Comparative Open Systems LonWorks and KNK

This paper has been compiled primarily using information from two type of sources: firstly information that is or was publicly available and accessible, for example, on the Internet and secondly information that has been presented to standardisation committees, predominantly European standardisation committees, and which has either been published or which remains in draft form as committee documents. Additional information was sought regarding Konnex in telephone conversations and our thanks are due to those who responded.

There were little difficulties in obtaining information on LONWORKS, LONMARK and Echelon’s technologies in general. There were, however, substantial difficulties in obtaining information on some aspects of Konnex, KNX or EIB. For example, a search for KNX or EIB profiles indicated that these were in Volume 6 of the KNX specification, that free access was restricted to Konnex members – minimum membership fee 2,500 – and that the Konnex specifications could be purchased for 1,000 refundable against subsequent membership. In the context of recent press releases describing Konnex as “world first” and “open standard”, we were disappointed.

About the Authors

Alan Kell was the principal author of the 1993 study by DEGW etl1 entitled “Bus Systems for Building Control” which was the first detailed study in this area to compare, among others, EIB and LONWORKS in the context of building control.

Peter Colebrook collaborated closely with Siemens in Regensburg in the late 1980’s, was one of the 12 founder signatories of the European Installation Bus Association (EIBA) and subsequently served as a Director of that Association. He was also one of the founders of the LONMARK Interoperability Association and similarly served as a Director of that Association.

Alan and Peter are directors of i&i limited. The Proplan division of i&i, established in 1980, has analysed the markets and technology for building controls and services in 37 different countries in North America, Western and Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, the Middle East, S.E. Asia and the Far East including Japan and China. A series of Multi-client studies entitled “Intelligent Controls in Buildings” have charted the progress of the advanced building controls industry and its players for seventeen years.

The objective has been to provide manufacturers and suppliers with accurate information on which to develop appropriate marketing and business strategies. This has been achieved with the assistance and co-operation of our clients who comprise the major suppliers to this business, including; ABB Building Technologies, Automated Logic, Novar Trend, Novar Gent, Carrier, Danfoss, Groupe Schneider, Honeywell Controls, Invensys, IBM, Johnson Controls, KMC, Olivetti, Omron, Philips, Saia, Satchwell Control Systems, Sauter, Siemens Building Technologies – Cerberus Division, Siemens Building Technologies – Landis & Staefa, TAC AB, Trane, Tyco, Weidmueller, Zumtobel. These clients are the “movers and shakers” in the home and building systems industry.