Episode 329 ControlTalk NOW with Delta Controls’ Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Robert Hemmerdinger

Delta Controls Breaks New Ground with their Ceiling Mount 03 Sensor Hub. Robert Hemmerdinger explains the many one-sensor-per-room benefits and more!

Podcast Transcript

The following is a presentation of the ControlTrends podcasting network

Eric Stromquist 

Welcome to ControlTalk Now you’re  HVAC and Smart Buildings video cast and podcast.

Eric Stromquist
It is September the eighth 2019 This iis epiosde 329 of Controltalk Now The HVAC and Smart Buildings Controls Podcast, where we talk about all things HVAC and smart building controls, we got a great guest lined up you’re gonna want to hear from this guy. But meanwhile, I am joined by your comes to mind, no longer the man the myth, the legend, secret agent man, that may be Kenny SMyers is stuck with a lot of people. Like HVAC Controls , he is secret. Welcome to the show.

Ken Smyers
Thank you. I don’t think he’s gonna stick I was going to secret agent man30 4050 years ago, and when we used to listen to that song, we both marveled at that lifestyle and James Bond, I remember the first James Bond movie ever saw how he just, you know, I just I wanted to watch it again, you know, and then it was like, there’s certain movies, I remember when I was young, and all the way through, you know, whether it’s a matrix or Jurassic Park, you know, all these new and then what was the avatar, but you know, it changed the whole way you looked at things and broaden your horizons. And of course, the secret agent man thing was great, but we’re going to have to try to make that into a ControlTrends thing. And it’s going to be hard to do because there’s no secret agent in thepudding. You talk about that. All those clandestine stuff you’re doing and we know you’re doing all this government stuff. And I’m not I know, Iknow. No, no. Okay. Yes, not true.

Eric Stromquist
Kenny has plausible deniability, here. So he cannot, he tells us he’s a secret agent, and he got to kill all of us. And he’s two nights ago to do that. We don’t want that to happen. So but, dude, it’s it’s a big week. I’ve been celebrating my eighth wedding anniversary. So I’ve been in New Mexico with my wife and kids. Yeah, yeah, we got married, had found a hotel in Santa Fe. Eight years ago, we stayed there. couple nights ago. We bought the kids so they’re staying with parents and her dad’s office right now. And so we go back to the hotel every every couple years and spend the night there. And that was the hotel your brother Tommy is Salvatore sort of Ella calibration he helicopter me on the dance floor pick me up and follow me around. So that’s one of the highlights of the video there. And now there’s a great time john Donahue is Eric Jones Scott cross a bunch of people came I know you wanted to come out you just weren’t able to make it but so great memories as we went from there to a dislike spa we went to we redid the honeymoon trip because we spent the first night in Santa Fe got married there. And then we went to this place called OA Colorado which is all these hot mineral springs from the mountains right? So you come out and all these tubs have different things in it like you know iron or arsenic or all this healthy stuff. So spending spent a night there was great. Then we were up to Taos, New Mexico and hanging out up there and I gotta tell you, man, I am thoroughly caffeinated and ready to come home. So I’ll be will be flying back tomorrow.

Ken Smyers
Well, y’all took some beautiful family pictures and your kids are just just absolutely stunning. Actual look. He’s definitely a young man looks like his fatherandEvelyn. It’s just it’s pretty easy, mom. So you guys are doing some great, great stuff. Thanks, man. Beautiful definitely to watch and behold, the another thing that happened was the kickoff Thursday Night Football witha boring game whenit was

Eric Stromquist
Green Bay one and all and Rogers says we have a defense now. Listen, let’s let’s get to it. Man. We got a fabulous guests this week. And how about introducing him?

Unknown Speaker
I’d love to do we have a special guest this week? It’s he’s the chief Sales and Marketing Officer for delta controls global. His name is Robert Hennendinger. Robert, welcome to the show.

Eric Stromquist
Hey, Robert, welcome. Glad to have you.

Robert Hemmendinger Delta Controls
Really good to be here. Thanks for having me.

Eric Stromquist
You bet. You bet we are We love your company a lot. We’ve known about your products for a long time, we had some great interactions with somebody using your company owner, the boy and she was great. So you guys, top notch output so far ControlTrends. Committee, he might not be so familiar with Delta control somebody just giving them sort of the thumbnail sketch of what that was all about?

Robert Hemmendinger Delta Controls
Yeah, sure, I’d be happy to. So we’re Canadian base, which is down in the side of Vancouver. We’ve been in the controls industry for 30 years, we’ve always done partner integrated systems built on that philosophy, we by adding access control lighting, always been heavily focused on energy performance integration, open systems. A couple of years ago, actually, three years ago, now I think about it, we were acquired by delta electronics, who’s a massive player in the power supply, business, huge OV company that make literally 20 million pounds supplies a month. So over the last couple of years, we’ve been on a very exciting journey with them, taking some of their products, adding our secret sauce to it, our clever capability that we’ve always had in the back neck space and taking that to market. We’ve got literally hundreds of partners around the world. That’s how we go to market primarily. And it’s a very exciting time with some of the solutions we’ve got coming out. So we’re very happy to be here and talk to you guys today. And all your your listeners and viewers, readers

Ken Smyers
will know when you get this very neat things to talk about and our industry is moving. We’re moving in fabulous movements forward towards smart buildings and connected buildings. And Delta has some very, very interesting products. What was your take on the opportunities of connected buildings and smart buildings with customers?

