Preventive maintenance is a great way to keep your equipment in shape, but the calendar-based strategy is a
one-size-fits-all solution to a facility full of
equipment with different ages, conditions
and expected life.
Predictive maintenance, which emphasizes tune-ups and filter changes whenever
each piece of equipment needs work, can
save time and money. With Internet of
Things devices keeping an eye on asset performance, it’s easier than ever.
Investigate how a predictive maintenance
model incorporating Io T technology could
change the way you deliver facility management services.
How to Use IoT for
Your Io T-enabled monitoring system typi-
cally includes three components, accord-
ing to Logan Soya, Founder and CEO of
Aquicore, an asset management software
n Sensors will collect specific measure-
ments from equipment and record ambi-
n A data logging or networking device will
intercept the streams of data from the
sensors and aggregate them in a central
n A dashboard or other interface will inter-
pret the data and help you prioritize what
to act on first.
“In terms of the data we can collect, it
can be electricity consumption, water, gas,
steam or BTUs to measure the energy the
building is using,” Soya explains. “You can
also measure utilities being consumed by a
room or by a specific tenant.”
There are also a number of conditions for
your equipment that can be monitored. For
n Is a piece of equipment on or off?
n How fast or hard is the drive running?
On the environmental side, Soya suggests
measuring things like temperature, carbon
dioxide or particulate matter. “All of those
things combined create a well-rounded
understanding of what’s going on in the
Where to Start with IoT
Don’t be tempted to roll out in-depth
monitoring for every building system
right away. James McPhail, CEO of Zen
Ecosystems, an energy management platform provider, recommends starting with
one source of data, such as a smart thermostat, and building out from there.
“A thermostat can provide ambient tem-
perature for the space and runtime data to
show you how much the HVAC has to run to
keep up with setpoints,” McPhail says. “The
way to get the most out of the Io T space is
by adding other components – for instance,
a thermostat plus a return air sensor. Then
go a step further and incorporate real-time
energy monitoring devices.”
This lets you eliminate the requirement for
manual analysis, where you’d track degrada-
tion in return air, ambient conditions, set-
points and runtime separately. Adding energy
consumption monitoring and using a system
that aggregates the data into one source of
information lets you draw conclusions about
failing compressors or motors much sooner.
After you’ve settled on which building
system to start with, Dan Burns, Technology
Strategy Director for real estate management company JLL’s Smart Building
Program, suggests starting with an equipment inventory.
You may already have an existing list of
Streamline Predictive Maintenance
with Internet of Things Devices
HOW SMART MONITORING ENABLES BETTER MANAGEMENT
CONNECTED DEVICES make it easier to track the performance of each piece of equipment and plan ahead when components are about to fail.
assets in some form, perhaps as part of an
existing preventive maintenance strategy.
Then determine what qualities you’ll track
as part of your switch to predictive maintenance and performance tracking. For example, if you’re starting with the HVAC system,
you might want to track airflow, outside
temperatures and vibration analysis for each
piece of equipment.
“See what data you care about collecting first and then improve your building to
collect more over time and refine the performance of your building,” Soya says. “You
might prioritize utility consumption first just
because it’s the biggest bang for your buck.
You can get a lot of savings from just monitoring one or two points of data, and it also
acts like a heart rate monitor to help you
detect failures. You might not know where
the failure is, but you can know one is occurring. That’s an affordable place to start.
“Once you’re advancing your initiative and
collecting other data, ask yourself about the
questions you need to answer, like ‘Why am
I off from my budget?’ or ‘Why are my maintenance and repair fees skyrocketing?’” Soya
adds. “Use those questions to drive what
data you’re prioritizing. People tend to create
a big lake of data and get lost in it.”
Switching to a Predictive
As you gradually expand your data collection efforts to cover more of your equipment, start phasing out calendar-based preventive maintenance in favor of a predictive
maintenance model that prioritizes maintenance where it’s needed most.
“We typically recommend that customers
realign their maintenance schedules when