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Monday, 14 October

Taking Off Now - IoT For Field Service

London Luton Airport

The UK’s army of field service engineers will for the first time be able to utilise the Internet of Things (IoT) on a large scale to automate a range of functions.

Job management technology group simPRO unveiled its new IoT solution at Field Service Management Expo in London on June 19. The technology will be rolled out to the company’s 100,000 + users in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and New Zealand over coming months.

 simPRO IoT takes hardware, software and data from businesses in the trade and field service industries and integrates them into one platform, allowing previously separate programs and machines to talk to each other and provide automated solutions ordinarily requiring extensive manual effort and significant cost.

simPRO’s IoT solution also includes machine learning, proactive action triggering and automation of field service activities, which significantly reduces the complexity of administrative tasks such as selection, installation, integration and management and can trigger field service activities for businesses in near real time.

The company has already begun working with airport lounge operator Swissport and facilities (building plant and equipment) management group Thermacell to keep guests at Luton Airport in the UK warm in winter and cool in summer - see case study below.

simPRO Chief Technology Officer Jonathan Eastgate said: “The concept of IoT, that anything that can be connected will be connected, is exciting for businesses who are looking to integrate their technology to find the straight line to efficiency. In the UK there is a need for a range of integration and software development to achieve a complete working solution - and that’s what we’ve built.

 “For example, simPRO IoT can save clients significant time and costs running routine inspections to site, by introducing an IoT real-time feed to our asset management platform, whilst improving the level of response to issues on site.”

 

If I only had a...

According to Eastgate, simPRO IoT is the equivalent of giving a business its own brain. “By integrating operations with simPRO, a business can increase its own crisis reaction times, reduce reactive maintenance, automate data entry and archiving and even help secure new business.

“When issues are automatically identified early, business interruptions and resolution times are reduced and servicing and maintenance costs are brought down, it creates a formula for inevitable productivity.”

 

Smashing fatbergs

simPRO is providing its IoT solution to help tackle one of the UK’s most disgusting problems - the buildup of Fat, Oil and Grease (FOG) in sewer pipes that leads to the formation of fatbergs that block drains and sewers and cause tens of millions of pounds of damage every year.

simPRO has teamed with hospitality facilities management company Three Nations with an automated solution called FOGCheck.

FOGCheck utlises a new biological treatment for the removal and prevention of build-up and blockages caused by fat, oil and grease in commercial kitchens, drains and sewers called Stopblox. This bio-treatment is combined with hardware that remotely monitors automated dosing to prevent blockages.

simPRO IoT is used for monitoring the dosage system and is dynamically linked to automated waste water sampling and the management of the equipment that dispenses the agent.

A spokesperson for the Three Nations FOGCheck team said simPRO’s IoT solution was a fundamental offering allowing the creation of an asset register for the FOGCheck System and the ability to easily associate the live telemetry coming through the dosing sensors.

“This provides us a real time view of compliance for the solution which is monitored on each individual unit and site. Any asset failures can be easily flagged for investigation and servicing can be planned and tracked," said the FOGCheck spokesperson.

 

Keeping cool at Luton Airport

Using low-cost plug and play sensors integrated with simPRO’s job management platform, facilities management group Thermacell is able to monitor the performance of air conditioners at lounges in Luton airport remotely in near real time and automatically receive alerts in response to anomalies. 

This allows Thermacell to identify and diagnose many issues prior to complete failure and without the need for time consuming and expensive site visits, often constrained by airport security measures. 

Thermacell Service Manager Alan Chandler said the company shared simPRO’s view that IoT would have a significant impact on the facilities management and maintenance services Thermacell provided. “simPRO's IoT solution allows us to get closer to the Swissport Lounge and provide a more responsive offering based on the accurate live data we receive on both asset and facility performance,” he said.

“The simplicity of the solution allows our own engineers to install on customer sites with ease and without the need for IT specialists, thereby slotting seamlessly into our own day to day services."

Thermacell is a specialist FM provider, providing a blended range of services to lounge operator Swissport including reactive and pre-planned M&E, HVAC and Building Services. The company has security clearance and operating experience across many of the UK airports allowing them to quickly meet the demands of their clients operating in these high security restrictive environments.

Picture: London Luton Airport.

Article written by Brian Shillibeer

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