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Managing Breakdowns in Buildings With Virtual Engineers

Managing Breakdowns in Buildings With Virtual Engineers
19 October 2021
 

Managing mechanical failures in commercial buildings could be made easier for facilities managers by using a virtual engineer.

To help FMs manage automatic door breakdowns, Strand Technologies has launched a virtual solution that could prove just as effective as having a full-time engineer on site.

At the touch of a button, Strand Technologies' Virtual Engineer (VE) could identify the problem and apply a fix in a matter of minutes.

 

"We expect automatic doors to work flawlessly and the majority of those installed in the UK do, but commonly, user behaviour - including abuse and misuse along with environmental conditions such as rain, wind and even sunshine - can affect their performance.​ In some situations, this can result in time-critical breakdowns which compromise safety, security and accessibility and can prevent the business operation from continuing - at great expense and inconvenience.”

–Simon Bowden

Sales and Business Development Director, Strand Technologies

 

What is Virtual Engineer?

 

Helping facilities managers to maintain service-level agreements with their clients, VE is a software solution for the control and diagnostics of automatic doors, gates and barriers. It is an online gateway that can be used on-site or remotely to alert and identify a problem and allow the user to overcome common problems.

The dashboard, which has been devised specifically for the management of entrances, links to Strand Technologies’ iContact product range. Virtual Engineer offers two gateway user levels – one for non-technical staff who have immediate responsibility for looking after the site and another, more detailed interface for estates and facilities managers which provides greater technical detail and remote management capability.

This latter option includes a dynamic overview to enable remote control of a specific set of doors or a group of entrances that link into the system – be they on one site or across a wider geographical area.

Virtual Engineer also encompasses a unique "AssistME" function. This is a press button facility that is located by the monitored asset and activated by the end-user. Once activated, an immediate alert is sent to the site manager and or the service provider to advise that the door/gate or barrier is not functioning effectively and that it is preventing access or exit.

VE dashboard enables fast and simple troubleshooting for the entire service team with 24/7, 365 day instant remote diagnostics and control. It can be accessed by any computer or mobile device and linked to specific emails to flag alerts.

The benefits of using Strand Technologies system to manage automatic doors include:

  • Accurate remote diagnostics, saving time and money for both customer and service provider 
  • Reduced carbon footprint by eliminating unnecessary visits to site
  • Increased “first-time fix” percentage via accurate remote diagnostics 
  • Improved customer/service provider relationship
  • Better efficiency - promoting excellent asset management 
  • Increased contract renewal potential through responsive and immediate action

 

Touchless Technology for COVID-Safety

 

With contactless technology that reduces unnecessary touchpoints forming the cornerstone of many COVID-safe measures in buildings, properly functioning automatic doors are now much more than an accessibility aid. It can be argued that such technology is helping to curb the spread of coronavirus in buildings with heavy footfall.

Simon Bowden, Sales and Business Development Director for Strand Technologies, said that Virtual Engineer had been developed specifically for the doors and entrances market:

“iContact is a device that can be used to monitor and manage any electro-mechanical equipment linked to a user gateway. With our vast experience in the doors and entrances sector, we immediately recognised the time and cost-saving potential it could provide when applied to automatics,” he said.

“This led us to develop a very specific user gateway for this purpose, which is how we arrived at Virtual Engineer. We have made this easy-to-use for people working on-site or remotely who oversee access with a more sophisticated interface for greater levels of control for buildings and facilities managers.

 

Image

Picture: a photograph of a computer screen and smartphone showing the virtual engineer interface 

 

"iContact is a discreet device which is fitted to the entrance and ‘talks’ to the Virtual Engineer system to alert and identify problems."

Simon added: “We expect automatic doors to work flawlessly and the majority of those installed in the UK do, but commonly, user behaviour - including abuse and misuse along with environmental conditions such as rain, wind and even sunshine - can affect their performance.​

“In some situations, this can result in time-critical breakdowns which compromise safety, security and accessibility and can prevent the business operation from continuing - at great expense and inconvenience.”

For more information on Virtual Engineer or Strand Technologies other products contact: info@strandtech.co.uk  or visit: https://www.strandtech.co.uk

Picture: a photograph of Simon Bowden

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 19 October 2021

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