Robert Hemmendinger Delta Controls
Well, yeah, it’s really interesting. Right now, I’ve been in this industry for over 20 years. And in that time, pretty much our primary focus was always making the life quality manager a little bit better, right, we’re integrating piece of technology, we’re adding new solutions to their portfolio, all about moving it along for them making their lives a little bit better. So they can do their job a little bit easier. But in the last couple of years, there’s been a change in the industry, what’s happened is that people are going to a facility or building today, whether it’s a hospital, university or college campus, just a commercial office building doesn’t really matter. And they want a more connected experience with that facility. They want to be a more immersive digital experience with the facility that they’re in. And my personal take for this is because of the home automation market, for very little money, I can go and buy a Wi Fi thermostat, I can buy a bunch of lights, I can connect it all together. And I can even very simply easily get voice services with that as well. And just ask Alexa or ask Google to turn on my scenes, activate my environment. And then I’m gonna start tying it into my TV systems, my camera systems, sprinkler systems. Now, years ago, this was the stuff of mansions and billionaires. And you know, if you think back, Steve, CB Bill Gates had one of the first real smart connected homes, and this is 25 years ago, I guess it was when I think about it. But you can do this stuff now from BestBuy. Or you can buy this at Home Depot, you can buy it at Lowes, buy this at Walmart, and you don’t have to be a genius to connect to this technology. Again, it’s very easy. So what’s happening now is that people start to want to have that experience when they go to the office when they go to a hotel room. And they have a really nice digital experience immersive experience, how they book the room, how they check in how they pick which one they want, they can even use their mobile phone as the key card to get into the room. But then what typically what happens when they’re in that space? Is that digital, connected, mobile experience this continues. So we think adults are we’ve got a very exciting opportunity right now. It doesn’t matter who you talk to him what segment, it’s all about getting the people in the building the right people getting the right talent into your facility, in the right doctors in making sure you get the right patients. And if you’re if you’re a healthcare facility, looking after your guests, if you’re in the hotel segment, we believe we’ve got a really great opportunity as an industry to connect to those customers. And and will still make the facility life managers, facility managers life a little bit better. We’re still going to do that, of course we are as an industry, but we now also get to connect to the customers. So we’ve got a couple of really unique solutions that we’re bringing to the market. That helps us do that.

Eric Stromquist
Oh, yeah, Want to hear about those for sure. And but you bring up a great point, we talked a lot of vendors about this, because you know, you get to the home, like you said, expectations are set with home automation, but speak a bit about the challenges because it’s not quite as easy to do a building is is to do a home and from manufacturer standpoint on you guys think this thing to talk about some of those challenges and why you can’t just go down to BestBuy and get the system and put it in your office and expect to get the same results.

Unknown Speaker
Right? It’s great point. There’s lots of significant differences between the home and between a commercial office building. Obviously scalability is one of them. cybersecurity is another one not being, you know, not owning your complete domain. When I I put the systems in my house, it’s my house, and I only have my wife to complain at me for doing so. When when we’re in the commercial world, we have to think about the procurement process that we have in the construction industry and how we how we segregate packages out we have to think about the longevity of it. You know, when I buy a Wi Fi thermostat and put it into my house, I’m not thinking that it’s going to last 20 to 30 years. But typically when we think about constructions life cycles, that’s what we’re thinking about, right when we when we typically building buildings and pricing them out. So return on investment comes into play as well. And then how we integrate to bigger systems. I think for us as manufacturers, we have to take an inward look as how do we, you know, we typically none of us typically make products that go into the residential market as well as an commercial markets. But we that that divide is starting to starting to shrink. And we’re starting to see the need of if we actually make these devices easier to connect, we make these devices easier to use from a user from an installer from a specifies perspective, it’s going to have ramifications all the way across the industry, it’s going to be very good for everyone. The other thing that we have in our thinking with that is that doesn’t matter who you talk to in this industry. There’s not enough talent in this industry. Right? There’s not enough engineers, there’s not enough facility engineers, there’s not enough installers, project managers, electrical guys, mechanical guys doesn’t matter. There’s not enough people in this industry, we’re not seeing a flood, the floodgates are open and people aren’t pouring into it. So if we actually make our products simpler to use, and actually head towards that anyone can install it, or you don’t need a degree in mechanical engineering, it’s actually going to be better for everyone in the long term of kind of play out where this industry is going in the next 1015 20 years.

Eric Stromquist
Well, I think one of the things that because we can definitely ask you that question, but how do you see it looking in 1015 years from now, but you guys are sort of talking about the connectivity, it seems like you guys have a new product that we’re excited to tell the control, have you tell the ControlTrends community about, I think sort of hits all those checks along the way.

Robert Hemmendinger Delta Controls
We’re very, very proud of it, it’s quite unique. It’s called the center hub, we released the first version of it that HR this year, we will have the second version, that HR next year 2020. in Orlando, we hope to see many of your readers listeners viewers, come see us there, it’s what we’ve done is we’ve taken a hold of a bunch of sensors off the wall space off the ceiling space and put them into one convenient center hub, a multi sensor device, and that really afford to so many different benefits. And we really attack this from different perspectives, obviously, we wanted to give the user in a great experience. So it comes with a mobile app, we have integration technology with it too. But the user themselves get to be can get to control their own environment, whether that’s a hotel room, a patient room, or kind of a you know, meeting room and office space. And in a commercial office building. They get to be able to control the temperature, they about to go control all different kinds of avenues. And we thought a Bluetooth beacons in there, we’ve got audio sensing capability, it’s a speaker, we’ve got led feedback capability. And we’re using a fusion and machine learning algorithms as well to really understand what’s happening in the space at any one time. So typically what would happen is, if you’re in a space, and there’s a motion sensor in there, if you’re just sitting still, like the three of us are quite still right now typing away on a keyboard, every now and then I have to wave my arms to get the lights to come back on. Right? It’s kind of frustrating. We because we were using multi fusion technology. And we’re using machine learning algorithms to really understand what a quiet space is, and what a space is, with someone in it working. We know what those differences are. Because we can hear things like you tapping on a keyboard is just enough ambient noise level for us to know that the room is occupied. And then we can do other things with that information as well. So as soon as the room is occupied, we go into non unoccupied state. And we don’t wait the typical 15 minutes when when a room goes on occupy with a normal oximeter, excuse me occupancy occupancy sensor. Similarly, when about when a room becomes occupied, we can do a lot with that information as well we know exactly when the room is occupied. And we’re getting to the point where we’ll be able to count how many people are in that space at any one time with the same center. So we will be able to say okay, it’s not just one person that walks into that meeting, remember, 12 people walked into that meeting room, you’re going to have to do a significant amount of calling than you thought you were going to have to a few minutes ago. So it’s a very unique device, it talks to the architects market as well to the architects community because one of the things that architects typically hate ladies on a beautiful building, and then ugly engineers, like us come along and stop putting plastic bits and pieces along the wall and along the ceiling. They call it the ceiling acne or wall acne, we’re trying to reduce that and get that down into one nice integrated unit. And then from a from an installers point of view, and from the general construction process perspective, we actually reducing the cost. We’ve done the analysis, and it is actually cheaper to install one of these devices, rather than as soon as you’re doing multiple devices, running cables, the upkeep, and obviously, the capital cost of that device, the operational cost of that device, the cable infrastructure of those devices, we reduce that down to one and it saves everyone at all the stages through the construction process, you’re going to be winning.

