Emerson Network Power, the world's leading provider of critical infrastructure for information and communications technology systems, wanted to develop a system to manage the cooling infrastructure for data centers.
Dubbed the Liebert® iCOM™-S Thermal System Control, the product would provide a single point for managing the entire cooling infrastructure -- including establishing set points, identifying adverse events and monitoring system thresholds -- and allow technicians to quickly gain access to actionable data, system diagnostics and trending information.
The system automatically manages and optimizes airflow and temperature for the highest protection of IT equipment and energy efficiency. Using machine-to-machine communication and advanced algorithms, Liebert iCOM-S utilizes data from rack inlet sensors, pressure sensors and supply air sensors to optimize cooling unit operation. It is designed to eliminate single points of failure to protect the cooling unit in the event that adverse conditions arise at the system level.
To be most effective, the control unit for this complex product needed a modern, large-format touchscreen user interface with self-optimizing features so users could easily identify and address adverse events before they become problems.
ICS’ UX pros designed an appealing and easy-to-use front-end interface based on feedback from stakeholders, including Emerson’s own customers. Then ICS’ Qt engineering team worked with Emerson’s engineers on the back-end of the project, in part guiding them in the overall architectural design using C++/Qt/QML.
ICS also helped Emerson implement best practices for code optimization, performance tuning, debugging and testing, and established an agile development process between the UX, front-end and back-end teams.
ICS delivered a stable product on time and within budget, as well as enhanced the skills of Emerson engineers so they are now able to do their own Qt/QML development.
As icing on the cake, the Liebert iCOM-S was chosen as one of the best new products of 2016 by Consulting-Specifying Engineer, taking gold in the Building Automation Systems, Controls, Energy Management category. The prestigious industry award recognizes innovation and technological advancement in engineering.