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Wednesday, 8 April

Internet of Things - a Central Theme

The Internet of Things is becoming part of our everyday life. How does it have an impact on FM? and where can I get info? We answer both questions with the next FMCentral gathering being at least one answer.

Karen Moule of FMCentral - the networking organisation - writes: ‘Smart’ homes fitted with the latest technology; allowing you to control your heating from your phone; be alerted when the smoke alarm goes off or your home is broken into; and even watch a video of what’s going on in your home while you’re out.

This is just the start. The Internet of Things is set to revolutionise the FM sector, making it more efficient and more productive.

The IoT has mushroomed as a result of the development of Internet connectivity, mobile technology, and the miniaturisation of sensors. We are now at a stage where anything can be fitted with a microchip sensor to collect and report data.

The data can then be analysed by software to trigger actions without human intervention, and to inform management decisions.

In the FM sector, new buildings are being designed and built to include IoT devices, particularly in heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems. These devices give greater control and greater efficiency which leads to reduced energy consumption and reduced costs.

It’s not just new buildings either. Existing buildings can be upgraded to include IoT devices to control HVAC energy usage, keeping costs down and reducing the carbon footprint.

As well as the physical buildings, IoT devices can also be used for ‘soft-FM’ applications.

For example, IoT devices can also be used to track mobile staff, such as security wardens. If they swipe a sensor at specific points on their rounds then the central system knows where they are and can raise the alarm if they don’t check in at any point. This keeps the staff much safer – help could be on its way immediately in the event of a health issue or if the security guard is overpowered by intruders.

Another example: The average washroom needs soap and paper towels to be replenished before they run out. Doing this manually can lead to a lot of wastage in consumables and manpower. With IoT sensors reporting the levels of soap remaining in the soap dispensers, or how full the paper towel dispensers are, cleaners can be alerted to ensure they have appropriate quantities to re-stock when they next visit the washroom.

 

These are just some examples of how IoT is starting to be used in FM. Want to know more?

Then come to the next FMCentral event, which will be on Wednesday 24th May from 6pm-8.30pm at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre in Quainton. The speakers will provide clarification on what IoT is, how it works, how it’s being used already in a variety of industries and then more specifically how it will be used in FM. Hear speakers who are using IoT already and the results they have achieved. And most importantly understand more about the opportunities for your business.

For full details of the speakers and to book your place at the next FMCentral meeting, visit www.fmcentral.co.uk

Article written by Karen Moule

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