- InTouch, Q3, 2013
- InTouch, Q2, 2013
- InTouch, Q3, 2012
- InTouch, Q2, 2012
- InTouch, Q3, 2011
- InTouch, Q2, 2011
- InTouch, Q1, 2011
- InTouch, Q4, 2010
- InTouch, Q3, 2010
- InTouch, Q2, 2010
- InTouch, Q1, 2010
Our corporate theme, In touch®, serves as the foundation of all our activities, including customer communications. Here, you can access the latest edition of, KMC In Touch, our premier customer newsletter and subscribe to future editions.
| Another Award-Winning Product|
It's happened again. Another KMC product has garnered industry recognition for excellence.
Consulting-Specifying Engineer (CSE) magazine, published by CFE Media, announced in September winners of its annual Product of the Year award program. Among the winners, FlexStat, our integrated BACnet controller and sensor, was awarded a Gold medal (top honors) in the Networked BAS & Energy Management category.
Finalists in each category were selected by the editorial staff of the magazine based on manufacturer's product releases over the previous calendar year. These finalists were published in the June/July issue of CSE and on a voting page of the CSE web site. Through print and online communications, the editorial staff encouraged readers to go online and vote for their favorites. The most popular products, as determined by reader votes, received various levels of recognition.
All winners of the CSE Product of the Year competitions were published in the September issue of the magazine and are viewable online at http://www.csemag.com/industry-news/industry-news/single-article/2010-productof-the-year-winners/6aff947ded.html
| BACnet Awards! |
, the definitive advocacy group for BACnet communications, held its annual awards ceremony in conjunction with the Facility Decisions show (Oct 4-6, Las Vegas). BACnet International designates these as "Leaders of the Pack" awards.
This year, KMC Controls received more nominations than any other member company. In addition, we brought home more awards than any other company.
KMC was honored with:
- The Saint Bernard award for "always coming to the rescue." In awarding it, BACnet International President, Andy McMillan, acknowledged our "unfailing commitment to the BACnet protocol and the mission of BACnet International through commitments to the ASHRAE technical committee and the BACnet International Marketing Committee."
- The Best in Show award for the best interoperable project featured on the BACnet International web site. This award recognized the Kuwait Oil Company project, installed by KMC representatives at Kuwait Computer Services. This project is highlighted below.
|Featured Project: Kuwait Oil Company|
Al Ahmadi, KuwaitEditor's Note: This project, published on both the KMC and BACnet International web sites, was recently recognized by BACnet International as "Best in Show," the outstanding interoperability project for 2010.
Kuwait Oil Company (KOC), a subsidiary of state-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, is universally recognized as one of the world's top oil energy producing enterprises. Pumping around 2.3 million barrels of oil per day, and controlling nearly a tenth of global oil reserves, the company is the fourth largest producer in the OPEC oil cartel. KOC's operations under KPC's umbrella include the exploration, drilling, and production of oil and gas within the State of Kuwait. Additionally, the company is also involved in the storage of crude oil and delivery to tankers for export.
A view of the entrance to Ahmadi City, a new
self-contained settlement in Al Ahmadi, Kuwait.
To help oversee and manage the company's increasing oil interests KOC initiated the construction of its new headquarters at the start of 2007 in the industrial area of Ahmadi City. Ahmadi City is a private preserve in Al Ahmadi Kuwait built by KOC for its employees-complete with elegant residential buildings, parks, mosques, schools, sports centers, theaters, and many other facilities vital to any reasonable residential settlement.
Landscaping work continued during the final stages of building management system work.
Designed by Gulf Consulting Group and constructed by Alimeah Building Company of Kuwait, the new KOC headquarters consist of six main office buildings and four support buildings that span across twelve acres of land. With over 600,000 square feet of conditioned space, over 15,000 physically connected points, and a total cost of over $182.5 million, the project represents one of the largest KMC Controls installations worldwide.
To satisfy the strict criteria for the new office complex, Kuwait Computer Services, a local KMC Controls authorized representative, installed KMC's latest building automation system solutions. The KMC system totally integrates the IT and BAS infrastructure which includes the facility management control system and multiple subsystems such as building management, fire alarm, and access control with closed circuit television (CCTV).
KMC's Jim Herdeman (upper left) advises the KOC project team as they review the operation of the KMC BACnet installation.
