UK: Glasgow-based Resource Data Management reports unprecedented interest in its latest control technology following its appearance at Chillventa last month.
Boasting its largest ever stand, the company launched 25 new products, Including an industry first with its new fibre-optic TouchXL and Kwheb energy dashboard called, which gives users a high-level graphical overview over an entire estate.
Andrew Chandler, RDM founder and managing director, said: “We said this year marked a step-change in our global strategy and product R&D programme. However, even we were surprised at the reaction to our latest launches at Chillventa.
“The interest from both contractors and end users was phenomenal. It is proof we are on the right track, in terms of our focus on blending ease-of-use, affordability, scalability and power. Together with our use of open protocol systems and end-to-end control solutions, these are the key ingredients that will drive RDM’s growth in the future.
“This approach, embodied in a record number of innovations, resulted in an overwhelming number of new prospects coming to visit us on the stand.”
Of particular interest was the new fibre-optic connectivity. In an industry first, RDM’s Data Manager can be equipped with fibre-optic communications, enabling a connection from either a mercury switch or the new TouchXL. This allows data to be transmitted over extended distances of up to 2km and is seen as a huge leap forward when compared with CAT5 IP networks, which transmit up to 100m before requiring a network switch or repeater to extend by a further 100m, and so on.
With its greater bandwidth, fibre can also transmit much more data than CAT5 patch cable. As the amount of data used to control buildings and industrial process increases over time, the ability to move large amounts of information across distances very quickly and efficiently may become increasingly important.
In addition fibre communications offer much greater resilience from EMC-related interference, providing a more robust and reliable network connection. This makes installation of cabling easier, as they can run alongside power cables and in close proximity to electrically noisy equipment, which could otherwise affect conventional cabling systems.
A further advantage of fibre is that, being non-conductive, it is immune from voltage surges.
Hailing it as the future, Andrew Chandler said: “In another five years fibre-optic cable will be the same price as Cat 5. We’re looking at it for reliability and its resistance to noise emissions.”
Andrew Chandler maintains that following recent advances, the only limit to the application of modern control technology was now the human imagination. “The tools are there and proven to work. The next big challenge is expanding people’s awareness of what they are capable of achieving, and the range of situations in which they can be applied,” he said.
A new approach was emerging among enlightened end users and installers, he said, that took a much more holistic view of energy, service and estate management, and which broke through the barriers between traditional disciplines.
“That is what RDM’s products enable you to do – to take an end-to-end approach across all the energy-using technologies in a building or industrial plant. It is no longer just about cooling or heating or lighting or fire and security systems. It is about integrating all these, but keeping it simple in the process. That is the key.”
Alongside the focus on innovation, the company is pursuing an ambitious growth strategy. Representatives from RDM branches and agents from across the world attended RDM’s Global Distributor Conference 2014, held in Nuremberg alongside Chillventa.
“It was an opportunity to share with them our plans for the next wave of innovations, and our ambitions for building further on our leadership in the market. It also provided an opportunity for delegates to share with the wider RDM team the many fantastic examples of projects now underway across the world using RDM systems.”
The meeting followed the recent announcement of RDM Group’s acquisition of RDM Asia, as part of its global growth plan. Further announcements are expected in the near future about other international initiatives.