Remote monitoring is an essential tool to optimise a building’s infrastructure. Integrating a comprehensive remote monitoring strategy for HVACR assets into the management of any facility can increase its efficiency and reduce operating costs. It can provide insight into the operating data of each asset, which allows users to identify not just issues but also opportunities for improvement. When utilised to its full potential, a Forbes study has found that asset management software can lead to a 22% reduction in operation and maintenance cost as well as a 15% reduction in working capital.
There are many challenges in regards to managing a facility or estate, and they vary greatly depending on the type of business. Remote monitoring software can help address these, and there are certain features to look out for to ensure the right kind of solution is implemented. Additionally, the Internet of Things (IoT) can help utilise remote monitoring software to its full capacity.
Challenges for facility managers
The following represent some of the most pertinent challenges that are faced when managing large estates or multiple sites, which remote monitoring software can solve.
- Which work is each asset doing?
- Are the assets under or over-utilised?
- What is their lifetime value?
- When will they need to be replaced?
- How are staff alerted to problems?
- How can problems be foreseen and prevented?
Remote monitoring: increasing efficiency & saving costs
In essence, remote monitoring software works by processing data it receives via cloud technology from a front-end control system that is in place at a facility. This system, in turn, receives data from the control solutions installed throughout the facility. The following features of remote monitoring software can increase efficiency and save operating costs.
With remote monitoring software in place, facility managers do not need to physically visit a site, to understand how assets are performing. All the information they require will be at their fingertips, simply by logging into the program from their desk.
An efficient remote monitoring solution will consolidate maintenance, energy and incident management into a single dashboard. This will streamline processes and remove the need for time-consuming manual tracking and monitoring.
Daily reports about the functioning of the equipment can be created, which enables facility managers to identify issues before they become serious. As a result, proactive rather than reactive maintenance is possible, which can save costs and time.
Pre-set workflows and intelligently connected devices enable equipment to function automatically. More specifically, they streamline energy efficiency and simplify reporting, while also minimising costs and labour requirements.
Advantages of IoT for remote monitoring
The IoT facilitates managing physical assets by enabling device connectivity. Multiple devices can be monitored remotely, and sensors can determine asset performance and trigger notifications according to pre-set conditions. Additionally, cameras can ensure that assets are protected.
Where records were previously kept in the form of handwritten notes or manually coordinated excel sheets, they can now all be easily coordinated between different sites using the IoT - reducing the risk of error.
Another main advantage the IoT provides is the ability to monitor sites at any time from anywhere. Whether it’s from a desktop or mobile device, reports will be available when needed, even on the go.
Effective remote monitoring software for HVACR
Effective remote monitoring systems will analyse and interpret data for businesses using HVACR equipment, all of which will benefit from streamlined incident filtering, energy management and predictive maintenance.
Using customisable pre-defined filters such as site, event type, date and time, remote monitoring software can analyse incident notifications. Determining their urgency, it can decide whether human intervention is required. Store managers can be alerted if any incidents outwith pre-set ranges occur. This type of incident notification filtering reduces maintenance call-outs as it ensures that only critical incidents are acted upon.
Statistics compiled by British Gas show that in 2018 46% of business energy was consumed outside of regular business hours: between 6pm and 8am. Stricter controls are needed during that time to curb unnecessary energy consumption.
Remote monitoring software offers a solution, as it provides complete visibility of operating data. Energy trends can be analysed and measures implemented to streamline performance to reduce energy consumption.
According to studies, HVACR plants waste up to 40% of their capacity. Stops, speed losses, interruptions and defects all contribute to this. Additionally, 60% of maintenance costs are unnecessary and preventable.
With an efficient remote monitoring software in place, energy baselines can be generated and benchmarked to predict potential failures, to ensure systems are operating effectively and that assets are protected. As a result, costs associated with energy inefficiency and downtime are reduced and there are fewer demands for labour and data analysis. For businesses in the food industry, it can also prevent stock loss.
Resource Data Management (RDM’s) remote monitoring solution ActiveFM can provide all features mentioned above. Offering complete visibility of HVACR assets, ActiveFM incorporates IoT connectivity to report on the health and performance of infrastructure whenever and wherever it is needed. The user-friendly interface manipulates complex operating data from HVACR infrastructure and presents it in an easy-to-digest, interactive format.
ActiveFM is designed to give facility managers the tools and flexibility they need for their unique requirement. Since every solution is different, RDM’s remote monitoring software is fully customisable. Additional plug-ins are available depending on the facility’s needs, such as Temperature Data Retention, Dial-in Access and Live Maps. These features provide the option to make it even quicker, more accessible and more straightforward to effectively manage assets and energy consumption.