Wake up before Break-down: How to Proactively Manage Facilities

A typical day in your business:

Neglected leads – a ping away.
Lead tracking – a click away
Customer queries – a ping away.
Customer support  – a click away
Scheduled meetings – a ping away.
Attending meetings – a click away

Elevator breaks down – No heads up.

Sweating and panting, you walk all the way up to the 13th floor, place a call to the facilities team to raise a complaint which then takes hours to get fixed.

Buildings are either too cold or too hot. Power outages fairly frequent yet poorly handled. Lift and fire systems left uncared for until they malfunction.

On an average, three out of five assets are replaced 10% earlier in their life cycle because of frequent breakdowns and repairs.

Poorly prepared buildings significantly bring down tenant retention rate despite firefighting capabilities, that eventually hits hard on overall business growth.

So, what is it that can keep buildings and businesses in harmony?

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

While firefighting problems is mandatory, buildings need a system in place that do not overlook problems until they surface.

It is imperative that buildings identify hiccups early on before they become a disaster and prevent problems even before they could occur. This saves a large chunk of operational overheads and repair costs.

But how do we realize proactively managed facilities?

Buildings are a powerhouse of data, rich in contextual value

Today, mines of data from various automation systems like BMS, HVAC, fire and lift control panels, power systems etc. sit inside buildings, unkempt and unexplored locked in vendor-based, vertical silos. In isolation, they offer no meaning to the operational chaos.

Consider this: If there are temperature fluctuations in a building – it could possibly be due to improper air balance, or a  leak in the AHU refrigerant, or an uncanny chiller breakdown which in turn could lead to excessive energy consumption.

When problems in buildings are interconnected, how can we prevent them in a siloed infrastructure?

Integrated asset, energy and operational data, in real-time

Facilio uses IoT to unify data from existing automation systems across buildings, in real-time. By integrating with BMS, HVAC, Fire & Power systems, elevators and external systems:

  • Asset (coolant level), energy (energy consumed to cool the air), space (room temperature), operational (occupancy) and external data (outside temperature) are available in a single system for analysis
  • Facilio holds the entire context in one place to control and prevent anomalies.

The key, now, is to define predictive workflow patterns using the integrated data that can keep unforeseen breakdowns at bay.

And how?

Stay vigilant with condition-based monitoring

Most major breakdowns in buildings are offsprings of multiplied and overlooked miniscule problems, extremely typical in nature.

With Facilio you can set strategic workflow patterns, closely monitor them and intelligently eliminate or assert certain patterns as leading up to a larger problem – that way enabling CREs to proactively manage facilities.

Let’s start out with simple workflow definition.

Simple Workflows

Did you know, a poorly maintained chiller consumes 25-30% more energy? You would be surprised to know how simple threshold checks can be life saviors for maintaining asset health.

Sansa, for instance, is smart and uses Facilio to ensure chillers at Rawana Building have undisturbed coolant flow 24*7.  

She gets notified every time the oil level goes below set limit to refill promptly, by setting a simple workflow like so:

  1. Choose an asset or space metric that needs to be monitored – Chiller A Oil Level
  2. Select simple condition type
  3. Choose operator and value for the condition, number of times the rule can be violated before an alarm should be triggered – (Oil level < x litres)

Special Workflows

For singular use cases like comparing energy usage pattern with a baseline or tracking asset flapping states, we need special workflow definitions.

Jon, who manages facilities at Stark Towers using Facilio, knows if there is water imbalance or pump malfunction in the chiller system.

He has a workflow defined that keeps a check on chiller run status flapping/fluctuating too frequently and everything else sorted through his day like so

  1. Select flapping condition type
  2. Enter a lower and higher threshold trigger value – (implicit for boolean data)
  3. Enter flapping frequency – number of flaps that should trigger an alarm
  4. Enter flapping interval – time period within which the set flapping frequency should trigger alarm

Complex Workflows

For complex scenarios, Jon uses Facilio’s formula builder to define his own custom workflow pattern.

He can now define workflows over multiple entities/data – say there is uncanny shoot in HVAC energy usage while the temperature outside remains almost constant, he can set a workflow condition with total consumption (energy data) and weather (external data) to spot the abnormal shoot up in usage.

And how:

  1. Click the variable boxes to select value for the variable. The values can be either an asset/space reading, or asset/space fields or constants
  2. Select an operator from the list shown on hover
  3. To add a variable click on the + icon inside the bracket
  4. Click on the + icon outside the bracket to add a new expression

So with proactive facilities, we can stay in control of every drop in oil level and shoot in energy usage, closing in on minor problems, barring them from piling up into a catastrophe.

We can prevent unplanned business outages even before they occur, cutting on operating costs and improving asset health.

Problems, even if any, are now only a ping away.

Interested in Facilio?