Ken Smyers
Well, I’m super fast, I’m on the stage right now. And I’m looking at I really, I really liked that terminology, sensor fusion came up with that, that’s a nice, that’s a nice way to put it. Because of the the aggregation of all the sensing that is necessary for the room to be fully automated, you need to integrate many, many things and to get optimal performance, whether it’s light sensing, versus, you know, using the ambient light. Or if you do do you bring in heat, and then you gotta bring your air conditioning. And so you have the you figured out the algorithms to make the the greenest response yet is the So Eric and I had the fortunate experience to go into a building that actually had this speaking party. So in the sensor hub oh three sensor hub, you think sense and speak, is this actually interacts with I could say, turn up the cooling, or turn, make it make it brighter. And here it is that the interaction that’s already there.

Robert Hemmendinger Delta Controls
It’s not there. Right now we’re getting to that. That part right now we’re using the audio capability for understanding what’s happening in the space, we hear those little quiet I’m sure going on. And then we also have the speaker for feedback. So the minute you get noises, so that you understand all the devices doing something’s recognized, I’m here, and suddenly when I walk out, or I can hear in the background that is recognized, and I’m actually leaving the space, we’re adding to that over the time. So this is a platform for us, we’re going to be doing an iteration of this, at the most once a year, maybe even more to say we’ve got another version, which will bring into the market at the beginning of next year. And it’s funny, it’s one of those devices, that’s a joy to put in front of customers, because we put this in front of a customer and they come up with a new use case, they come up with it, I tell you what I could use that for I could use that little ring that you have going around there, it’s got a little LED multicolor led ring running around it, I could use that for silent alarms, oh, that’d be great. That’s one less thing I have to put on to the ceiling. So every time we put it in front of someone, they come up with something else, just another use case. Another idea. And that’s the joy of this product.

Eric Stromquist
When it seems like to Robert, that is one of the challenges for you know, manufacturers like Delta controls and other manufacturers you got to make a product is going to be cost effective. You just gotta you know all the buttons in terms of songs problems, and then it has to be easy to install. So congratulations on it sounds like you guys know that? Is that going to be available only through your existing channels? Or is that going to be open to market in general,

Robert Hemmendinger Delta Controls
it’s gonna be able to the market in general, we’re exploring different avenues of that right now. So we welcome any interest. But we realized that it’s such a different product, it’s such a year, the version that’s coming out, the beginning of next year is a binary IP version, and it will reside on anyone’s BMS system. Now, that’s the number one goal for our first version that we released, the beginning of this year was very tied to the Delta system. So we’re very well with a Delta building. Obviously, not every building in the world as adults building something that I hope to fix one day, but for now, understand that there is there is some competition out there. And the second version, therefore will sit in anyone’s facility or work with any building on the planet. That’s that was the number one goal for the for the product development team that works on the second

Eric Stromquist
year. Very cool. And this really dovetails kind of nicely into something you alluded to sort of at the beginning is, you know, delta early on, you know, came back net compatible, right. And so, you know, we hear a lot of talk about open systems and open versus closed systems. What’s Delta’s perspective on open versus closed system? Where do you guys sort of see yourself in that continuum?

Robert Hemmendinger Delta Controls
That’s a great question. Obviously, we’ve been we were very fortunate, we’ve been involved in battle net from the from the get go, we very much believed in the standard, we were part authors of the original part of the standard, we today To this day, we’re still heavily invested working on various committees to improve the Batman standard. And everything we do is BACNet. So we just released our BACNet access control product line, it’s one of the only BACNet access control product lines in the market. And that’s how committed we are to open systems. But the world is moving on. And we talked a little bit about earlier about the shift that we’re starting to see in the building controls industry. And one of those is clearly is how we interact with the IT world. And what some of the big fortune 500 companies, we’re asking for us right now about access to our data and what they do with our data. So I’m sure the buzzword of IoT is, is starting to, you know, fall heavy on people’s ears these days, but getting the kind of connectivity that that that those fortune 500 companies are asking for is where we’re going. So in a parallel development, we’re also adding MQTT and other protocols that we need to be able to play well in those devices. That is a kind of a parallel for that will also be launching, HR com come January. So it’s a very exciting time. And the more we sit down with some of those bigger blue chip companies that you know, kind of reside in Silicon Valley. And you know, in other parts of the world, it’s very interesting how they think about buildings, they no longer think about the architecture in the way we think about it. They don’t think they didn’t even talk about cloud anymore. They talk about data lakes. And they think in storage, you know, when I entered this industry, we thought about storage on omega zip drives. These guys think about storage forever. And it’s endless, and there’s no need to worry about space, and they have no qualms about, well, I just collect all this data. And quite frankly, I don’t know what I’m going to do with it. But one day, I will one day, it will be valuable to me. And I’ll work out just exactly what I need to be able to do with it. So we’re still committed to that net. It’s a big portion of our architecture. It’s extremely valuable to us. And you know, how we’re very efficient in building automation. At the same time, you know, we have we have kind of one one leg in that camp, and then another leg in there. You know, how do we move forward and join that big IoT IoT world? And as it and ot technologies merged, we’re seeing more and more organizations merging those budgets and that strategy together, we need to be right there with them and helping them be able to do that.