Using various KMC BACnet Advanced Application Controllers, electronic actuators, sensors, and control valves, facility engineers are able to manage approximately 1900 VAV terminals, 150 Fan Coil Units, 95 VAV Air Handling Units, 20 CAV Air Handling Units, primary/secondary pumping systems, and a Carrier chiller plant with five chillers and towers. As temperatures in the city can reach 115 degrees Fahrenheit for much of the year, comfortable workspace environments and mechanical control throughout the campus is critical. Further integration of over 600 lighting points, domestic water systems, the sewage management system, irrigation systems, and the fountain water system allow for better water resource management and reduced electricity demand. The Ghent/Honeywell fire alarm and Lenel security systems are also integrated into the FMCS to satisfy the life safety, security, and property protection requirements of KOC officials.
Technicians from Kuwait Computer Services, an authorized KMC representative organization, in the BMS control room.
System management is achieved through a 100 Mbps Ethernet backbone integrated with the owner's intelligent building network. This is the foundation that handles the high-speed network and its connected devices. KMC's state-of-the-art TotalControl web-based workstation is networked to 19 operator workstations and provides for the seamless integration of all systems information and "one click" operation for the entire graphics interface. It is possible from a FMCS workstation to control one of 176 CCTV cameras, over 100 controlled doors, or any mechanical and electrical load such as an AHU or VAV zone.
The home page of the TotalControl operator workstation
enables drill-down capability to various campus buildings
and to mechanical, lighting, access, and
power monitoring systems thereof.
As of July 2010, over 200 unique users were assigned to the system with various levels of operator access, privileges, and user capabilities. Over 2,500 employees are registered on the system allowing individual control of user workspace areas including temperature control and lighting as well as building access. Automatic scheduling with local overrides ensures that the system minimizes energy consumption but provides individual users with the freedom to control individual workspace conditions.
The integrated systems package is an ideal solution for today's sophisticated facilities and serves as another powerful statement of how the company is committed to preserving the quality of their employee's health, safety, and surrounding environments. Kuwait Oil Company, in partnership with Kuwait Computer Services and KMC Controls, has set a new standard for the integration of various systems and independent protocols into a manageable and operational network.
Our congratulations to the people of Kuwait Computer Services and the entire KOC team for an outstanding achievement in building technology.
|A Warm Welcome to Hospitality Options|
Hotels, motels, and resorts have different needs for heating and cooling guest rooms compared to offices in commercial buildings. Occupancy in hotel rooms is much more sporadic than traditional 8-to-5 office space. Programmed schedules that work well for office space building automation systems are useless in hotel guest rooms. Easy and intuitive user control over the HVAC system, usually a fan coil unit (FCU), is essential for guest comfort.
Is this "special need" a niche market or a significant market? According to Plunkett Research, Ltd., at the end of 2009 there were 50,800 "lodging properties" (with 15 or more rooms) in the United States with a total of 4.76 million hotel/motel rooms. That is a lot of thermostats.
To address these market needs, KMC offers two solutions.
The KMD-1162 Hospitality NetSensor has an easy to read LCD display, up and down setpoint buttons, and three-position slide switches for Heat-Off-Cool and High-Medium-Low. This NetSensor works with an external KMD-5800/7000 series or BAC-5800/7000 series controller.
The other option is the versatile, all-in-one FlexStat. With the latest firmware update R22.214.171.124, all FlexStat models will have multiple user interface modes. Besides the standard mode, any FlexStat can be configured for Hospitality mode. In Hospitality mode, users can change only the setpoint (with Up and Down buttons), the system mode (Auto, Heat, Cool, or Off accessed with the left button), and fan speed (accessed with the right button). The FlexStat's normal menus are not visible. (Hospitality mode supports FCUs and HPUs, but custom programming using TotalControl or BACstage is currently required for AHUs and RTUs.)
To provide even more security for the FlexStat's setpoint and configuration, a "locked user interface" mode is also available. After being locked, pressing buttons on the FlexStat will have no effect except to turn on the backlight.
|Our Featured Partner--
Linc Mechanical, Atlanta
A Well-Oiled Machine
Kent Sauls likes well-oiled
machines. Even before high school and college he was learning this lesson by working in a compressor rebuilding shop. By 1978 he had entered the service business as a service technician and, later, as a controls technician. But this Mississippi native's journey into mechanical systems took another turn in 1988 when he was recruited by a friend to work in operations for Linc Mechanical, Atlanta branch. Here he found a home and, today, Kent Sauls serves as Operations Manager for this important Linc branch.
