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LONWORKS CASE STUDIES

Home Appliance Automation

Italy-based multinational Merloni Elettrodomestici, a leading European home appliance manufacturer, offers a new group of home products that use Echelon's LonWorks system to communicate with one another in the home and through the Internet to the outside world. The Ariston Digital marks the first commercial availability of "smart" appliances that work together to be easier to use, more reliable, and at lower cost to own. The Ariston Digital product family includes refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, and other home appliances, as well as a multimedia, interactive, touchscreen home smart monitor that tracks the performance of all domestic appliances, while facilitating access to the Internet.

The use of LonWorks technology makes the Ariston Digital products easy to install and use (plug and play). No complex network configuration is required, and no new wires need to be installed. To connect a new appliance to the network, the homeowner just plugs it in. The intelligence is distributed in each appliance, eliminating the need for a central computer to process the data and control the appliances. All Ariston Digital appliances communicate with each other by exchanging information through the home's power mains using Echelon's powerline communications transceivers, eliminating the need for new wires. Embedded intelligence in each appliance enables each device to be constantly "aware" of how much power is being consumed in the home and to regulate the consumption accordingly to avoid the risk of a circuit overload or blackout. Should a circuit overload threaten, the appliances are able to decide which one should be given priority; for example, the washing machine over the oven.


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