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