Sustainability And Environment Protection Have Always Been An Integral Part Of Our Vision: Johnson Controls India

Johnson Controls is a diversified technology and multi-industrial provider serving customers in more than 150 countries. It creates intelligent buildings, efficient energy solutions, integrated infrastructure and next-generation transportation systems. In an exclusive interaction with Sarabjeet Kaur from BW CIO, Shrikant Bapat, Country General Manager and Managing Director of Johnson Controls India talks about how they are working to seamlessly deliver the promise of ‘Smart Cities’.

Shrikant Bapat, Country GM and MD of Johnson Controls India

BW CIO: How do you fulfil the need of your customers of having intelligent infrastructure solutions for smart buildings?

Shrikant: The underlying denominator for making a building “smart” is technology-led development which is enabled by internet connectivity and energy management systems as these lead to greater efficiencies. Our integrated solutions combine technology with advanced analytics to keep people and buildings safe. Johnson Control’s portfolio covers equipment and technology for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC-R), security systems, energy management and fire protection. Our smart Building Management Solution (BMS), for instance, controls and optimizes the energy consumption and functionality of an infrastructure to deliver the quality experience for its occupants.

BW CIO: What smart options does your Building Management Solution (BMS) solution provide the guests staying in hotels to make their stay more comfortable? 

Shrikant: Services like setting up the room temperature, water temperature and lighting fall under the    category of BMS. The technology includes devices, controls, sensors, data analytics and advanced solutions to monitor and control the internal environment.

Johnson Controls Metasys Building Automation System connects the commercial Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC), lighting, security and protection systems to a single platform to deliver the information needed for building owners to enhance the occupant’s ambient environment for optimized comfort, safety and productivity. The solution also has a mobile app feature with intuitive display and consistent look across all mobile devices. With this functionality, building owners can control HVAC and other systems and fix any arising problems from anywhere.

Another BMS solution that we provide is BCPro which is a building automation system that allows building operators to quickly access and view data on HVAC, plumbing and lighting systems, as well as make changes to the systems. Data is organized into graphic displays, summaries and reports that provide comprehensive overview of the systems.

BW CIO : How does your next-generation transportation system helps in the seamless making of smart airports?

Shrikant: Since 2003, we have brought the benefits of building wide systems integration to airports around the globe. By integrating the business with IT, airport, and building systems, we helped airports create safe, productive environments and improved their overall efficiency. This enables the facility to respond appropriately to travelers, employees and tenants. An optimized and integrated infrastructure streamlines communications and work flow.

Our Metasys building automation system is the nerve center that integrates the technology. It connects everything from airport security, fire detection and access controls to flight visualization, check-in systems and baggage handling. It also tells HVAC systems to monitor comfort and lighting levels, addresses escalators and moving walkways – all the while managing the systems that maximize energy efficiency. We have provided these solutions to leading airports in India, as well as for Metro systems across the country.

BW CIO: Do you keep a check on building and maintaining sustainable as well as energy-efficient solutions?

Shrikant: At Johnson Controls, sustainability has always been an integral part of our vision and we have been dedicated to protecting the environment. Our environmental efforts are conducted with set objectives like improving our operational efficiency by lowering costs and reducing the environmental footprint of our operations and supply chain.

The products we make and the services we deliver help customers improve energy efficiency, reduce pollution, waste less, and recycle more. From energy-efficient heating to distributed storage energy solution, our range of technology and insights help reduce energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and improve the lives of people and the environment. Our smart building solutions deliver integrated lighting, improved comfort and air quality, as well as greater physical security to businesses and occupants. This improves energy efficiency and promotes sustainability with reduced environmental impact over a building’s lifecycle.

BW CIO: What are your efficient solar energy solutions?

Shrikant: We offers two types of energy storage solutions: in-building and containerized. We combine our battery expertise, facilities knowledge and intelligent controls to handle multiple, concurrent applications and deliver very economic benefit. All Johnson Controls Distributed Energy Storage systems are built to integrate into building systems providing unmatched customer value. We do not provide alternate energy solutions as it is not a part of our scope. But we have always made sure that all of our solutions provided to our customers are energy efficient.

BW CIO: Which are the current trends of the HVAC-R industry in India?

Shrikant: The total HVAC-R equipment market in India is growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 10-12 percent.   Several factors account for this growth: urbanization which is growing at 32 percent year-on-year; increase in demand for new energy efficient HVAC systems; upgrading of existing HVAC infrastructure; extreme weather conditions; and construction boom of commercial buildings and residential apartments. The need for smart cities is a must to address the influx of urban migration.

With the ‘Smart Cities’ initiative and increased adoption of technology, there is greater awareness about smart and efficient buildings and its benefits. Many multinationals have defined sustainability targets which were made public. Every company aims to acquire green labelling from agencies like IGBC, GBC or GREGA as a part of their sustainability program.

BW CIO: How is Johnson Controls keeping up with these trends in the Indian HVAC-R industry? 

Shrikant: We constantly innovate to provide leading edge solutions for smart buildings. Our global expertise puts us in good position to introduce advanced, high-efficiency HVAC-R equipment and technology for the Indian market.

For instance, we have recently introduced our class leading, ultra-high efficiency chillers YVWH, YGWH and YZ.   Also our partnership with Hitachi enables us to provide a wide range of cooling solutions to meet different customer needs. Our data-enabled services allow us to extract and analyze usage patterns from buildings where our technology is installed to further fine-tune our products for greater efficiency.

BW CIO: How can the HVAC/R industry step a notch higher with the use of technologies such AI and analytics or other such technologies?

Shrikant: A building is an intricate network of information that includes security, HVAC, energy management and fire detection systems. The process of collecting data, translating the raw data into useful insight and action is critical to delivering smarter capabilities for buildings, communities and cities. The implementation of advanced sensing and analytics allows continuous optimization of the building; we can predict when a chiller is losing efficiency or when it needs repair. We can see whether the flow through the air handler is appropriate. A building manager can monitor a building’s occupancy and the movement of people to change how he manages the building.

Take for example our cloud-connected Smart Connected Chillers, which are large air conditioning units used to cool buildings such as hospitals, universities and commercial buildings. Through the cloud we are able to monitor the health of the chillers remotely, and leverage data analytics from these smart chillers to keep buildings running efficiently and to maintain a continuously comfortable environment. Cloud-based analytics and dashboards are useful to the management to schedule maintenance or to take corrective actions with the data being received from the equipment.


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