Linc Mechanical, LLC Atlanta serves a variety of customers but has found particular success among education and municipal facilities. "We offer mechanical service agreements, maintenance, bundled energy retrofits and more," Kent says, "all with a guaranteed payback."
"We don't normally do work in the bid and spec market. The RFQ process enables us to show a better value," he adds parenthetically.
In explaining his role as operations manager, Kent is matter-of-fact: "Once 'they' sell, we own it." But the 'they' in this case includes Kent himself, for he frequently travels with the sales team as a technical consultant, especially in support of larger sales.
Through both this up-front work and his operational duties, Kent has an extensive amount of customer interaction. "Much of the time," he says, "I am coordinating the efforts of my Project Manager, Service Manager, and their respective teams of technicians. But I always make sure to get lots of feedback from our customers. That's just one way of making sure we deliver on what we promise."
"In addition," Kent continues, "we use a formal process known as CARE (Customer Assurance, Review, and Evaluation) to ensure customer satisfaction. It dictates customer visits or phone calls where we solicit and get a lot of feedback."
Linc technicians, Jonathan Blalock (left) and Jeff Pursell (right) put the final touches on a KMC BACnet panel during a recent energy retrofit.
Why is such feedback crucial? The answer lies in two words: guaranteed payback. "The goal," explains Kent, "is savings that offset project costs. And we put our company reputation on the line for each and every project. To ensure that guaranteed payback, we have to do a fair amount of work up front in assessing their equipment and so forth. We have dedicated Energy Engineers who apply what we call ECM or energy conservation measures. All this enables us to put together the energy calculations and savings along with the scope of work."
"And, if we miss something," Kent declares, "we pay for it. That is, we will write that customer a check at the end of the year if we didn't meet our stated goals. Now, obviously, we are auditing savings throughout the year so we don't get caught off-guard. Our corporate mandate," Kent continues, "is 100% 'referenceable' projects. So, there are no surprises for the customer; no adds. Though, if they ask us to do something beyond the initial scope of work, we will."
Controls can play a significant role in the work done by this Linc branch. In explaining this role, Kent uses yet another Linc acronym: BES for Bundled Energy Solutions. BES refers to a comprehensive package of energy conservation services, provided by Linc, which maximizes facilities' energy efficiency while lowering their cost of operations.
"Ninety percent of what we do in terms of controls relates to BES, whether that is lighting controls or controls for HVAC equipment," he says.
Equipment upgrades are also common. Such services can be costly so Linc helps customers secure 3rd-party financing where needed. Long-term (10-year) leases are common and this term enables Linc to audit the energy savings over an extended period.
In reflecting on the Linc business model, Kent is quick to point out a couple of the factors he finds most responsible for its success.
"Two things come to mind," he says. "First, honesty and integrity. If you say you're going to do something, do it. We're after the long-term relationship," he adds. "And we're serious about seeking 100% 'referenceable' projects. That is, each project should result in a satisfied customer willing to serve as a reference. un-reconciled mistakes or short-comings on our part can cost relationships, leading to lost business for many years."
One of the most recognizable icons of their business is the Linc Service branded van--a welcome site to Linc's loyal customers.
"Second," Kent continues, "is hiring good people. Like our customer relationships, we want long-term employees." The management staff at Linc Mechanical Atlanta certainly reflects this desire. Both Kent and the Business Systems Manager have been on staff for 22 years. Likewise, the General Manager has been there for 17 years.
"By the same token," Kent says, "we look for long-term technicians who are committed to the service business and the service mentality. On the controls side, we groom technicians not only in programming techniques but in understanding why a particular approach is best. After all, these technicians are on the front line with our customers and play a critical role in helping the customer understand what we are doing and why."
Like any business, Linc is being affected by marketplace trends. One trend, Kent notes, is the fact that customers are shopping more today (i.e., getting multiple quotes for work). "Customers are extremely cost-conscious these days," Kent says. "We need to always provide the best value."
In addition, it appears that customers are also looking for shorter and shorter payback. Whereas the old paradigm might have been for a two-year payback, Kent sees that some customers in the industrial sector are now demanding a return on their investment in 12 months.
For larger customers with multiple locations or multiple buildings on a campus, integration and a common platform enable the owners to gain efficiencies like cross-trained employees. Lighting controls and a common platform for the HVAC equipment are proven ways for Linc to provide project savings and faster payback.
