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Buildings today can be made smarter than they’ve ever been, with automation systems and other technology providing facility managers with deep insights into building’s operations. Thanks to the IoT, facility managers can now monitor areas where sensors were previously unavailable. Integrated solutions increase insights at both a granular and a broad level, allowing managers to transition from a preventative to a predictive maintenance paradigm.
It might be tough to strike the correct balance in terms of maintenance. On the one hand, replacing possibly good parts early could be a waste of time and money; on the other hand, waiting until equipment fails could impede a crucial business operation or negatively influence building comfort. Predictive maintenance in a smart building gives you more control over the maintenance process, allowing you to strike a better balance between spending less and preventing costly downtime.

Current Industry Trend: Preventive Maintenance aka Commercial Maintenance Cycle

The commercial maintenance cycle is designed to reduce the likelihood of critical equipment failing at unexpected times for the organization. Maintenance is planned around this schedule because it’s difficult to locate windows of opportunity that don’t interfere with daily operations.

Preventative maintenance, however, raises expenses significantly because managers must err on the side of caution. They may replace equipment in great operating order and show no wear and tear signs merely because it is nearing the end of its useful life. They are unable to complete this assignment at the best possible moment since they lack the necessary information. If they wait too long, they may find themselves in need of a replacement. The same can be said for part switching and other common procedures.

The Need of the Hour: Predictive Maintenance

On the other hand, predictive maintenance allows for a more efficient commercial maintenance cycle to be implemented. Managers can dig deep into the data collected by IoT devices installed throughout the building. They can create a schedule based on these insights rather than taking the unnecessarily cautious and costly way. Parts and equipment are replaced only when they are needed, not before or after. The facilities manager begins by establishing a baseline of performance. The predictive maintenance solution has no point of reference without this statistic. It can then examine real-time data to produce an intelligent automated timetable that prioritizes the most critical tasks after it has processed this data.

How does IoT based Predictive Maintenance work?

IoT sensors are attached to different equipment, which continuously collects data on their operation. For example, on a commercial refrigerated unit, s Sensors could collect data on everything from the temperature of the coolant moving into and out of a compressor to the number of times a compressor starts and stops to how long the compressor runs. This data can then be mined and patterns can be detected using machine learning and algorithms. The data collected during normal operations serves as a performance baseline; abnormal data over time may suggest that a problem now exists—or is developing.

Preventive Maintenance vs Predictive Maintenance

Today, predictive maintenance is becoming more prevalent in the BMS industry, where preventive maintenance has traditionally been the backbone. Preventive maintenance is a time-based plan in which routine inspections are performed at predetermined intervals. While this cost-effective strategy extends asset life and decreases unplanned downtime, it ignores asset wear, which can result in excessive maintenance or machine failure. Early defect detection is enabled by predictive technology, which uses testing, diagnostics, and machine learning to identify and prevent equipment faults, hence reducing downtime exponentially.


We can say that property managers must take the advantage of new technologies that offer more cost-effective ways to prevent system failure. Buildings already having a building automation solution can allow facility managers to manage multiple buildings and floor levels from a single strategic location, but predictive maintenance is the key to maintaining an optimal system that provides a safe and healthy environment for building occupants while reducing downtime and lowering operating costs.

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