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  1. #1
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    Confused Is Siemens an open system?

    We are considering Siemens automation in our building and I was wondering if anyone had any information as to whether Siemens is an open system?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    NO it is not

    Here is something from a previous post that really helps to define all these terms...

    Open is not the opposite of Proprietary.
    Open is the opposite of Closed.

    "Public Domain" is the opposite of Proprietary.

    It is tempting to associate Open with Public because Closed is normally always associated with Proprietary. That is the most common misconception of the industry.

    And finally, the third axis that everyone always forgets:
    Supported or Unsupported.

    An Open System consists of multiple layers. We can talk about open-closed, public-proprietary, supported-unsupported about any of these layers. At the lowest level, we could discuss about the basic physical connectivity of devices (RS-485 is open, public and supported). All the way up to the configuration/programming tools and the front ends. (LNS is open, proprietary, and supported).

    Open is a concept that works for todays buildings. It provides more flexibility to the end-user (customer) even when parts of the overall system are proprietary.

    We can "bla bla" like this for hours, and indeed we have seen this more than once in this forum. In the end, what really counts is a happy customer. Because a happy customer comes back for more or recommends you to other potential customers. This can be achieved in a myriads of ways with a lot of work, and destroyed very rapidly. Price, Service, Workmanship, process working as specified or better, user-friendliness, etc, is what makes a customer happy or unhappy.

    Open or Closed is not as important as the previous sentence.

    Key terms in a nutshell:

    Open: the ability to mix and match components of a particular layer between different manufacturers.

    Closed: only use components of a specific manufacturer

    Proprietary: a way to protect your intellectual property by not divulgating key aspects of your products or processes.

    Public domain: revealing key aspects of a product or process so that anybody else can do the same.

    Supported: a product or process for which you can obtain good support.

    Unsupported: a product or process for which you can't obtain good support.

    Here a couple more attributes of Open Systems.
    - They promote competition by giving a customer choice of manufacturer and product (within limits)
    - They facilitate best of breed solutions by making the system more extensible and flexible
    - They provide a way for the system to evolve and change along with the customer's requirements and level of sophistication without complete reliance on a locked-in vendor to provide all solutions
    - They help to drive down the total cost of ownership for the customer in large part because of the options and choice that they provide over the life of the system.
    - They help to promote innovation within the industry because without having a strangle hold forever on the customer vendors now more then ever need a way to differentiate themselves. They can do this by providing better algorithms within their system, more intuitive and feature rich user interfaces, and better service and support to the customer.

  3. #3
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    So what vendors are open?

  4. #4
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    You will better served pursing a protocol, then a manufacturer.

    The LON protocol is what your after

    I prefer the Honeywell and Distech devices personally, I put them in and they just work

  5. #5
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    I would also take a look at Tridium.com for your front end

  6. #6
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    Thanks man.

    Do you think our industry understands what you just shared with me?

    If not, why do think they don't?

  7. #7
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    The better "Open" minded ones do

    They are out there, more and more each day, customers are tiered of being locked into a vendor's product, with no chance of even entertaining another service provider.

    Times have changed and IMHO for the better in the past few years, although there is still a few that think if there product was in your building, they own you. They will all but give it away sometimes on the installation and then screw you on the service, when they decide to show up.

    You are off to a good start here by asking questions like these

  8. #8
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    Mar 2006
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    Chicagoland
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    Open: the ability to mix and match components of a particular layer between different manufacturers.

    If a system supports the ability to utilize different manufactures' equipment at the different levels of it's hiearchy then, by your definition, it is an 'open' system.

    Whether BACnet, LON (or even BACnet over LON) is then a matter of personal preference.

    So if the SIEMENS system supports BACnet equipment from different manufacturers, why is it not considered an 'open' system?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    345
    Quote Originally Posted by SFeilden View Post
    Do you think our industry understands what you just shared with me?

    If not, why do think they don't?
    SF - welcome to the forum

    To answer your first question, no, Siemens or not open. It's that simple. they can "attach" themselves to open (LonWorks or BACnet) if they choose, but they also have massive restrictions on what you can and cannot do through their "Open Portal".

    Functionality this way is heavily restricted and always expensive. The portions of Siemens product that has been developed that allows them to say "We're LonWorks" or "We're BACnet" or "We're Open" is just enough to assure that the salesman isn't lying to you before he draws you back to his dark side. Regardless how they come into your building, with Siemens, you'll end up proprietary and locked in.

    To answer your second question, any controls guy who's tired of being led and who has done research will understand that post completely. If they don't, it's because they're still content being led down the corporate path by companies such as Siemens or Big Blue. For some guys, this is fine. For the guys that lead the industry (and challenge it to be better), it's not.

    The fact you're here, the fact you're asking and the fact that you're not sure if you understand Chris' post or not speaks well to the information journey you're on. If you don't understand that post now, use it as a milepost to see how you're doing. No worries - the light will come on

    Nikko

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by lost0ne View Post
    Open: the ability to mix and match components of a particular layer between different manufacturers.

    If a system supports the ability to utilize different manufactures' equipment at the different levels of it's hiearchy then, by your definition, it is an 'open' system.

    Whether BACnet, LON (or even BACnet over LON) is then a matter of personal preference.

    So if the SIEMENS system supports BACnet equipment from different manufacturers, why is it not considered an 'open' system?
    Yep, thats the sales pitch line! Then reality sets in, and you take it in the ass for years!

  11. #11
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    Aug 2008
    Location
    Michigan
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    Chris,
    Excellent explanation.

    Everyone,
    You can see why a smooth talking saleman can twist this all around so the customer thinks your product is the most proprietary system ever marketed when his is.

    What should mean the most is who has the best qualified people installing and servicing the product that you are going to live with for the forseable future. The qizmos all do what they are designed to do if properly applied and programmed. I can make a controller sing or really lay an egg, which has nothing to do with open or closed, proprietary or not. I agree tha Lon and Bacnet has improved our industry though.
    Gomer

  12. #12
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    I Believe, Osiyo?? was the original poster to the original thread that I cannot seem to locate, in regards to the definitions. I liked that explanation so much I copied it and saved it to me hard drive

    So as I originally stated,,,,

    "Here is something from a previous post that really helps to define all these terms..."

    I wish I could, but I cannot take the credit for that one.

    Chris

  13. #13
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    New Orleans, LA
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    OK. Lot of information. Agreed, asking questions and participating in discussions is definately the right course of direction.

    Yet, if you were building a new building on a new "green-field" campus as my manager is calling it, what top 3 systems or vendors would you choose?

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