The Internet of Things and Facilities Maintenance?
More and more devices these days are connected to the internet, which means an increasingly complex environment for facilities managers. Complexity aside, the Internet of Things (IoT) offers multiple opportunities for facility maintenance companies to offer better services. This article explains some of the benefits associated with operating a connected facility.
Devices connected via the IoT can send information to a central monitoring system accurately and in real time. This information can be used to:
- Increase efficiency
- Boost performance
- Reduce costs
- Create more streamlined working practices
Proactive monitoring capabilities
Of course, most facilities are set up with monitoring infrastructure, such as fire alarms. Most fire alarms use a hard-wired system to a monitoring station when there is potential fire danger, triggered by heat build-up or smoke. In an IoT environment, there is scope for more accurate detection. For example, the smoke or detector could alert nearby devices and check for any signs of fire danger in the vicinity, helping emergency responders identify the exact location of the fire or identify a faulty detector.
By detectors collectively monitoring heat levels, emergency responders will have more data on heat level and the spread of a fire. They will also be able to trigger preventative devices accordingly such, as closing automated doors or operating sprinkler systems. Measures such as these minimise collateral damage and danger.
Another example is the use of drones for security, building inspections and simple maintenance tasks.
Data collection and analysis
The more connected devices, the more data! Data can be collected and analysed to benefit of the management of the facility. By using the data to identify patterns and inefficiencies, the facility manager is able to make informed changes and decisions to create a more cost-effective and productive facility.
Connected for convenience
It’s not long before a large variety of devices will be connected to each other. The Internet of Things poses a number of exciting opportunities for facilities managers, who should keep a close eye on these developments.