“With the Simpro IoT dashboards, we are now alerted to potential issues before tenants even advise the building manager of an issue.”
Darren Wills, rom Polyteck
Tracking asset maintenance with pen and paper
Managing the maintenance of electrical and HVAC&R equipment across almost 400 sites with just pen and paper is no easy feat. But, it’s a challenge which construction and facilities management company, Polyteck, knows all too well. Specialising in the development, refurbishment and maintenance of properties, Polyteck needed a better end-to-end solution.
According to the team at Polyteck, staff were recording asset maintenance history for items such as boilers, chillers, air conditioning systems and plant rooms, manually in a logbook, every time they visited a site. As some of the sites maintained by Polyteck were heritage-listed buildings, they required unique asset maintenance, creating a mountain of paperwork.
As Polyteck wanted to grow and expand the business into new sites without adding more manpower, the company decided to explore ways that could streamline the asset maintenance processes. Polyteck also wanted to gain more insight into the health of critical assets so failing equipment could be
detected before a full outage occurred.
One example of Polyteck’s unique clientele is the team that manages and maintains the famous London Royal Exchange. As a historic building erected in its modern form in 1844, it comes with a plethora of potential hazards such as flooding, poor air quality and humidity that could cause mould and lead to the degradation of irreplaceable parts of this listed building.
Previously, field staff from Polyteck were monitoring plant rooms, water tank temperatures, chiller energy consumption and refrigerant pressures for any signs of deterioration through reactive maintenance and via a Building Management System (BMS). But, Polyteck knew with such a historic building, it was important to know sooner, and with finer detail, if there was a potential for an asset to fail. This was the only way they could truly protect such a historic site.
Polyteck needed a new solution. One that would allow them to move away from handwritten logbooks and labour intensive inspection of the assets.
Teaming up with Enviro-Logik to implement IoT
Polyteck were introduced to Enviro-Logik, a smart HVAC technology business who specialised in improved maintenance. They had the solution Polyteck was looking for, and that solution was a comprehensive condition-based maintenance system powered by Simpro IoT.
Enviro-Logik showed the team at Polyteck how they could retrofit an IoT system to existing assets to move from a reactive based asset maintenance model to a condition-based model. The new model allowed Polyteck to monitor asset data in real time, instead of having to rely on an onsite presence. This was done quickly, over a couple of days, by installing a series of low cost nodes and sensors (many of which run on battery and require no cabling) to critical plant equipment.
This information from the assets was then sent, via a gateway, to the customisable Simpro IoT dashboard, where the status of all monitored assets at the Royal Exchange would be clearly displayed. Optionally, The solution also allows Polyteck to create service jobs from within a job management system, providing a truly end-to-end asset maintenance solution.
Most importantly, Enviro-Logik’s unique solution powered by Simpro IoT enabled Polyteck to carry out services when, and if, an asset’s specifications fell outside predefined parameters. This in turn, provided greater visibility, allowing Polyteck to become more responsive and provide enhanced customer service.
Polyteck Senior Contracts Manager, Darren Wills, explained that once Simpro IoT had been implemented at the Royal Exchange, monitoring assets became a more streamlined and accurate process.
“We find things that we normally wouldn’t know about,” Darren said.
“The Royal Exchange has got two chillers on the roof. Even if we have someone checking on these every day, it may not show symptoms of deterioration until it is too late.
“Thanks to the solution provided by Enviro-Logik powered by Simpro IoT, we were able to view the dashboard and receive an early warning about refrigerant loss in one of the chillers. Spotting this not only prevented the chiller from tripping out but also financially saved the property managers from spending money on replacing the refrigerant in the entire unit.
“We were also excited to find that we could pick up on temperature issues in plant rooms at the Royal Exchange and fix them before the team reported any issues.”
Pen and paper also became a thing of the past as asset history could now be
stored in a job management system.
Enviro-Logik’s comprehensive asset monitoring solution allowed Polyteck to see an issue before it became a problem, ensuring that the property managers at the Royal Exchange could provide continuity of services for their tenants.
“We tell our customers that this solution is a value add benefit that you can provide to your tenants” Darren said.
“Our customers can reassure their tenants that their environments and assets are being monitored 24/7, and that we will be notified of any faults or failures that occur... this gives them peace of mind.”
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