Ken Smyers
Well, you had a couple really, really tough. As you know, Eric, and I, we we track the trends, you know, and you’ve hit probably three of them, one would like to visit is your stance on cyber security. But firstly, when you hit that Data button, you know that is it a new goal, new year, I love hearing people talk about how they’re mining data, harvesting data, important data, actionable data, data, data data. So it’s going through its drum roll now. But you have two or three ways to manipulate data and use it you have the cloud, as you mentioned earlier, but you also have a very clever way of using it for edge computing, correct in harvesting data that you need here to use here and not send it to the cloud.Exactly like your

Robert Hemmendinger Delta Controls
we see that the way the architecture seems to be going is that yes, you know, Moore’s law has, you know, devices get cost of technology gets cheaper and speed increases, we can do more down at the edge, you know, we can put more technology out in the in the fringe places. A couple of ways. We’ve done this very recently, with our parent company with Delta electronics. Delta tonics is one of the largest variable speed drive manufacturers in the world. If you look at variable speed drive manufacturers just in North America, we’re in the top 10 list, but quite low down, if you take all the companies that we OEM to, we’re actually much higher up in that list. So we were a significant player in that space. And what we did was we took some took one of our delta controls devices, one of our small boards, we miniaturized it, and we put it into the variable speed drive. So we created a a hybrid Frankenstein device between a variable speed drive and a full functional dual port Ethan it back net controller. And so we’ve able to push more of the technology that we would normally have residing in, you know, like a network level controller, where we’re doing some algorithms, some complex trending programming analytical data, we’re now able to push that all the way down into the plant room and keep that right there with the variable speed drive right next to the decision that it needs to make right next to the equipment that it’s focused on.

Eric Stromquist
That’s pretty phenomenal. Yeah.

Ken Smyers
Smart, it’s a smart vehicles, how they’re gonna have autonomous vehicles, is it how has to be immediate? And in 5g is going to help deliver that, you know, so yeah, absolutely.

Robert Hemmendinger Delta Controls
I think 5g is very interesting. I think I think we’re a little bit away from everything arriving with 5g, but I can see it I can see a time where, you know, an handling unit is built in a factory. And it’s already connected. That it rolls out the facility onto the truck, it’s already connected to the internet, that the installer knows where it is that the logistics company knows where it is. The construction company knows where it is. And when it’s cleaned up onto the roof. Everyone knows what’s happening is it’s plumbed in, it’s already connected to the internet. It’s just a very seamless

Ken Smyers
Eric and I saw the Dyken was the first company, we saw that they had equipment that they were putting on rooftops. And the interesting comment was why push it into the network. And it was the whole idea with data, everybody thought it had to be compatible. So you get on the network, drive it down into the controller, then drive it back up to the supervisor, then to cloud and their concept was to put the ability to communicate with the web, right on the equipment on the ceiling and roof top unit. And so yeah, you’re right. There’s no question about that the the scalability of like you were mentioning, putting the smarts onto a VFD, for instance, that is remarkable. I know, some people would I was on BFDS. And you can pick up to them, you’re running out of inputs and outputs on a controller, you can pick those up now with the VFG. I thought that was pretty clever. So in the event that do you see delta is are you moving into an IP centric controller environment where you’re going to put everything right down to the network and going up into the supervisory level and then maybe the cloud or you’d see one day that the architecture gets flattened one more layer?

Robert Hemmendinger Delta Controls
Yeah, that’s very much what we say we’ve been in, we’ve had IP controllers for a long time, we’ve had dual port IP controllers, for a while now we have POV controllers, we’ve had those for a very long time as well, POEVAV units, which are you know, very powerful, deliver certain customers that receive the value of POAU. No doubt, for new construction for new projects, it layer is getting very, very flat deed will will still continue to do RS 45, you know, MSRP networks, but it’s mainly for the retrofits for the add ons, because of the prohibitive costs of installing new networks. And we all know it’s not the physical cable. It’s the labor and the disruption to an existing infrastructure. That’s just this is more about risk for habitation probably then cost presentation.

Eric Stromquist
Well, you know, Robert, I’m learning something here too, which is, you know, delta controls Delta electronics. And I think you just, you know, sort of frame this up our community because data electronics you’ve alluded to it is a huge, huge, huge power in the global market. And if I’m not mistaken, we have a low tech, low tech is number the Delta electronics family too, but speak about that, because it gives you guys a lot of horsepower to work with.

Robert Hemmendinger Delta Controls
It does. Yes, delta Electronics is billion dollar company. As I said, They’re, they’re very, very strong in the power supply market. I don’t doubt that the three of us are chatting right now on laptops and desktops, has adult electronics power supply in your phone probably has adult electronics power supply. And you could probably go around your house now and count 20 or 30, different Delta electronic power supplies and the TVs and things that you have. And don’t we make something like 20 million power supplies a month? Wow. 100,000 variable speed drives a month, the numbers are staggering. And we also dominant in lots of other markets as well, EV car charges, US solar inverters, lots of different power systems. We also on specifically on the building side on the buildings unit, as we call it, we have you’re quite right assets, the company like tech, there’s Delta controls, of course, we recently bought analytics, which is a lighting company, based out of the New Jersey area, also, affiliates. 18 months ago, now we bought vivid tech, which is a video surveillance and CCTV company. So we’ve had tremendous growth just within that building automation market, a little segment here within the last couple of years. And it’s a very exciting time, because each one of us has some really good solutions. And quite often we get the opportunity to take all those solutions to our customers looking for that integrated, connected smart facility. And we can deliver the full turnkey solution for it.

