AMNYTT 5/2020 - Page 104

SMART HOME Why then make the step into craftsmanship, into selfemployment and the risk of having your own business? “Well, in the evenings and on weekends, I worked on some electrical installations on the side,” recalls the dynamic master electrician. “This became more and more frequent. And at some point I had to make a choice – all or nothing.” The result of the decision is clear to see. But how did Christmann come into his current specialization? “For one thing, of course, my prior knowledge in the field. But also due to the situation in the trade. There is enormous competition in the classic field of electrics. But for the topic of building automation, you need a different way of thinking and a different knowledge, both about products and solutions, and also in the field of customer acquisition and support. Anyone can set the standard, but we want to develop further and look beyond what is in front of us.” “More than 90 percent of my customers come to me about the subject of Smart Homes. To do so, they drive the one hour journey from Frankfurt, or the one and a half hours from Cologne, here to me out in the sticks. They expect professionalism, both in craftsmanship and in the appearance. You should never forget – when it comes to smart homes, it’s not employees turning up with requests for building projects; it’s the bosses themselves. Our regular catchment area is the extensive Rhine-Main area. And that sometimes reaches as far as the Balearic Islands,” smiles Christmann. The smart home expert even employs two programmers in his team who adapt the various systems to the respective control systems. “I mainly use Phoenix Contact components because my customers are not interested in low-cost, but rather in extremely secure, extremely reliable, and very futureproof products,” he says, explaining why he swears by the Blomberg product range. “Cheap doesn’t work at that level.” Sales representative Hans-Jürgen Heep supports Stephan Christmann and provides the entrepreneur with an overview of the product range KNX – the bus for smart homes Christmann Automation uses Phoenix Contact KNX terminal blocks, among other products. KNX is a globally recognized standard for intelligently networking electrical installations in buildings, and is based on a bus system. More than 400 manufacturers support the standard, and therefore, all products are compatible. The trick is that the device controller is separated from the 23 V power supply and has its own control network. For example, with just one installed switch, you can control the heating, the lighting, and raise or lower the shutters. In addition, the functions can be reprogrammed later and, if desired, can also be accessed with a smartphone. Door opener, lighting, air conditioning, and heating – everything can be accessed with the KNX standard and can be addressed in the home thanks to the dedicated cable network. KNX requires a 24 V power supply in the control cabinet – an ideal task for a suitable “Step Power” power supply from Phoenix Contact. The small power supply derived from the industrial sector does not take up much space, generates little unwanted heat, and is extremely stable due to its quality manufactured to industrial standards. Trabtech surge protective devices ensure the necessary safety of the entire system, protecting sensitive smart home devices and all communication devices such as a PC or telephone against lightning strikes and line fluctuations. 18 UPDATE 5/20 The Phoenix Contact innovation magazine