According to a recent PwC report, global construction volume is forecasted to grow by 85% to $15.5 trillion by 2030. Despite this projected growth, profit margins remain constrained for many electrical contracting firms. The average margin for subcontractors ranges from 2.2% to 3.5%. As a result, electrical contractors are faced with the constant challenge of remaining competitive on job bids without undercutting their margins.
Today, it is paramount that electrical contractors remain nimble as they execute their projects to complete more projects in a shorter amount of time. Fortunately, technology is bringing new solutions that streamline everyday project tasks, including systems maintenance. One example is low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) technology that enables much simpler maintenance of building MV and LV electrical distribution systems. LPWAN wireless technologies offer the possibility of long-range telecommunication at a low bit rate. This allows for the easy placement of sensors within electrical distribution equipment (to gather performance data) and enables the simple transfer of data directly to the cloud for analysis.
When deciding which type of technology can add the most value, forward-looking electrical contractors select the solutions that benefit their customers as well as the efficiency and competitiveness of their businesses. Improving internal efficiencies not only can drive profitability, but can ultimately pay dividends for customers.
LPWAN: Small investment / big return for contractors
Maintenance management using LPWAN technology is an approach that benefits both electrical contractors and their end customers. In fact, there are three major benefits to deploying it to perform predictive maintenance on building MV and LV electrical distribution systems:
- Simple installation, commissioning, and upgrade process – Since LPWAN is a wireless technology, no time is spent hardwiring the solution that can save an electrical contractor a full day of labor. In fact, with the help of simple instructions and a direct connection to the cloud, it takes most electrical contractors less than 30 minutes to install and commission five sensors.
- No time delays securing IT department involvement – LPWAN solutions require very little integration, no special IT skills, and are easy to connect. Therefore, neither the electrical contractor nor the end-user needs to involve an IT department or request authorization to use IT network resources. EcoStruxure Power Commission software, for example, allows electrical contractors to set parameters of sensors in the electrical equipment in few minutes and an intuitive mobile interface, like EcoStruxure Facility Expert, creates a cybersecure cloud connection to the switchboard or smart device in as little time as five minutes.
For more information
To learn more about how LPWAN can enable smart power distribution systems and predictive maintenance, download our white paper “How LPWAN Will Enable Massive Cloud Connectivity of Electrical Distribution Equipment.” Also, this year Schneider Electric is launching PrismaSeT Active, in a few selected countries. This switchboard is equipped with built-in LPWAN connectivity. Fast commissioning makes installs more efficient, and real-time smart alarms optimize maintenance and improve uptime.