Tech Bytes

High-End Automation For Hotels

Farook Merchant, CMD, Messung Group of Companies speaks about the technology driving their state-of-the-art hotel automation products, offered at affordable prices for the India market

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Farook Merchant

Messung Group of Companies has been in the field of automation since more than last three and a half decades. The Pune-headquartered company has come a long way from the time it was established in 1981 by Farook Merchant, CMD, Messung Group of Companies, who had pioneered the introduction of the first Programmable Logic Controller in India. The company has diversified over the years and is an important name in Building Automation Solutions.

“We are bringing very high-end technology to hotels in India at affordable prices giving special experiences to customers, from boutique hotels to big resorts,” says Merchant. He further explains, “We have a KNX based home, office and hotel automation product. KNX is like an operating system on a protocol, based on the European EIB protocol. All major automation companies who are in home, office and hotel automation business like ABB, Schneider, Siemens, have come together and formed the organisation called KNX. All of them are designing their own products on KNX protocol by which a large amount of standardisation takes place.” For example, the cables used by all KNX product manufacturers are the same. All the products have to get certified by the KNX organisation in Brussels, so there is a large quality requirement which is fulfilled by being a KNX registered product. “If a customer decides to standardise KNX, he has already taken a decision to introduce very high quality products into his property,” points out Merchant.

Messung Group of Companies is a master distributor for Zennio Advance Technologies headquartered in Toledo, Spain. Zennio manufactures state-of-the-art home, office and hotel automation products on the KNX platform. In Europe they compete with ABB, Hager, and the likes of Dassault. “Our system controls all the light requirements and HVAC. In various properties different heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems are used. We also have a very elaborate range of curtain controls. In hotel foyers where there are large heights of lobbies, it is very difficult for the staff to operate the curtains. With the automation you can control various scenes – whether in-room automation or office automation. User scenes can be created by pressing one button – the lights, fans, boilers all can come together to suit the person who is going to be in the room. We can also add a lot of safety and security features. Intelligent locks that are available from global manufacturers can be interfaced with KNX operating system so that from a multi-location you can know who is at the door. From a remote location the lock can be opened,” states Merchant.

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The smart phone can be used as a smart card. Merchant explains that when a guest checks-in, he is given a smart card, “The solution that we are giving is that not only the hotel reception will give him a smart card he can also be given a password on the hotel Wi-Fi system on a Zennio app or hotel app which Zennio will provide to the property owner. We have a smart door access system. Through the phone he can also change the temperature of the room, switch on the TV, and so on.” Some hotels are also providing iPads in the room. Many of these facilities which were earlier available to seven star hotels are now available as affordable, reliable technology to three star and four star hotels. “The slogan that we use is – add one star to your property by using Zennio automation systems,” remarks Merchant.

For hotels which want to connect all rooms to the BMS, there is a guest room management system. “KNX technology allows us to connect all the rooms on a KNX IP platform to the central server of the hotel. On that server we give a BMS operating software, which allows the staff in charge of guest room management to check who is in which room. How many rooms are not sold ? What is the temperature of the room ? Temperature of the water in the pipeline. For example, it helps the hotel management work out the strategy that which room needs to be cleaned first depending on the guests checking-in and checking-out,” explains Merchant. He further points out that during afternoons, the south and west facing rooms face a lot of sunlight, by the central BMS all the curtains can be brought down, specially the dark curtains, so that the heat coming from outside does not load the AC system. Another unique aspect of Zennio is that a central BMS can control temperature of each and every room. Lights, temperature can also be controlled at restaurants and spa.

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