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All Systems Go: The Benefits of Intelligent Preventative Maintenance

“The whole system is down.” As a building manager, how many times have you heard this one and how many times was it actually true?  In all likelihood, you never had to deal with complete failure, but you did have to deal with the cumbersome manual process of pinpointing exactly what was wrong in answer to this sweeping generalization. Not any more.  With Intelligent Preventative Maintenance (IPM), you can quickly dispel that claim and view operations in real time.

Actually, you may not even need to check the IPM dashboard to know that, in fact, all systems are not down, but that one piece of equipment might be. You would have already been notified during the remote PM.

So, IPM is a simpler, smarter way to manage your building’s maintenance. Plus, it will save time, money and energy. Here’s how it works. Traditional preventative maintenance is still performed including prescheduled site visits, standardized checks, and corrective repairs, but IPM adds an extra level of remote digital connectivity.

Intelligent Preventative Maintenance Overview Schneider Electric

It automates most tasks, providing continual building data checks while diagnosing the sequence of operations. Comfort, maintenance and energy issues can all be better served through remote monitoring and applied analytics based on set criteria.

With the most current data, Remote technicians are able to triage building issues, better prepare in advance for on-site work and make more informed recommendations to address the complaints you hear the most like: “It’s hot.” “It’s freezing.” And, of course dismiss the assertion that, “the whole system is down.”

We are also able to diagnose exactly which piece of equipment is not operating to standards, and prevent failure proactively. This means your operations budget is more predictable since there’s a lower change of unforeseen repair expenses.

The solution enables systems testing every five minutes to confirm that sensors are properly calibrated and input devices are reading correctly. Performance analysis is done daily instead of periodically. Alarms can be set to send alerts, so when a problem does arise and we can remote in to assess — and sometimes even fix — the condition, or at least troubleshoot and make a system adjustment to prevent downtime while a serviceman is en route.

If a technician needs to be dispatch, the visit is more productive because IPM helps prioritize the most important systems and provide much needed information ahead of time. So when the truck rolls out, the tech knows where the problem is, what’s been tried already and what parts to bring if needed.

For example, let’s say something’s wrong with the variable air volume box (VAVB). In a 50-story building, there might be 2,000 different boxes. Traditionally, a tech would have to walk through and look at all VAVB — manually open the box, see if the air increases, check for a temperature change and then move on to the next. With IPM, he knows which box is not working and goes directly to it once on site. Problems are fixed faster and the first time.

More Benefits

Another benefit of IPM is energy savings. A common problem in buildings is simultaneously heating and cooling, and yet a building running just two degrees above set point uses an inordinate amount of extra energy. By including metered data to the analytics, the solution can easily identify areas of waste. In mission critical facilities, you can also add event management to your IPM plan to make sure there’s never any downtime.

For more information why IPM is a smarter service plan option for better operating buildings have a look at this video on Intelligent Preventative Maintenance.

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