ENTOUCH Smart Building Solutions

Is Your HVAC Fleet Sick? How Actionable Data Can Heal and Extend Facility Asset Life

“We’d like to welcome you to the solemn occasion. At 6:03 AM, the primary HVAC unit in our flagship store on 123 Main Street five caught fire. The problem arose from short circuits within the wiring, and the costs to repair the store seem immeasurable. Our budget is stretched thin, so there is only one solution. We either shut down that section of the store for the foreseeable future, or the let our customers suffer through sweltering temperatures as they shop.”

Okay, that did not happen, but it reflects the problems created when facility managers do not have access to critical data and have failed to implement a proactive facility management program. The inability to understand how current assets function will eventually lead to problems, and depending on the issue, the results could be severe and ultimately impact a company’s brand. That is the risk in today’s level of facility management. If an organization does not track and understand its assets, it will fall short, causing massive disruptions at some point. Even your HVAC unit that was installed three years ago could be on the cusp of cascading equipment failure, but fortunately, it is possible to extend facility asset life through actionable data.

The Problem With Poor Visibility and Access to Actionable Data

Let us take a moment and compare facility asset life expectancy to the human body. When things start to go wrong, a person needs a comprehensive medical evaluation. The slightest deviation in typical values, such as running a fever, indicates a problem. That person could be contagious, and most companies agree keeping an employee with a threat of illness at home may be the better option than risking the spread of infection to the more extensive company network. The same reason managers want to know why a person calls out of work is why facility managers need more information about their facility assets. It is impossible to understand what might happen if the facility manager does not at least understand the assets’ vital signs. Poor visibility to critical facility assets is likely the result of an inability to track and collect data, leading to reactive maintenance strategies, as reported by Facility Executive. Meanwhile, raw data lacks value; facility managers do not know how to apply the data. However, what if they did?

Actionable Data Enables Proactive Maintenance and Reduces Downtime

The key to extending facility asset life expectancy life and the application of actionable data enables proactive facility maintenance. Targeted analytics can compare data from across your facility assets to identify anomalies, and such defects reveal potential causes of “illness.” As a result, facility managers can dispatch the appropriate technician to make a repair before the issue results in a “weeks-long cold” or even death of the asset. In other words, actionable data reduces the risk of disruption and need to replace assets.

How Actionable Data Increases Facility Asset Life

The basis for improving asset life expectancy must follow a clear path to track data, understand its meaning, and apply it accordingly. To prevent failure in assets, facilities managers need to create a preventive maintenance (PM) program. Preventive maintenance reduces costs by ensuring the “health” of components, and since a person is already involved in maintenance activities for a given asset, intuitive systems could combine future maintenance needs into the same visit. In a sense, proactive maintenance takes on a dual role of providing both scheduled preventive maintenance and using predictive analytics to reduce risk of disruption further. Actionable data reduces the cost to operate an asset, and since the risk of complete failure decreases, its total cost of ownership decreases as well. In addition, more information leads to the creation of an asset management playbook, helping facility managers track asset-specific data, including make, model number, age, and replacement part data. This information optimizes preventive maintenance and virtually eliminates the guesswork when something external causes a problem, such as a natural disaster.

Reap the Benefits of Decreased Total Cost of Ownership With the Right Energy Management Partner

Actionable data increases asset life expectancy, and, when applied across a company, data decreases total cost of ownership of your facilities. Of course, it starts with implementing a detail-oriented solution that makes data easy-to-understand and actionable. Fortunately, analytics make this possible and are included within ENTOUCH.360™. Discover the far-reaching cost avoidance savings from actionable data by scheduling an energy audit with ENTOUCH online or by calling 1-800-820-3511 now.