Ken Smyers
And I did read, I think I read the Delta electronics was in every Tesla vehicle to

Ken Smyers
very well. E like car electric car industry, because I think we’re going to see much, much more of that. So then the the cyber security and the IP, we’ve seen some initial pushback and IP controllers where people said, Oh, not on my network, you know, and then we saw, you know, the response being so beyond the enterprise network, you run a separate cat Fiverr, cat six, and then you’re going to throw the building automation network of any management network. So we’re seeing all these BBM ends and all this different variations in your, your engineering mind, what is the what would you recommend as far as running two separate Ethernet? Is it? I mean, it’s a separate cost? Would you have additional separate security measurement? You What did you What would you propose if you had a magic wand? And you say that this, this probably ultimately gives you the best cyber security and best use just, you know, utilization networks?

Robert Hemmendinger Delta Controls
Yeah, it’s a really good question. I’m not too sure that there is there is one solution purely because customers like to work in slightly different ways. We typically find this there’s there’s two good ways of doing it. One is a separate Building Services network, where the customer can have their it network, and they can have all the functions of their it on one network. And then they can have a building services network, and they can put everything on there. And that’s not just building automation, but it could be used to be access control, lighting systems, everything can go on that building services network. But obviously, to get access from one to the other, if you want to really do want to keep it completely separate, you need to make sure that one is has some kind of Cloud Connect connectivity, some kind of internet connectivity, you can connect to it. The other way that we see a lot of our customers like to work is they like to have it on one network, but they segregated by using v lands by using virtual labs. So that then gives them the security but it gives them the management of everything’s on one one piece of copper, they don’t have to run two separate networks. And over the years, from the financial industry, to healthcare, to universities, we’ve worked with a number of different customers, and they just have their own preference of how they like to do it based on a corporate standard. The IT departments personal standard. We work with either we one of the things that from a cyber security perspective, we strive to obviously, you know, best practices around cyber security and in how we handle passwords, administration, you know, forcing, not shipping, a default standard password and things like that. But as always, everyone can do more, all manufacturers can do more. And we’re constantly looking at ways of doing that. We mentioned Delta electronics, of course, we have a full across Delta electronics, we have a cyber security team that looks for threats and gets the words out to our customers that you know, you need to do this, this is a this is a change to other Linux thing or Windows thing or whatever it may be. Then we have our own internal departments that are constantly looking at ways to improving things we need to do. We have typical labs for hardening. You know, we often look to the white hat community to come and help us and provide us some insight. We recently did a project with McAfee, which we’re about to publish on our website. Afternoon, actually, as you just mentioned our website about some some results that we had with them and how we’re working with McAfee, and they highlighted some things we could change, we’ve made those changes, and then we’re pushing that pushing that out to our our entire community,

Ken Smyers
ongoing journey for sure. It’s never you never done. It’s always, always, like you said there’s gonna be improvements. And

Eric Stromquist
Kenny, I think you’re right. And I think it gets back to I know, other manufacturers that we talked to, I mean, they’re really rigorous with their partners. I know, delta, has great partners, I suspect, Robert, if you put those guys through the paces, and they know, they’re probably getting updated on the cyber security too, because it sort of starts really with the building owner know what they want consulting engineer, but then ultimately gets back down to who’s the installer needs to be savvy with that, too. So speak a bit about some of the training you put your partners to

Robert Hemmendinger Delta Controls
show absolutely, we have a we do training both web, as you can imagine, we also do on site training as well. And then we make training available from kind of outside of our reach, you know, so we bring in experts around networking experts on on cybersecurity. Because, you know, not we’re not necessarily the best people to give those courses, we were the best people to give courses on our product. So we bring in the experts and make sure that our partners have access to that. And I because of some of our partners are so large, they have great capability to install for networks, you know, some of our partners are installing for IP backbones, not just for the Delta recruitment, but for the full billing services capability in the facility. So, you know, we amass the kind of ponder that we look for, they’re the kind of partners that we want to recruit, we want to look for partners that are already a go partner with Cisco, or Microsoft or HP or someone like that, that really take on board the way the direction and the route that this this direction this industry is going. As I mentioned, we’ve had IP controllers for a long time, we’ve had POE controllers for a long time. You don’t, you don’t just throw those onto a piece of wet string and hope they come online. You know, you’ve you’ve really got to know what you’re doing. So yeah, we have very, we’re very, very lucky. fortunate. And we also I suppose we work hard today. We have we have great partners, the great technical competence, Mar a community, it’s great word we’ve used a couple of times on this podcast, they do help each other out. So our forum is awash with with guys helping each other out getting things working and staying out of trouble. Very cool. So

Eric Stromquist
I want to get a little bit about your history on our community. No, but what about you, Robert? Because you’ve got quite a background. So walk us through the story. And how do you want to put Delta? Was it Luna? Did she recruit you only to blow good Thunder? wind up here?

Robert Hemmendinger Delta Controls
It’s a great question. Yeah. So I started over 20 years ago for working for Andover controls in the UK. Some of you may have tweaked my accent is not necessarily right.I live in Boston, but it’s so it’s an I have an old English accent, not a New England accent.So yes, I originally worked for and over controls, that’s my route into the industry. And like a lot of people industry, I completely fell into it by accident, just completely fell into it really didn’t know what I was signing up for. But within a year, I was hooked. And I was really hooked around. I like to build I like working with buildings and the variation of type of buildings and customers that we work with. And also I really like the various disciplines we get involved in, you know, one day, we’re in a conversation mechanical than electrical, then networking. I mean, we’ve done that today on this call on this, on this podcast here, we’ve got all across the world here at all different solutions. And you get to do that. So that’s really exciting. How about how I ended up at Delta controls, I’ve actually had actually had the fortune of working for delta controls twice. Now I ran the partner business in the UK for a while. And then a couple of years ago, I just happened to call our president Joe Nichols. He’s a friend of mine, and was actually my boss, and over controls. And the conversation went from there. And there you go. never look back.

