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Interworking

Introduction

Interworking is the major asset of the KNX technology  and is defined as:   

“The situation where products sending and receiving messages can properly understand signals and react on them without additional equipment”   

In order to profit to the full extent of the use of a Home and Building Control system, it is indispensable that products of different manufacturers (" multi-vendor interworking") and products of different application fields (" cross-discipline interworking") interwork.

KNX Interworking: How?

All is possible today with KNX certified products, thanks to the stringent KNX interworking rules for KNX certified products:

  • First and foremost, products that  are labeled with the KNX trademark , are obliged to “talk and understand” the KNX language, i.e. be able to correctly interpret the analogue signals on the medium they are connected to and the bits and bytes as laid down in the KNX system specifications;
  • Secondly, all KNX certified products are either configurable by  one single manufacturer independent engineering tool (ETS™)  or the used network resources of the devices can at least be read out by this engineering tool;
  • And last but not least, if realizing a specific function – for instance the sending of a temperature during runtime operation – this may only be coded according to the KNX interworking specifications. For a whole set of functions (switching, dimming,  blinds control, integer and float values, percentage,  date/time, HVAC modes, scene control, ...), KNX has standardised a complete set of data types .

Advantages of KNX Interworking

The above approach has contributed to a large extend to the success KNX is enjoying today. Without the above stringent interworking, it would have been impossible:

Appliances
  • To offer building owners the free choice between products of a large number of KNX manufacturers;
  • To allow KNX contractors the use of a single planning and configuration tool like ETS;
  • To train several thousands of KNX contractors in a worldwide uniform training scheme;
  • To enable manufacturers to develop niche products, which thanks to their interoperability with the rest of the system, bring functionality which one single manufacturer would never be able to offer on his own in his product portfolio;
  • To boost an OEM market between KNX manufacturers;
  • To facilitate the development of gateways between KNX and other systems (like DALI and BACnet).