"We try to integrate where we can," Kent says. "BACnet has made this a lot easier than it used to be. So, now, if we have to do a chiller change out, for example, we'll order it with manufacturer's BACnet interface and tie into the KMC BACnet system. That approach has worked well for us."
A brief exposure to the Linc business model and the operation of Linc Mechanical in Atlanta makes it clear that it's a well-oiled machine for proven success. Interestingly, Kent points out that he's been approached by several former employees who left Linc for what they thought would be greener horizons. "They come back," he says, "seeking their old job and confessing that they didn't realize just how different Linc is compared to other contracting or mechanical services firms."
| KMC Spotlighted in Industry Press |
Coinciding with the year's Fall Conference of HARDI (Heating, Airconditioning, & Refrigeration Distributors International), KMC was honored as the spotlighted manufacturer in the October issue of the official HARDI magazine, HVACR Distribution Business. It's a great, 5-page article.
A digital version of the story is available online at http://hvacrdistributionbusiness.com/spotlight/kmc-controls-1010/.
|KMC People on the Move |
From the industry and markets we serve to the communities we live in, KMC employees are on the move:
At the recent Facility Decisions event in Las Vegas, BACnet International sponsored an educational track. Here, KMC's VP of Marketing, Ben Dorsey, delivered three sessions. That's more than any other conference speaker. His sessions included:
- BACnet & LEED Credits
- BACnet Success Stories
- When Interoperability Isn't
If you'd like further information on any of these presentations, contact Ben via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Latest Greenies
Sustainability. Environmental Stewardship. Energy Efficiency. No matter how you approach your professional responsibilities, green is not going away. As such, it seems appropriate to pursue professional credentials related to green. That has become a strategic direction for KMC Controls.
Our latest inductee is Mark Stucky, a technical writer who earned his LEED Green Associate credential in October. Mark joins a growing number of KMC professionals with LEED accreditation.
For those of you interested in pursuing your own green credentials, consider viewing a 30-minute webinar on the KMC site which provides an overview of the process involved. Find it at http://www.kmccontrols.com/products/LEEDcredentials.aspx.
On a related note, Ann Linley, an Instructional Designer in our training department, has been selected as an official reviewer of USGBC educational material. She is one of only 150 such individuals nationwide.
And Pink Too
Beyond professional industry involvement, our employees often participate in good causes. Such was the case for the recent Chicago Marathon held on 10-10-10.
To support the efforts of the Breast Cancer Network of Strength (www.networkofstrength.org), two "manly men" KMC employees participated in this event, each completing the 26.2 mile course. KMC Controls matched their individual fund raising efforts to the benefit of the organization.
KMC marathoners included software engineer, Kamal Shanmugalingam (below left), and tool maker, Allen Robinson (below, right).
|IACET Approves KMC Controls as an Approved Provider |
The International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) has recently approved KMC Controls as an IACET Authorized Provider. The IACET is a prestigious and world-renowned organization that sets the benchmark for continuing education excellence. IACET Authorized Providers have been found to comply with the internationally recognized ANSI/IACET 1-2007 Standard for Continuing Education and Training and are the only organizations that may award IACET Continuing Education Units (CEUs).
"We are pleased to welcome KMC Controls as our newest Authorized Provider organization," stated Karen Brown, President of IACET and Senior HR Manager of Nuclear Power at Shaw Group in Massachusetts. Brown added, "KMC joins nearly 650 organizations around the globe whose education programs have been vetted by third-party experts in continuing education ensuring that the highest possible standards are met."
In order to achieve Authorized Provider status, KMC completed a rigorous application process, including a on-site review by IACET Commissioners, and successfully demonstrated adherence to the ANSI/IACET 1-2007 Standard addressing the design, development, administration, and evaluation of its programs. The recognition period extends for five years, and includes all programs offered by KMC Controls during that time.
"KMC is proud of the training program we provide to our valued distribution partners. We recognize that effective, technical, product training is critical to our partner's success and profitability," stated Jon Hilberg, President and CEO of KMC. Hilberg added, "Our new partnership with IACET is a demonstration of our commitment to excellence in technical training and continuing education for our partners. We are excited to join such a prestigious organization, and an elite group of organizations who offer exceptional educational programs."
| Climate Change |
© 2010 Ben H. Dorsey III
|Stay in touch!|
Ben H. Dorsey III
VP, Marketing & Communications
LEED Green Associate
KMC Controls, Inc.