How smart maintenance makes you more productive

Typically, maintenance is done on a corrective basis—i.e. in response to a fault or error—or periodically scheduled. There is a major flaw in this process in that equipment must be broken before it is fixed, which necessitates a period of downtime.

Smart maintenance is predictive, which means faults can be identified and repaired before they occur in a seamless process. It’s arguably one of the biggest advantages of intelligent buildings’ use of measuring and monitoring tools; by gathering all this accurate, real-time data, building managers can also get important information about the status and functionality of things like HVAC systems, lighting, computer systems and so on.

How to adopt smart maintenance

The first step is to start gathering data using sensors that provide real-time measurements of electricity, water, sound, vibration, temperature and more to monitor the condition of your equipment. You can connect these sensors to your most critical assets to begin with.

You can then use this data to make intelligent decisions about your existing maintenance strategy, determining whether changes in the condition of equipment can be used to discover why faults occur, and introduce predictive maintenance to fix problems before they occur.

The technology behind smart maintenance

Smart maintenance is made possible by the Internet of Things (IoT). This enables an unparalleled level of connectivity, giving building managers to ability to gather data on things like vibration, temperature, fuel levels and acoustics from thousands of devices in real-time, via both wired and wireless networks.

This IoT-connected equipment can be linked to a ‘computerised maintenance management system’ (CMMS), which uses data analytics to predict and identify faults using the data gathered by the equipment and communicate that information to staff. Building managers can use a CMMS to manage upgrades and maintenance quickly and efficiently and share that data easily to colleagues and technicians—in turn, technicians can use cloud systems to access that information on their mobile devices in the field.

The benefits of smart maintenance

Smart maintenance offers firms several benefits, in particular significant cost-savings as less time and fewer resources are spent repairing and replacing damaged equipment.

    1. Increase productivity – technicians work more efficiently because the data and information they receive is more accurate and can respond to faults quicker; everyone else works more efficiently because there are fewer system failures, faults and breakdowns in the environment around them.
    2. Reduce maintenance costs – downtime is expensive; smart maintenance systems reduce or eliminate it, meaning less money is spent on costly repairs and replacements, as well as labour.
    3. Extend equipment lifetime – by keeping it maintained and avoiding serious breakages, equipment can last for much longer without replacement.
    4. Remain compliant – smart maintenance ensures your firm remains compliant with various international and national standards for maintaining equipment, particularly the ISO 55000 standard for asset management.

 

In addition, better maintenance and management of assets can reduce the energy consumption and environmental impact they have, adding to your firm’s all-important green credentials—and any related costs.

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