A Look at the Digital Revolution in Facility Management

A csemag.com article poses the question: “Are you prepared for the digital revolution in facility management?”

The piece says this “digital revolution” means change for the way facilities are being managed, and that’s a good thing.

Here’s an excerpt:

“…the digital revolution is helping to alleviate a list of facility managers’ pain points. This list includes managing the increasing complexity of buildings, merging legacy buildings and their systems with facilities' expansions, and maintaining aging infrastructure. It also includes enhancing efficiency, and ensuring business continuity and emergency preparedness. And no list would be complete without the requirement to do more with less. However, two pain points at the core of the digital revolution are keeping up to date with evolving technologies and working with too little or too much data. In fact, the digital revolution in facility management is empowering managers. Those embracing the revolution know about operational issues sooner, make decisions faster, and take action more insightfully. Helping empowered managers alleviate their pain points requires manufacturers, engine-generator dealers, and contractors to be empowered as well, or be left behind.”

So what’s enabling this revolution?

This piece says it’s the Internet of Things – the wide selection of computer-connected or Internet-connected devices such as lights, home security systems, watches, cars and so much more.

The article continues:

“In buildings, equipment with sensors include automatic transfer switches, engine-generators, and even radiators and fuel tanks. Taken together, the array of sensors in buildings creates an interconnected facility management system that senses, transfers, and acts on specific information that each sensor is designed to monitor. The system could be designed for a single building, a multi-building campus, or geographically dispersed facilities. It could comprise hundreds or thousands of sensors. This type of smart system adapts to, and anticipates, facilities managers' needs, and even proactively manages their environments within the parameters they establish. How many and what types of sensors do your equipment and components integrate?

“In terms of a building's connectivity, or its ability to collect and share information, it wasn't that long ago that serial networks provided only data and were commonly connected only to HVAC, fire, and security systems. Today, Ethernet networks with access to the Internet provide data, plus analysis and/or interpretation, and interact with other systems. It's fair to say that facility networks now resemble IT networks.”

Sensors are already part of critical power management systems.

“For a critical power management system (CPMS), for example, sensors already help monitor and control every aspect of system operation. A nationwide, independent survey of facility decision makers about critical power monitoring and control sheds light on the capabilities they have and those they want. More than 66 percent of those responding either have, or would like to have, monitoring capability from their CPMS. More than half either have, or need, control and reporting capabilities from their CPMS. Almost half of those who have control and reporting capabilities also have some sort of integrated system to manage it. About 45 percent of respondents have some type of power quality monitoring and analytics,” The article states.

The piece continues with this example. For much more information and a more detailed explanation – please check out the original article (link below).

“The following example is a new paradigm of how facility managers are beginning to think about the equipment and systems that comprise their facilities. It's a natural leadership opportunity for EGSA members.

“While not exactly a ‘Brave New World,’ the new paradigm for critical power management specifically, and facilities management in general, is cluster management. Related equipment and systems will be monitored and controlled as a cluster. Critical power certainly will be one cluster. Others will be HVAC, and safety and security. Each will have detailed monitoring, measurement, and control within itself. And each will stream data to an overarching system, such as a building management system. The overarching system will orchestrate facility managers' policy decisions using the aggregated data.

“Cluster management will significantly affect equipment and devices in a cluster and how they're managed. All equipment and devices will need to be completely compatible, share information freely, and otherwise operate seamlessly.

“What are the ramifications for vendors who manufacture only some of that equipment and those devices? Will manufacturers who offer all equipment for a cluster have an advantage? Will facilities managers gravitate to cluster purchases of equipment, or buy individual pieces of equipment and devices? Does cluster management lead to facility management ecosystems?”

 

For more information, see the original article here: http://www.csemag.com/single-article/are-you-prepared-for-the-digital-revolution-in-facility-management/c8782117d8f31053520044efa78d4a34.html