Ken Smyers
Well, that’s very hit. And you know, it’s great to hear, because when he wrote for some great companies, he had the THC after handover. And of course, that was a good experience, I’m sure because they had such a broad approach to the market, the international expansion you’ve had, and this is a question, we have the opportunity, we consider building automation and buildings are common currency. And even that we do things, different voltages and different connections and whatever the markets seem to be the global concept of a global product used to be ridiculous to me, I think, you know, how could ever, you know, you’d ever agree to certain things. But I’m saying we’re pretty sure that the other than the protocol differences are KX versus Dolly or whatever it is, we’re really seeing the world get smarter together are they is would you say you’re a little bit ahead of us their adoption rate. I mean, they’ve always had a great emphasis and energy in the United States now has got some great technology, a little bit of pushback of adoption and specifying and stuff. But of the two areas that you’ve worked in which one seems to be the kind of the early leader adopter, and our technology is going to be one day the same everywhere?

Robert Hemmendinger Delta Controls
Yeah, I think I mean, we sell we manufacture products in Vancouver, and we ship them all around the world. We have we have installations, half a mile from our factory, and all the way in, you know, Australia and beyond. And you’re right, there are differences around things, actually, that play into sometimes external factors. So where the cost of engineering is high, in North America and Western Europe, the cost of engineering labor in the Middle East, and parts of Asia is really low. So therefore, your your cost of the product mix is much higher in a project and, and that’s sometimes what can you know, make you win or lose. And it seems to be more that rather than in America, we call it frost coil. And in England, we call it a freestyle, you know that that’s all the other way around, I forget which one it is. I think in terms of the technology, I just think it’s different. So what we’re seeing now in in mainland Europe is we’re seeing the explosion of the room controller solution, where we have a controller that does everything within a room, it does the access control, it does the BMS, obviously it doesn’t lights, it does blinds, it does everything all in one unit. And really, if you’re not, if you don’t have a product like that you’re not in the German market. We don’t really see that yet in North America, we’re starting just starting to see slight interest from certainly customers. And they typically are the more international fortune 500, fortune 100 kind of companies that are interested in there because of the experience that it gives to the occupant within the space. So I think it’s I don’t know where there is, one’s more ahead of the other rather than it’s just different. It’s kind of understanding different products and different needs. And sometimes it shifts from one one side to the other.

Eric Stromquist
Great. Yeah, Robert? Well, I want to sort of hop on and talk a bit more about that, because one of the trends that Ken and I are seeing is the C suite. And the real estate people especially, are really, really more concerned with the occupant experience. So you know, instead of just give us the lowest price up front, you know, no frills. Now, I think you’re taking into consideration, okay, what’s our argument experience going to be like, because obviously Real Estate’s competitive like everything else. And again, you know, Millennials coming in to have that home experience with the smartphone, they want the same thing at work. So if you can deliver that, it seems like you’re going to get a competitive edge if you’re a real estate professional. Are you seeing that as a trend with your?

Robert Hemmendinger Delta Controls
Yeah, great example, this is talking to a software company. The other day, one of the largest software companies in the world, and their facility Department reported to the CMO to the chief marketing officer. Now, I’ve been doing this over 20 years, I had never met facility manager that reported to the marketing person, they normally report to the CFO. So the CFO can keep up keep a good grip on the cost. Right? So I specifically said your wife why we started your business this way? Why do you report to the CMO? And they said, Well, we think this building and all of our buildings are a part of our brand. So the first thing our customer sees, or the first thing, new employees see the first thing investors See, it’s a strategic part of how we go to market, therefore it should be in the marketing department not not kind of pushed, oh, it’s one more thing the CFO has to worry about. And, and for me, that was a light bulb moment, that was a that’s a sea change in how we think about facilities, and how we deliver real value to the C suite.

Eric Stromquist
Right. And I think it was important that we keep telling our community This is you better be able to have those sorts of conversations, you know, you got you got to be able to talk about the inputs and outputs, and the technical aspects of that. But also, you know, the emotional component that your control system can deliver to their their tenants,

Robert Hemmendinger Delta Controls
for sure, absolutely. You’ve got to know, you’ve got to know exactly. If you’re going to have a conversation with someone in the C suite, you’ve got to know what are their top 510 priorities? And how does your solution and your technology help them achieve those? Because otherwise, they’re not interested in having that conversation.

Eric Stromquist
So you know, Kenny and I have talked a lot because, you know, again, you don’t have a great product, you’re not even in the game, if you don’t have a competitive price, and you’re not even in the game. So what are the differentiators and you know, one of the things Kenny I keep coming back to is, is your sales and marketing people might be your most important people now because you got to be able to deliver a message that’s easy to understand. It’s all the buttons and goes from there. You guys find that to be the case, too.

