Paape Company uses S-E StruxureWare and S4 Open: BACnet-N2 Router for Integration Project

About The Customer

River Town Multi-media boasts 17 content filled paid subscription weekly newspapers and 11 free content driven websites. The company is located in Red Wing, Minnesota. You may recognize the Red Wing name from the iconic boot brand. The city of Red Wing is home of the world’s largest work boot (size 638-D) in the Red Wing shoe museum. The Mississippi River town is about 60 miles from the Paape Companies’ location in Rochester, MN.

Paape Companies and River Town Multi-media have a long-standing business relationship. The customer developed confidence in Paape due to strong support and a service team that has been very successful in repairing aging JCI N2 field controllers when competing service organizations were not able to deliver this service. Eventually, the JCI Companion supervisory controller supporting the BAS failed, and the customer lost visibility and control of the legacy building automation system. The Paape integration team was called in to support the service team that had been supporting and repairing the JCI field equipment to find a replacement for the Companion Panel.

Project Requirements

The immediate goal was to regain visibility and control of the building. The customer also requested a long-term path to upgrade the legacy BAS to our Schneider StruxureWare platform of controllers with minimum impact to their ongoing publishing operations.

The existing JCI N2 system consisted of 1-AHU controller, 1-LCP controller for the boilers, 16-VAV’s, and 1-infloor heating controller.


Paape’s goal was to move the customer to the main Schneider platform so the only two viable options that were considered were the Facilities Explorer and the S4 Open: BACnet-N2 router. We chose the S4 product because the Facilities Explorer path did not facilitate the desired migration to StruxureWare.

The major technical components used in the project were the Schneider AS-P controller, StruxureWare graphics and user interface, and the S4 Open: BACnet-N2 Router.

The failed Companion supervisory controller was removed and the S4 product was installed as the bus master for the Metasys® N2 field devices that remained on the bus. The S4 Open Management Console was installed on the integrator’s laptop system. Next, the S4 router was assigned to the BACnet backbone network and given a unique BACnet device instance number. The final preparation steps were to assign a unique virtual BACnet network number to the S4 Box and confirm that S4 device templates were available in the catalog for all required devices.

They then ran the Configure Wizard in the S4 Open Management Console. It found all the legacy N2 devices on the bus, determined the correct hardware type and application loaded for application specific controllers. The wizard automatically selected and assigned the correct S4 t
emplate to each device and initiated publishing all available points to BACnet.

An initial concern was one of the older N2 field devices on the bus, an LCP (DC-9100). The LCP is a predecessor to the DX-9100 and was used for boiler control. The S4 provided support CD contained a template for this device that was imported into the onboard template catalog. This device was recognized by the configure wizard and the proper template assigned.

The installation of the S4 Open Product went well, due in part, to the Paape team attending an S4 Boot Camp at the S4 offices in Ogden, Utah. John Beardon added “Having had the hands on experience with the product made it easier to install, configure and trouble shoot it on the site.”

Customer Satisfaction


The graphics were immediately noticed by the customer as a huge improvement to what they had on the JCI companion system. One of the main success factors was the expertise that Paape had in the JCI Metasys® N2 controllers. This enabled them to very quickly develop graphics that accurately reflected the control systems and provided the operator access to adjust the system for optimal performance, very quickly adding value with our solution.

The customer is very happy and since the original installation of the S4, there is a plan in place to replace the old JCI controllers as they fail. So far, the AHU has been converted to a B3814 Schneider controller. As a part of this process, we have both this short-term risk management plan that outlines how we handle failed N2 devices and a long-term migration

plan for the entire entire installation. Dave Pevonka, RiverTown Media Production Director, added that “We now have the ability to monitor all areas of the building for temperature controls. The system also emails us when we have any changes from the system.
The building is under control better than when we started because we have the boilers and the AHU on new Schneider controllers. We have gone through the entire building and repaired failed hardware that we did not realize was defective.”

A satisfied customer, an upgrade path from old JCI hardware to Schneider products, and return service work. That’s a successful outcome!

About The S4 Group

The S4 Group delivers seamless open systems integration solutions for non-IT and building automation systems (BAS)

Any OPC or BACnet-based automation system (Factory Floor, Process Control, Industrial Automation, etc.) can be integrated into your enterprise management capability, enhancing the value of automation and improving the operational efficiency and profitability of your organization.With the rapid adoption of Industrial Ethernet and IT infrastructure to support automation systems, it’s critical to manage these systems as effectively and efficiently as possible. The S4 Group can bring any SNMP-manageable device into your automation arena, where it and its associated data are seamlessly integrated.

Our unique automation solutions enable new system architectures, compartmentalization of component upgrades, clean integration with existing BAS, as well as seamless integration with IT & enterprise management systems.

For additional information contact Steve Jones, Managing Partner or call 801-621-1970