A Smart Building is a playground of varied interconnected systems helping the building to work efficiently

ManojKodakkatery.Manager.Buisness Development. Omron Electronic & Mechanical Components

Omron is a €7 billion global supplier of electronic components and solutions for a broad range of applications. Omron designs and manufactures a wide range of high quality, high performance components utilising latest technologies for Building Automation. Products include relays, switches, connectors and sensors. Here is the email interview with Mr. Manoj Kodakkatery, Manager-Business Development, OMRON Electronics & Mechanical Components Business to know more about Omron key strengths and smart products for building automation applications.

Smart Building automation systems (BAS) are large communications networks in which sensors play an important role. Please explain more.

A smart home or premise runs with the strong support of intelligent & smart solutions which in turn comprise of devices bringing in sustainable value around varied aspects such as energy management (for example, Heating Ventilation and Cooling infrastructure- HVAC), waste management, environment control, mobility (smart parking management systems) , e-governance, disaster management, citizen services like surveillance, et al. The bedrock of this ecosystem is a sturdy and advanced information technology network integrating all key functions of the building in order to deliver an enhanced living experience to the residents.

The notable technology which forms the foundation of this is Internet of Things (IoT). It interconnects embedded objects/devices of which sensors make one of the most important constituents.

They form an integral part of the automated centralized control tracking and transmitting data on varied important factors such as temperature, humidity, level of lighting, human presence, to name just a few, over to the controllers which in turn transmit it ahead in the cycle.

This is the communication that manages the key functions such as the building’s heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, etc. with a bigger goal to make it safer, convenient, energy efficient, cost efficient, comfortable and future ready for the residents to live in.

How big is the smart building segment in India? Kindly share the present situation as well as the growth drivers.

Industry reports say that revenue in the smart home market amounts to US$1,691m in 2019; with a CAGR of 43.6%, it is expected to achieve a market volume of US$7,189m by 2023. Household penetration is 1.5% in 2019 and is expected to hit 9.5% by 2023 (source: https://www.statista.com)

The overarching idea of creating smarter homes and buildings is focused on not only creating a better quality of life for the citizens but also to aim for comprehensive development of the country/region to contribute towards economic growth via enabling local area development and harnessing smart technology. A development of this kind gives great quality of life along with creating more employment, and thus enhancing the state of living for all concerned leading to creation of inclusive cities. Hence, at the individual level, the idea is gaining acceptance as a desire to have decent quality of life, a clean and sustainable environment with application of ‘smart’ solutions. And at the government level, the idea is becoming mainstream in order to achieve sustainable and inclusive development.

One smart city acts as a model which could be replicated to other cities. A smart building is a playground of varied interconnected systems helping the building to work efficiently and thus saving lot of energy and resources than a traditional building operating mainly in silos. Studies suggest smart buildings help in saving up to 30 percent of water usage, 40 percent of energy usage and thereby help reduce building maintenance costs by 10 to 30 percent.

The key objectives of a smart building are to save energy, enhance safety and bring in convenience. Kindly share more insights by highlighting the utility of Omron sensors.

Centered upon ‘Internet of Things’ based solutions, OMRON has been working on presenting offerings in the Sensors arena that have utility across varied aspects of building & home automation. These are highly compact and durable sensors which when embedded in equipment/devices, collect data and contribute in the proper functioning of the complete solution. This is possible owing to the technologies they come imparted with, such as – human sensing, condition sensing, heat sensing, flow sensing, object sensing, distance sensing, vibration sensing to name a few presented in the form of Omron Environmental Sensor, Dust sensor, Thermal Sensor and Earthquake sensor, etc. in our portfolio.

What are the major challenges the sensor providers are facing in the smart building automation industry?

It primarily begins with the affordability factor. Many of the smart solutions, at this point of time, are expensive which makes them positioned at the top end of the market only. Also, even at the top end, the solutions are expected to take longer to be deployed completely at a large scale owing to many more challenges at the city and state level such as retrofitting the existing cities and the existing frameworks of utilities, channeling finance, co-ordination among multiple stakeholders, the unavailability or lesser availability of supporting technology infrastructure, etc.

What are the key differentiators for Omron sensors/solutions?

Here is a quick low down on the varied sensors in our portfolio:

  1. FVOmron Thermal Sensor

• IR based temperature detection; available in four variants: 1×1, 1×8, 4x4and 32 x 32. Has digital output and

minimal noise.

  • Key Applications: Occupancy detection, new food entry detection in refrigerators & cold storages, management of rodents in warehouses, better management & upkeep of old age home and hospitals, etc.
  1. Omron Flow Sensor
  • High accuracy mass/ pressure / velocity flow sensing of air; comes with a detection range of 0.1L/m to 70L / m with digital / analog output.
  • Key Applications: Gas meters, detect clogged filters in HVAC systems and fuel cells, etc.
  1. Omron Pressure Sensor :

  • Compact, delivers high levels of accuracy with 15cm height difference; 30 to 110 kPa, digital output
  • Key Applications: Toy Drones, Smart watches and wearables
  1. SDGOmron Vibration Sensor :

  • Compact & delivers high levels of accuracy with digital output and an acceleration detection range of -2000 to +2000 gal.
    • Key Applications: Meters, Earthquake detection, Disaster management, elevators.

Omron Environment Sensor:

  • Compact multi-functional (temperature, humidity, noise, UV, light, pressure, acceleration, TVOC) sensor with blue tooth connectivity.
  • Key applications: Ware houses, food storage, inhouse farming, kindergartens, corporate buildings.

4ROmron Environment Sensor:

  • Compact multi-functional (temperature, humidity, noise, UV, light, pressure, acceleration, TVOC) sensor with blue tooth connectivity.
  • Key applications: Ware houses, food storage, inhouse farming, kindergartens, corporate buildings.
  1. Dust Sensor:

  • Highly sensitive, small size, PM 2.5 and PM 10 particle detection.
  • Key applications: air purifiers, air conditioners, environmental monitors, etc.
  1. Human Vision Component

  • 10 functions incorporated in the compact module with camera.
  • Local processing of the data within the module.
  • Key applications: interactive marketing, vending machines, Old age monitoring etc.


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