Most facility maintenance managers and technicians would agree that their jobs seem to be getting more complex rather than easier. These days, building and industrial maintenance personnel are expected to be familiar with a broad range of products and to also understand how these products impact other connected devices. They are also tasked with producing detailed reports, so that facility management can track important equipment performance and uptime data.
After all, without proper servicing, the energy consumption of power distribution, HVAC and lighting infrastructure can increase dramatically—as much as 10 to 20 percent as the system slowly goes out of adjustment. As facilities modernize and as infrastructure becomes more automated and connected, maintenance planning and execution become critical success factors for rapidly servicing equipment and maintaining uptime.
Despite this high pressure work environment, relief is on the way for maintenance personnel in the field. Some new, relatively inexpensive tools are now becoming available that make the task of managing equipment maintenance much easier… and it all starts with a mobile device.
From tedious to simple: The power of connectivity
Imagine that you are tasked with performing scheduled maintenance on some electrical systems. In a traditional world and under normal conditions (if there ever is such a thing) you would have to locate the part that needs to be inspected or fixed, schedule some time to perform the maintenance, perform the proper diagnostics, administer the fix, test for proper function and then write up the report and submit to interested stakeholders. This work takes hours of tedious coordination, multiple phone calls, and sitting down once the work is finished to write a report. And that at the end of a tiring day when your brain is already spent.
Now imagine that you have a simple app on your smart phone that is designed with one priority in mind: simplification of maintenance operations in the field. It’s a cloud-based tool that helps you to monitor the status of assets you manage from everywhere with remote alarming from connected assets to quickly implement corrective action in case of an issue. Such a tool allows you to access all the data you need to run effective maintenance on all your assets in the field:
- Operation history to demonstrate that the job is done and to comply with asset maintenance regulations
- A preventive maintenance plan to remember all the tasks
- A documentation repository to provide relevant information to field workers on their mobile devices such as user and maintenance guides, single line diagrams and drawings
Here is how this tool works:
A digital logbook for each asset, which is integrated with a GPS, tells you where the equipment you need to work on is located and traces your maintenance activities in real time. If desired, each asset operation log can be customized to include voice memos, notes, photos, and measurements. A planning and task reminder associated to asset logbook allows you to access, with your smart phone, a pre-defined maintenance plan from QR codes that have been placed on equipment. This information is then automatically accessed by any pre-approved peers and managers at any time, so that you don’t have to constantly report back to them. And best of all, this tool, which has gathered this data while your day has progressed, produces a maintenance report in one click. That means you no longer have to sit down to write out information on forms describing what work was done and what equipment was worked on.
Such tools allow maintenance personnel to create a collaborative community which includes team members, customers, and other interested parties. Therefore, information like digital logbook history and maintenance plans can now be shared. Equipment status and problem/resolution information can be communicated in real time through chats with colleagues and customers.
These apps can also be connected to monitoring systems so that instant alerts and early warnings can be send out before any downtime or failure occurs. New pieces of equipment, when they come on line, can easily be added to the inventory. The more these tools are used, the more efficient the entire maintenance operation becomes.
Click here to learn more and discover how Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure™ Facility Expert solution can simplify your work day.