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Everybody Wants Control(s)

Originally published: 03.01.18 by Pete Grasso

I always enjoy walking around the AHR Expo (I covered more than 15 miles over the course of two days). And it’s always great to see old friends and meet new ones. But most of all, I appreciate the opportunity to view all the latest technologies the industry has to offer.

I’ve noticed throughout the years that each show seems to take on a theme. I remember when 13 SEER was all the rage back in 2006, and of course the big North American push into the ductless market. The last couple of years, it’s been all about education (which continues to be a major initiative by most manufacturers).

If I had to pick a theme for this year’s show, it would undoubtedly be Data, Automation and Controls — in both the commercial and residential markets. Here are just a handful of interesting controls-related initiatives I saw at this year’s AHR Expo.


As I mentioned a few months ago, I was lucky enough to get a preview of Daikin’s Intelligent Equipment, which connects directly to 150 data points on rooftop units and 350 data points on air-cooled chillers to monitor energy consumption at the equipment level for deeper, more accurate performance measurement.

“Organizations need the right insights and tools to ensure those inside the building are positively contributing to an organization’s strategic goals and outcomes,” said Mike Schwartz, CEO of Daikin Applied Americas.

On the residential side of Daikin, new digitally programmable thermostats, such as a ComfortNet Thermostat, feature both comfort and efficiency-enhancing functionality with their smart technology and remote access.


The Sensi Multiple Thermostat Manager is Emerson’s latest innovation to leverage Internet of Things (IoT) technology to help ensure comfort and energy efficiency.

“Customers were sharing that the Sensi thermostat made it easy to remotely control thermostats in buildings they manage, but that being able to change multiple thermostats in one process would help them do their jobs more efficiently,” said Bob Sharp, executive president of Emerson Commercial and Residential Solutions.

Through the Sensi Multiple Thermostat Manager, facility managers are able to experience significant savings — both in energy conservation and manpower.


Honeywell has introduced a new D6 Pro Wi-Fi Ductless Controller, a simple and intuitive replacement for handheld ductless remote controls. The clear and concise menus offer easy-to-read visualization and give your customer access to advanced features such as flexible scheduling, auto-change over and the ability to group D6 controllers into systems if they have a multi-zone ductless installation.

“We’ve designed this product to help our contractors provide more value to their existing accounts and to expand the solutions they can offer new accounts,” said AJ Smith, vice president and general manager, Honeywell Home and Building Technologies.

Johnson Controls

Johnson Controls introduced Metasys Enterprise Management, a comprehensive, analytical, cloud-based optimization platform that proactively analyzes building energy and equipment data across an enterprise to identify issues, faults and opportunities for improved performance and operational savings.

“Metasys Enterprise Management helps customers close the loop by providing a single platform solution that identifies a fault, suggests the appropriate corrective action, lets users create a work order and then track progress toward the solution,” said Sudhi Sinha, vice president of Data-Enabled Business, Johnson Controls.

Metasys Enterprise Management is provided and activated through cloud-based licenses with a variety of subscription options, ensuring customers can easily stay current with updates and enhancements.

LG Electronics

For commercial applications, LG’s the suite of advanced controls is comprised of the LG MultiSITE Remote Controller, Communications Manager and VM3 building management solution.

“LG is ushering in a new era of connectivity and redefining the industry standard,” said Kevin McNamara, senior vice president, Air Conditioning Technologies, LG Electronics USA.

For light commercial and residential controls, 13 more models of LG’s indoor units will now be Wi-Fi enabled and compatible with the LG SmartThinQ app, granting homeowners the convenience of controlling their air conditioning on-the-go alongside their other LG devices for a truly connected home. u


About Pete Grasso

Pete is the former editor of HVACR Business magazine. He has spent his career working in and with trade media, both as a public relations practitioner and as an editor. He gained a great deal of expertise in the B2B arena, within large and medium sized advertising agencies. Be sure to follow Pete on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn!


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