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Existing Hardware Investments to Automate Building Maintenance
Leveraging Existing Building Management System
Vice President, IoT Product Strategy
Corporate real estate
buildings usually have existing hardware investments that can provide
energy and building devices data. These solutions range from your
Building Management Systems (BMS) and your Energy Management Systems
When working with an Internet of things (IoT) platform for maintenance, your business needs a solution that can complement existing systems without requiring an additional layer of hardware or ripping out and replacing existing systems.
To significantly bring down your hardware costs for an IoT implementation in corporate real estate, your solution needs to work with the typical BMS systems found in those spaces such as Honeywell, JACE, Johnson and Siemens. This way, your business will have the most return on investment on critical use cases — including HVAC, lighting, boilers, chillers and security devices — by aggregating this data from your existing systems even if they have different control systems.
Another challenge that
facility managers face is that different systems often monitor
different devices at a facility. For example, one system may control
HVAC and lighting, while another system monitors elevators and
escalators. This can cause information to be presented on different
dashboards, making data gathering and understanding more difficult.
A good IoT platform can
gather information from disparate systems at a facility and display the
data within a single pane of glass on one dashboard. This becomes even
more important when your building portfolios have different BMS
a Complimentary System
By having a system that is complementary to your existing hardware infrastructure, you can drive additional value in many different use cases including:
1. Gaining an Enterprise View
Roll all your building’s
data into one central dashboard, so you can see where action needs to
be taken right away.
Gain Insights Between Regions and Types of Buildings
Between acquisitions and
purchasing new real estate, your business probably has different types
of buildings that are different ages and need various levels of
maintenance attention. By rolling up all BMS data across your
enterprise, your business can prioritize expenditures and understand
spending trends across different assets in your real estate portfolio.
3. Pairing New Sets of Data for Additional Context
Your buildings are not in
a vacuum. They live in the context of weather, with different
infrastructures and years built, and they will naturally consume
varying levels of energy. By pairing your BMS information with
maintenance information and energy consumption — as well as site and
device contextual data — one can eliminate alarm noise, prioritize
maintenance and catch specific maintenance issues that can cause
equipment failure in advance.
The ability to make
changes at an enterprise level can help control energy consumption in
times of high energy prices. Solving for occupancy and adjusting
setpoint can result in additional energy savings.
Building setpoint audits
typically happen on an annual or biannual basis and can be an expensive
affair. By having an IoT solution remotely monitoring setpoints across
your enterprise, your controllers can be reverted to corporate
standards daily to prevent manually changed setpoints and should result
in energy savings and saved auditing costs.
Ensure Configurable Workflows
When you accurately
leverage your BMS data into in IoT platform, you can create dynamic
workflows based on the equipment problem type. This means that if you
have different floors, regions or various responsibilities scattered
across your maintenance team, you can create specific workflows that
address the issue with the exact person meant to fix it.
7. Integrate Data Directly with Your CMMS
Another benefit of having
your BMS data integrate with IoT and CMMS solutions, is you have
further control over your maintenance issues. You can see if a problem
was fixed, when it was fixed, and can ensure that contractors have
completed any planned preventive maintenance on your equipment without
having to call the site or guess from the work order data.
Your Business Forward
Ultimately, if your business decides to move forward with an IoT solution, ensure that it will work with your current hardware installed and that you have a plan to integrate it with other critical systems within your organization. This way, your solution will return the most value for your business and allow your operations to scale. Utilizing an IoT solution will not only help to consolidate your systems, but it will work as a modernizing force for any forward-thinking organization.
About the Author
Basant Singhatwadia is the Vice President of IoT Product Strategy at Accruent
where he is focused on delivering actionable IoT solutions to our
clients in order to solve real business problems. He leads Accruent’s
Product and Professional Services team for the vx Observe product with
deep involvement with the Engineering team. In his diverse professional
career spanning 23 years, he has worked on writing firmware for
embedded devices, created an offshore software development center of
excellence, and is now responsible for a software that remotely
monitors devices at enterprise level across the globe. He has been
associated with Accruent for the past 15 years. He has been
instrumental in devising a hardware agnostic IoT product strategy
across different device types and different industry verticals.
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