day operation of the Metasys® system.

Our S4 Open: BACnet-N2 Router works with any generation Metasys® supervisory controller and supports all variations of the N2 protocol. We would like to re-introduce the ABCS community to our products and invite you to review the top 10 reasons why BAS integrators are using our products, even with Niagara-based installations like the Facility Explorer.

  1. The N2 Router supports any N2 device that you will find on a N2 bus including N2 Open, VMA, Vendor Devices, Metasys Integrator, and Centaurus Integrator; direct Read, Write, Override, and Release transactions for any point limited only by the programming in the N2 device.
  • The S4 Open Appliances are the only integration product with this degree of flexibility!

  • A complete, and extensible, catalog of S4 developed Device Type Templates is available for all known N2 devices.

  • Device Type Templates can be customized, or developed by, the integrator.

  • A support utility converts Metasys® configuration files to custom Device Type Templates

  1. The Upstream Interface enables the co-existence with the Metasys® head end. This is a key feature in cases where minimal (or zero!) down time is mandated.
  • The S4 Open Appliances are the only integration product that does this!

    • Co-existence can be for a transition period, or a long term strategy
    • The S4 Open Appliances are completely transparent to the Metasys® supervisory controller and operator workstation.
    • N2 Transactions coming from the Supervisory Controller can participate in the BACnet Priority Array Mechanism
    • Auto discovery and configure wizard, facilitated by our extensive library of Device Type Templates which predefine point mapping for each Metasys® device and application (custom templates can also be generated from Metasys® resource files) – all minimize the man hours required to integrate your N2 devices to BACnet.
    • N2 devices go offline in the Metasys® supervisory controller and operator workstation for approximately 1-hour while the S4 Configuration Wizard runs.
    • Then operations resume as normal for the building operator.
    • The S4 Open: BACnet-N2 Router and the BACnet clients are completely transparent to the Metasys® supervisory controller.
    • Use all of the features of HVAC Pro and GX-9100, including uploading and downloading devices. The N2 Router can provide a replacement for the Metasys® “Passthrough” option for the configuration and commissioning utilities.
    • The S4 Open Appliances are the only integration product has this capability!
    • Metasys® Facility Explorer (FX) does not have this capability!
    • An Interim solution is available today.
    • An Integrated solution will be available in the near future.
    • The S4 Passthrough support will be available from any Windows platform running our Management Console.
    • In buildings with older, and potentially less reliable, N2 devices, the BACnet-N2 Router automatically resets N2 devices when multiple retries of an operation fail; it also logs the number of times that this action is taken.
    • N2 network management and performance monitoring functions are built into the system.
    • The N2 Router products expose all N2 device points to the new head end, even those that JCI doesn’t normally expose to their operator workstation, such as tuning parameters.
    • The integrator has complete control of what points are published, and the associated attributes.
    • The N2 Router products work independently of any database, priority, or security settings in the Metasys® supervisory controller.
    • Full read, write, override, and release capabilities are provided for each point- limited only by the programming in the N2 controller itself.
    • Emulation of the N2 Open Override and Release functionality is provided for the DX-9100.
    • The N2 Router products establish a very cost effective gateway to BACnet IP in the short term, quickly adding value and extending the life of legacy systems.
    • Facilitates the migration to a new generation of field devices in the longer term.
    • The S4 Open: BACnet-N2 Router acts as the gatekeeper for access to the N2 bus. As such, it guarantees the Metasys® supervisory controller and the BACnet interface complete control of the bus for their time slot
    • When necessary, the BACnet-N2 Router will act as bus master for the N2 bus.
    • After all Metasys® supervisory controller functions are migrated to other platforms, decommissioning the legacy supervisory controller is as easy as powering it down and unplugging the cables.
    • The N2 Router can force the N2 data stream from legacy Metasys® supervisory controllers (NCM, for instance) to participate in the BACnet priority array mechanism, giving the integrator complete control over which head end is commanding each point.
    • The S4 Open Appliances are the only integration product has this “supervisory controller as a BACnet client” capability!
    • This feature is configurable by the integrator
    • Publish each N2 device as its own BACnet device within a virtual BACnet network.
    • N2 devices look and act exactly like standard BACnet devices after the integration is complete.
    • Enumerations for Boolean and Multistate values are supported and fully configurable
    • Engineering Units are supported
    • Smart Data Points provide virtual points and scripting capabilities to transparently perform data transformations.
    • You have the option of accessing the N2 devices via our Upstream N2 Interface or as BACnet IP devices.

Utilizing Niagara applications and user interface capabilities in conjunction with the S4 Open: BACnet-N2 Router provides a superior integration. We can provide a “Power of Two” PowerPoint presentation that discusses this value proposition. Contact Steve if you would like a copy.

To explore how we can work together and open up additional business opportunities for you, contact Steve to discuss your needs or schedule a live demo of the system for your integration team. If you are really excited and ready to get started now contact Stephanie to schedule an Integration Boot Camp for your team.

There are other ways that we may be able to work together. Frequently, our integration partners are in need of ongoing support for the legacy Metasys® systems they are integrating to. We maintain a list of Metasys® experts who we refer to these integrators and would be happy to add your organization to this list.

We are frequently asked where our integrator partners can purchase M-Tools and Metasys® parts and supplies. We would be happy to add your organization to this referral list.

In closing, S4 believes that the time is right to re-introduce ourselves, and our products, to the ABCS community. There are lots of technical and business reasons for partnership. Let’s help each other be more successful.