So sieht die Verkabelung für Smart Buildings ausSo sieht die Verkabelung für Smart Buildings aus

Smart buildings can only be intelligent if all the automation devices in the building are able to communicate with each other. The «things» of the IoT need a common language. This is something pointed out by Reichle & De-Massari (R&M), the globally active developer and provider of cabling systems for high-quality network infrastructures, based in Wetzikon, Switzerland. The Internet Protocol (IP) will be the common language. Structured cabling will network building automation systems. The result is All over IP (ALL-IP), the universal communication solution for intelligent buildings. In the future, R&M will provide more information on these fundamentals of building digitalization. Architects, electrical planning engineers, and installers gain first-hand expertise. In videos, webinars, live presentations, and smart mobile building demonstrators, they will learn how ALL-IP can be implemented in buildings.

Matthias Gerber, Market Manager Office Cabling, R&M

«ALL-IP is the trailblazer for the complete smart building, for the digitalization of building automation»

says Matthias Gerber, R&M Market Manager LAN Cabling.

Matthias Gerber, Market Manager Office Cabling, R&M
Matthias Gerber, Market Manager Office Cabling, R&M

ALL-IP networks and integrates all components of building automation in a smart building. The range of applications extends from broadband access in the cellar to remote-controlled skylights. It includes routers, switches, servers, WLAN access points, app-controlled door openers and LED lights, sensors, cameras, remotely monitored air conditioning and other digital devices. They all receive their own IP addresses like computers in a data network. This means that building automation devices can communicate with each other and with the building management system in real-time. They are accessible via the Internet, which simplifies building management. ALL-IP can also integrate or replace the field bus networks used in building services engineering.

Smart building needs application-neutral network

Matthias Gerber stresses:

«A smart building always needs a universal, application-neutral network plus an open, shared communication protocol. This is why ALL-IP will become the state of the art in building automation. ALL-IP cabling replaces the usual separation of IT and field bus components. This simplifies planning, installation, system integration, and maintenance. Material and operating expenses decrease.»

R&M was involved in the cabling of Europe’s largest ALL-IP office building. It is located in Paris and went into operation in 2020. ALL-IP has already proved itself there. R&M supports the trend toward ALL-IP with decades of experience in building and office cabling.

In the mobile demonstrator, R&M shows how structured cabling can be set up in a smart building and what it can do. The exhibition cabinet gives a view inside a building. Visitors will recognize the connection between cabling, data networks, and smart automation devices.

The mobile cabinet from R&M demonstrates what cabling for ALL-IP can look like.
The mobile cabinet from R&M demonstrates what cabling for ALL-IP can look like.

Digital ceiling, PoE, and SPE integrated

In the demonstrator, R&M presents technologies that are of crucial importance for smart buildings: Digital Ceiling and Power over Ethernet.

The digital ceiling installation concept envisages zones with pre-installed distributors and connection points in the ceiling. Building automation devices, small switches, sensors, WLAN antennas, cameras, screens, and smart LED lights can be plugged in here. With this concept, owners and tenants can implement building digitalization via «plug & play».

Digital ceiling supports you regardless of which services and devices you want to use or retrofit in your building. New applications or the next generation of devices can be easily connected. The installation cables do not have to be replaced. Devices in the digital ceiling can be started and configured using the app.

Powering the terminal devices over data cables is also part of a smart building, referred to as Power over Ethernet (PoE). It makes the electrical cabling for the devices used redundantly. PoE can power the LED lighting of entire concert halls. R&M develops contacts and connectors that are up to the electrical challenges of PoE applications.

The new Single Pair Ethernet (SPE) technology can also be used in the digital ceiling concept. SPE requires just one wire pair and miniaturized connectors for signal and data transmission via IP. Lightweight, thin and discreetly installable SPE cabling connects the most remote sensors, controllers, and the smallest terminal devices with the building network. SPE cabling can also transport current and supply terminal devices with power. As part of ceiling cabling, SPE can be expanded as a simple «plug & play» solution.

ALL-IP can be implemented today

R&M is convinced that the future belongs to smart buildings. Structured cabling, digital ceiling, Power over Ethernet, and Single Pair Ethernet form the basis. The universal Internet Protocol enables communication and supports automation in smart buildings.

«With the mobile digital ceiling demonstrators, we want to show our partners on the market how ALL-IP can already be implemented today,» says Matthias Gerber, R&M Market Manager LAN Cabling. ALL-IP can be implemented in existing buildings with good planning and the expert knowledge of installation engineers. Architects can incorporate many smart applications into buildings. Investors and planners can apply open standards and rely on independent technologies such as Ethernet/IP. R&M supports partners in the planning and implementation of digital ceiling installations with technology know-how, consulting, training, and cabling systems. Matthias Gerber: «Today, we can design a suitable ALL-IP solution for every building.»

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