Case Study

Electronics Manufacturer - Hudson, NH

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This two story building located in Hudson, NH is an electronics engineering and manufacturing facility.


R. L. Shields Associates, Inc. provided equipment, application engineering and programming services for the upgrade of the original control system to Direct Digital Controls (DDC). 

The facilities major mechanical systems include:

184 - Water Source Heat Pumps (approx.)
2 - Hot Water Boilers
1 - Cooling Tower

This project began in the late 1980's.  American Auto-Matrix was the chosen controls manufacturer.  The heat pumps were to be controlled using American Auto-Matrix's newest product, SOLO/HX's.  The SOLO/HX's were originally connected to an American Auto-Matrix STAR panel.  The STAR allowed the SOLO/HX's to be globally controlled with regards to setpoints, schedules and to monitor for equipment failure.  The STAR was connected to an American Auto-Matrix SAC3, which acted as the host panel.  The SAC3 allowed multiple users to have access to the STAR and SOLO's.  Color graphics capability was provided by American Auto-Matrix's MouseView software.

This project had several areas that created unique challenges. 

The buildings electrical transformers were close to overloading.
The cooling tower was overloaded during periods of high ambient temperature and humidity. 

Special software was developed by R. L. Shields Associates to control these two problems by a rotating load shed program.  Electrical metering transducers were added to each switchgear.  The tower water temperatures were monitored by an American Auto-Matrix RCU2.  If the water loop temperature approached high limits or the electrical demand became excessive, the shed program would commence operations. 

An American Auto-Matrix RCU2 was added to the network to monitor the buildings fire detection system.  This RCU2 was also used to monitor the buildings doors. 

During the early 1990's, R. L. Shields Associates was contracted to provide a lighting control system for the facility.  A General Electric TLC system was selected and installed.  Beside being able to act as a stand-alone system, the system was integrated with the American Auto-Matrix system using 7 SOLO/MX's.  This added capabilities to the lighting system to turn on all lights during fires and other emergency events as well as being able to control when telephone override can occur.

A number of equipment alarms from the manufacturing equipment have been added to the network.  All alarms are sent to the facilities department and selected alarms are sent to the guard facilities.  A daily report is generated by the system providing management with building performance data.

Some of the control components have been upgraded since the original installation.   This included upgrading the SAC3 to an American Auto-Matrix SAGE MAX.  This eliminated the need for the STAR.  The SOLO/HX's connect directly to the SAGE MAX.   The graphics software was upgraded to American Auto-Matrix's EtherView.

The project has run relatively maintenance free from a controls standpoint.  It has simplified the day to day monitoring and control of the building's temperature and mechanical systems.  

For more information on this project, contact:

R. L. Shields Associates, Inc.
27 Wentworth Drive
Bedford, NH 03110
603-472-7431 (Voice)
603-472-7395 (Fax)
rshields@rlshields.com (E-Mail)

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Copyright R. L. Shields Associates, Inc. All rights reserved.

STAR, RCU2, SAC3, SOLO/HX, SOLO/MX, SAGE MAX, MouseView and EtherView are trademarks of American Auto-Matrix, Inc.

GE TLC is a trademark of General Electric.