What kind of industry is home automation

Home automation made by yourself

Challenge

An attractive overall solution

Home automation systems not only have to be of good quality, the price has to be right too. Frank Schönauer therefore relies on the LOGO! Logic module for his "PLC Smart Home" app. from Siemens.

There are numerous systems for building automation, such as networking with special luster terminals or wireless controls for lights, blinds and sockets, all of which are called "Smart Home". Why do you build your solution on the LOGO! 8 on?

Frank Schönauer: Although many of these systems have sophisticated functions, they can hardly exchange data with one another. With logic modules I can not only integrate many different applications such as garage control or garden irrigation into one system, I can also tailor them to the customer's wishes. Due to the consistent further development of LOGO! the latest version offers me a lot of possibilities and I can always offer better solutions. Thanks to the Ethernet interface from LOGO! 8 no longer has an interface converter, and the integrated Modbus TCP / IP communication enables ideal interaction with other systems. Another advantage is of course the integrated web server, which enables easy operation.

Simple functions such as raising and lowering roller blinds are standard in smart homes these days. Additional functions are necessary to assert oneself in the market. However, it quickly becomes expensive here. How do you ensure that your customers get this without having to dig too deep into their pockets?

Schönauer: Costs are an important aspect of building automation. Here you can start saving on a small scale. For example, temperature sensors, humidity sensors, twilight sensors or motion detectors do not necessarily require expensive products; cheaper models are also sufficient. Incidentally, that was also one of the reasons why I switched to LOGO! 8 set: The control offers me many functions and good quality at a fair price. I have intensively tested a wide variety of accessories and listed them for my applications. In this way, the user can be sure that the product he is purchasing is inexpensive but of high quality. That also makes the overall solution attractive to him.

customer

A logical decision

For more than ten years, Frank Schönauer has been using logic modules for building automation. For LOGO! 8 he developed the "PLC Smart Home" app in order to be able to monitor and control applications via smartphone or tablet.

Frank Schönauer has been offering pre-programmed logic modules for building automation in his webshop www.vorprogrammieren.de since 2005. In cooperation with his partner Florian Cremer from the company Spiritdev GmbH in Erlangen, he developed the “PLC Smart Home” app from 2011 to enable home automation systems to be monitored and controlled using a smartphone or tablet. Here, Frank Schönauer mainly relies on LOGO! Because of the good expandability, compact design or the well-functioning web server. 8 from Siemens.

solution

Numerous possibilities

In addition to comprehensive applications and simple operation of the logic module and app, advice and service also play an important role in home automation.

The control of blinds or heating is one of the basics of building automation. What options and additional functions do you offer your customers with your “PLC Smart Home” app?

Schönauer: Of course, all connected electrical devices can be controlled individually or as groups with the app. But there is also the option of making many automatic settings using it. If a sunny day lies ahead, you can quickly activate the automatic sun function for the blinds, or the automatic astro function for opening and closing the blinds at sunrise and sunset. You can also easily change the automatic time switch points and adapt them to the respective season. And the nice thing about it: The complete range of functions of the app can be tested in demo mode.

That sounds like a large number of applications that the customer can control himself. Is a certain know-how in the technical area or even in HTML necessary in order to be able to use PLC Smart Home in a targeted manner?

Schönauer: No not at all. The customer receives a configuration file by email that is tailored to the system he is using, on his smartphone. If he opens the app, all existing devices - roller blinds, lamps, dimmers, heating circuits, and more - are automatically created in it. Now he has the option of renaming them, assigning rooms and adding pictures to them. Using the so-called widget function, he can now access the associated applications by tapping on the picture of the corresponding room and control it very easily using buttons and symbols. So the whole thing is very intuitive and can be operated by anyone who can use a smartphone.

Despite the ease of use, it is of course always possible that questions or problems arise. Not only know-how is required here, but also good service. What kind of support do you offer your customers?

Schönauer: It is very important indeed. I am offering an all-round package for both the homeowner and the electrician performing the work. When planning their home, many customers ask for an offer that offers them the convenience of a smart home, but does not break their budget. I then advise you which applications and products make sense. Then I create connection diagrams and, if desired, discuss with the electrician which cables and switches should be used and help with the dimensioning of the electrical distributor. If the customer doesn't want to do it himself, I also configure the appropriate network settings for the app so that the system is immediately operational in his home network.

Customer benefits

view in the future

LOGO! offers many options for home automation. The latest trends in this area are, in addition to operation via smartphone or tablet, the integration of voice-controlled assistants.