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Upgrading Johnson Controls Building Automation Systems

A Building Automation System (BAS) integrates facility equipment, allowing for centralized control of heating, ventilation, lighting, and more. A facility manager uses the BAS to maintain a comfortable environment for tenants and to optimize for energy efficiency. While a legacy BAS gives facility managers the basic controls, the outdated system often lacks the advanced capabilities needed to meet today’s standards.

Upgrading a BAS—such as the Johnson Controls Building Automation System—to the latest technology gives you access to a web-based front end, advanced analytics, and superior equipment controls. It’s possible to upgrade a legacy Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI) system partially or entirely.

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Benefits Of Upgrading A Johnson Controls Building Automation System

JCIs legacy BAS is both open and proprietary. Being “open”, it allows for the integration of any manufacturer’s equipment. However, using a Johnson BAS means you must use Johnson controllers to communicate with the network, essentially making it a proprietary system.

Upgrading from an older Johnson BAS will give you more functionality with customizable options for equipment control and analytics. With a graphical, web-based front end, you’ll find it easier to optimize your facilities to provide the comfort and safety your tenants deserve. Increased control also means the potential for energy savings through tailored programming.

In short, an upgraded Johnson BAS helps you keep pace with current technology and puts you in a good position for future improvements.

  • Johnson Controls UpgradesMore options for equipment control, which increase energy efficiency
  • Replace unsupported components to ensure future reliability
  • Expand your selection of vendors for service and maintenance
  • Take advantage of powerful front end analytics

Johnson Upgrade Options & Integrations

At the back end of older Johnson systems is the proprietary N2 protocol, which communicates between the equipment controller and the network’s front end. On some Johnson systems, such as the JCI DSC-8500 and other extremely outdated models, the controllers are no longer supported—you’re better off replacing them as they cannot be upgraded. However, there are options for upgrading newer Johnson systems and controllers.

If your system uses JCI Metasys N2 controllers, it is possible to upgrade your BAS front end. We make this improvement using a Tridium JACE controller fitted with a Johnson-developed communications driver. Available from MACC, this device allows legacy Johnson N2 controllers to communicate with a front end software called Facility Explorer. Much more powerful than the legacy Metasys front end, Facility Explorer seamlessly integrates with automation systems to optimize performance and energy efficiency.

Johnson Products We Can Upgrade:

  • Metasys front end-user interface
  • Johnson N2 open driver
  • Johnson N2 Slave Serial driver

Other Building Automation Systems We Can Upgrade


How to Upgrade Johnson Controls BAS Equipment

Managing a facility with an aging BAS is a challenge. Obsolete parts, archaic interfaces, and limited functionality make it tricky to create a comfortable, safe environment for your tenants. You’ll know it’s time to upgrade when frustrations like slow network speed, poor equipment performance, and inefficient controls impact how you manage the facility.

Poor Performance

An older BAS won’t have the equipment controls necessary to fine-tune your building management strategy. A legacy system that can’t keep pace with modern technology limits your options, impacting overall efficiency. Equipment performance begins to degrade, and managing your building’s total energy usage becomes a struggle.

Increased Operational Needs 

The facility you look after is always evolving with renovations, building improvements, new equipment, and changing tenants. Your BAS must evolve too, or it will affect your ability to maintain the building correctly. If your BAS doesn’t have the functions you require, it’s time to consider upgrading.

Obsolete Programming Language 

Equipment using an outdated programming language reduces your choices when it comes to facilities management. As time goes on, finding a qualified technician trained in the unsupported language gets increasingly difficult, and adjusting your controls may become impossible. Without an update, the latest advancements in technology are outside of your reach.

System Memory Issues

When your BAS begins to run out of memory, it limits your reporting, equipment controls, and upgrade options. By switching away from a legacy system, you avoid potential memory errors and ensure your ability to stay on top of your management strategy.

Outdated Manufacturer

At MACC, we’re qualified to install, service, and maintain systems for a variety of equipment manufacturers. We can provide unbiased advice when it comes to BAS upgrades, and we work with each client to determine the best facility solutions for their needs. If your BAS manufacturer isn’t providing the support you want, count on us for professional service and expertise.

Contact Us Today For Your Johnson Upgrade

A modern building automation system makes it easy for facility managers to keep tenants comfortable and safe and provides advanced controls for optimizing equipment usage and energy efficiency.

At MACC, we can help upgrade a Johnson Controls BAS, while retaining the value of your initial investment. We’ve successfully updated a wide range of legacy brands, including JCI, as we’re an authorized Johnson Controls provider and installer. We offer objective advice and work with you to achieve the best solution for your facility, whether it’s updating, upgrading, or replacing your current BAS.

If your legacy BAS no longer meets your needs, it’s time to consider an upgrade. Call MACC to find out how we can work together to protect your Johnson BAS investment while giving you the latest in building automation technology.

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