The centre owners recognised the requirement to upgrade their existing software platform due to the age of their existing system, its obsolescence and the increased cyber security risk with operating a legacy platform. However, the hardware & software that was installed provides an integrated cause and effect control regime across multiple systems such as HVAC Plant, Fire alarm systems, access control systems and security systems.
ATS were tasked with integrating legacy and current systems, performing complex integrated cause & effect and providing a seamless means of visibility to the users and reduce future baseline technology costs.
Technical and/or Scientific Challenges
There was no baseline for this type of interfacing as the third party systems technology that was installed at the centre is now approximately 20 years old. Furthermore, the operating systems that the technology uses is obsolete. To make the different systems talk to each other, bespoke “one off” software drivers had to be be developed.
Resolution of Challenges
In order for the system to work efficiently it was necessary to communicate information in real time from the existing systems to the new system and vice versa. However, as the existing systems are obsolete it was not possible to have a baseline of information before installation or commissioning.
Due to the way in which the existing controllers were installed around the centre, the ability to get “hands on” access to the controllers was very difficult. This was not expected during the design phase and as such posed a significant problem to the delivery team. In order to minimise the access requirements the software designers utilised a mobile application, which although initially designed for end users to change comfort parameters was re-designed and calibrated to use as a commissioning tool and access the controller via wireless connectivity thereby negating the need to physically connect to the controller.