Robert Hemmendinger Delta Controls
It’s funny, the call I had just before this one was about our next sales program that we’re rolling out to kind of arm our sales people with more information and more data. You see, we’ve just completely redeveloped our our website. We’re spending more on marketing this year, next year, probably than we ever have done. Yes. Is the answer is the short answer. Yes, you have to yet you have to be able to tell the story, you have to be able to get the message out there. And our sensor hub is a great example of that it could be the best product in the world. But if people don’t know about it, I’m not going to sell that many. So we absolutely have to up our game and, and how we communicate when we communicate what we communicate. And make sure that we’re people understand that value. So you know, it’s it’s a really big focal point for us,

Eric Stromquist
right? And I tell my people, Robert, you know this time and attention, that’s what you’re competing with, you’re not competing with the guy or girl down the street, you’re people’s time and attention. So you got to get their attention. And you better not waste their time because you’re never going to get it again if you do so it’s it’s Kenny and I talk a lot about sales right now in our industry, probably every industry is the hardest job in the world to do the hardest job in the world you correctly one of the easiest jobs to do poorly because there’s just not much room for margin of error there. But you guys have always had a good team. And john nichols is one of our favorites. We know, test. Gentlemen, I was trying to think of earlier that that we knew john, so he’s doing well. John’s doing okay.He’s doing very well. Indeed. Yes. Very well. Regards. Yeah. Yeah.

Eric Stromquist
Yeah. Cool. Cool. Cool. Cool. Well, listen, our final question and then review everything else, Kenny, you can hit it. But so let’s talk 10 years down the line. I mean, obviously, there’s going to be a fountain of youth drug we’re going to take so 10 years now and people are saying I’ll follow our podcasts, we will look the same or younger. But what we have changed in the industry?

Robert Hemmendinger Delta Controls
That’s a great question, I think we’re going to think about, I think the architecture of our systems is going to change dramatically, I think we’re going to see either you know how we typically draw lines of devices connecting to each other, I think that’s going to be that’s going to be eradicated, I think everything is going to be talking into this fog of a network and how it connects, I think we are going to have a lot more connected spaces, I think things that we are connecting now. Things that we’re not connecting, that we haven’t even thought about the things that we want to connect, right. If you think of the things that you’ve connected in your own home over the last five years, fast forward that 10 years, we don’t know what they are yet, but they will be connected. And they will add value to the customer experience. And I think it’s going to extend out. So we’ve Smart Cities has been talked about for a long time. But we really haven’t got there in the Smart City space. And I think that’s because we haven’t had smart enough buildings, because you need the smart building to extend out to the Smart City and the community and the transportation smart around it. So I think that’s going to be the next stage is that it’s going to start to bleed out from the physical infrastructure of the building. And then maybe even beyond that to the home, because a lot of us work from home and go to the office on a less frequent basis than we used to love us and more mobile these days. So it will go to other spaces as well. And it will become very fluid, how we connect the things. I think a lot of the times now we spend time connecting and putting in passwords and connecting that thing to that thing. I think all of that will become very fluid in the next the next time.

Ken Smyers
Well, Harvard, I did have to kind of futuristic questions, because again, we’ve been doing it and you hit on a lot of the buttons. In fact, I have to keep crossing out when you mentioned him. But we see like you mentioned POV and volts DC and you know, the one the ability to make one network you put everything on one one network. So you reducing all your cities? And do you see the day where buildings will have a big VAT, you know, gigantic battery in the in the bottom of the mechanical room? And everything’s powered off? 12 volts or 24 volts DC and never use POV? I mean, do you think we’ll ever get to that? And then the corollary question I had to that was the right now. United States still has the benefit of wasting energy, unlike Europe, where they really had to be as efficient as possible since since after the Second World War I did the German nine years. And I was just amazed on how cleverly they made things work and didn’t, you know, didn’t have gigantic refrigerators and had small. And now of course, we get bigger, more efficient. But we saw New York City adopt this, you know, emergency energy thing. It’s because of the, you know, our stewardship of you know, the earth and carbon footprint and stuff like that. So the two questions I see, do you ever see buildings being powered by us like a gigantic battery? And you’re collecting all these stages to save sustainability, driving your wind turbines and solar and whatever? And to? Do you think that I think United States is going to start getting smarter, because cities like New York are going to punish you like a fight every month? If you use more energy than you should, and you’re not taking active steps. So do you think either those things are going to come into play?

Robert Hemmendinger Delta Controls
I do. So let’s start with the first one, I’ve actually been in an old DC building, wow, in the US, in Texas, in Fort Worth. So the technology is there, it’s very much in its infancy. But it makes a lot of sense when we think about how we, you know, convert the power content. So many times between the devices that we’re plugging in the transformers and the power supplies that we have, it makes no sense to be doing what we’re doing. It was very interesting, actually the meeting that was in because it was a couple of different companies. And there were startup companies and their pitch was all about safety and efficiency. But when they pitched it to the real estate investment trust, the very real estate investment trust saw, actually, the opportunity is less closet space, or you know, power closet space. And that means more square foot that they can sell. So it was a very interesting meeting. Because from an enterprise as an engineer, I could look at that and say, Well, yeah, it’s safe. And it’s less, it’s more efficient, and yada, yada, yada. But the customer looked at it, and I completely rewrote the value proposition around now I can just I can rent more space with that. That’s, that’s why I’d be interested in it. So I do think that is that is going to happen, I do think it’s quite probable If nothing else, because we are constantly adding more and more devices, to the to the buildings that we live in and occupy, we ourselves keep expanding and the amount of devices that we have, you know, it used to be when I had a phone now I’ve got an iPad and a laptop, a smartwatch, and this and that and the Kindle, and it’s just going to keep going on. So how many USB devices do I need to plug in at any one moment in time? And now with LED lights, light bulbs that we have all around all around our homes? Again, we’re just constantly converting voltages it makes, it makes no sense. So it comes down to infrastructure, how quickly can we change out that infrastructure? And that’s for me, that falls into the same category as EV cars. You know, we have such a such a wide infrastructure in this country, for gas cars, petroleum based cars, we don’t have an infrastructure for EV. So it’s how quickly can that grow, really is going to be announced in terms of cities and energy usage. I think it will come because I think the next generation will demand it. I think the next generation has more of a cultural and socialistic view to what that means. So I think if they do vote, and the problem is getting them out to vote, but if they do vote, then they will, they will drive that change. Politically, I think.

Ken Smyers
Wow. Okay, well, then we’re going to sign up for office.

Eric Stromquist
citizens. All right, well, Kenny spires I tell you what, this has just been great. Robert Can’t he appreciate I just want so you know, the future 10 years from now I’ve already got my water in to delta electronics for the Delta own five IQ booster chip that will go right in my brain and make me smarter regulate my system so that I stay younger. And that’s how I’m going to connect to the system. I just think it my lights will turn on and off. Right. So we’re working on it right now. That’s great. Thank you so much Walker can our listeners to this website yet more information on delta and especially this ultra center happy you got coming up? Good website for that?

Robert Hemmendinger Delta Controls
Yeah, nice and easy. Delta controls.com

Eric Stromquist
There you go. There you go. And you will be able to see see Robert john nichols and the rest of the Delta team at HR this year. So we’ll have to do to support when you get your booth and all will post up and get closer to Showtime so people know how to find you. And thank you so much for taking the time to come by and see us We really appreciate talking to you.

Robert Hemmendinger Delta Controls
Thank you it was an absolute pleasure. Thank you.

Eric Stromquist
We’ll do let’s do it again soon. Okay, let’s do it will go man Kenny, tell you what, man what a what a fascinating individual Robert, you know, new to had really good people. We met him over the years and him at the show, but what an articulate guy Robert is and man I’m excited about what they’re doing.

Ken Smyers
Hey, Joe has a very impressive technology and I like to speak softly and carry a big stick, you know, attitude towards a lot of things. And you know, we were on the site we got to see the technology and it’s amazing what you know, they had put into place and the fact that they’re going to open that sensor up to the market at large is a great you know, great choice because you know, typically moves put that in their pocket if you want that technology you gotta you gotta commit to a greater level than just cherry pick my good product so so

Eric Stromquist
yeah, particular some more level manufacturers because I think you’re going to have your your DDC products, your traditional type stuff, which is going to go through sort of fixed channels but then I think more and more companies are going to come up with more you know, IT IP based type, you know, devices that you know, don’t need necessarily an integrator to put in so I think you’re going to use that to up their revenues.

Ken Smyers
I so agree in fact, I was the buzzwords that I had over the week as we read articles and prepare stuff and we might want to mention why we didn’t have much activity on the so yeah,

Eric Stromquist
yeah, you’re talking about you know, getting all dressed up man, we are in the process pretty enough to ControlTrends site where we’re revamping is kind of a new look a new feel. And you’re part of that is is you know you had to sort of like took all your post and you have to change it all over get it which can take about a week and anything you in that time period when you back everything up and you change it over anything you added that you have to go back and react again so Kenny are taken up to this a little bit slow news wise and not doing a lot of post but we got this news website up in the next week or so and it should be really nice man we got new color palette the whole nine yards man

Ken Smyers
really nice. I think it’s going to keep renewing the the appearance and make things exciting create curiosity. But the control trends awards are fully afoot now. So we really really appreciate the response from the sponsors and the people that make it happen. Again, football season started that kinda was like the actual you know, you know, now it’s fault. September 2030 things official first day of fall, but in my mind, we’re already heading towards Thanksgiving you know. That’s the next big thing. I can think of that. I mean, Halloween never meant much to me but Thanksgivings. Big and then two blinks a couple weeks and it’s ControlTrends

Eric Stromquist
and ControlTrends Super Bowl extravaganza, it’s going to be special. And like I said, I think we got one point Platinum sponsorship left. We’ll be sending the sponsorship information out to our goal existing goals and bonds and Silver’s so they can get on board and if there’s any tickets October then we’ll open other people that want to become sponsors we keep it very, very loyal to the people that build us so we appreciate his without the sponsors. We just couldn’t make it happen so I can he smiles I think with that. I think we I think we’re going to call this around great conversation with Robert from Delta controls really appreciate him. Secret Asian man, go do some clandestine, don’t tell us about it cuz we don’t want you to have to kill us. But remember, be bold. stay in control. Stay secretive, and what else I say

Ken Smyers
stay relevant.

Eric Stromquist
We’ll see you guys next week on ControlTalk Now The HVAC and Smart Buikldings Controls Video Cast and podcast.

Find out more about the Delta O3 Sensor Hub!

Click here to get more info on the Delta 03 Sensor hub.

The O3 Sensor Hub 2.0 has an open platform and multiple IoT interfaces that make it possible to communicate and integrate with almost any system. Sold as an independent product, the O3 Sensor Hub provides easy installation and user-friendly flexibility.

Key Features

Sensor Fusion.
Multiple sensors used to determine room occupancy and temperature.
Quick response via IR temperature.
Light level and light color sensing.
User feedback via speaker or LED ring.
I/O to connect to nearby light ballasts or ceiling valves (chilled beam) or expanding motion.
enOcean option to add additional sensors and outputs, expand control.
Noise level indication.

Find out how to get it at Delta Controls.

Find out more about Robert Hemmerdinger.

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2 Responses

  1. Why the wall or ceiling?
    If it is a wireless device, then it can be anywhere within the condition space.
    • Where is the person located in the room that is wanting temperature comfort? At the desk.
    • Where can you get convenient power for your temperature sensor? At the desk.
    • Why spend expensive labor to mount the sensor on the wall. 1 or 2 hrs = $150/$300. The desk is $000 labor! (The ceiling is a terrible location because of diffuser air distribution)
    • Alexa is on the desk; why can’t temperature, motion and light level be there too?
    • In your home why is the thermostat/sensor mounted in the hallway? It can be next to you on the couch. It can be taken upstairs to your bedroom at night. It can be in the baby’s room! It should be portable and plugged in at night like your phone charger.
    Alexa/ecDeskSensorSystem for home or office.

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