By Stephen Clark, Director, Product Management for Intelligent Solutions, Xylem
Preventive maintenance is crucial for ensuring the reliability and efficiency of pumps and motors, which are essential components of commercial HVAC applications. An effective maintenance program can reduce unplanned downtime, decrease maintenance costs, and extend asset life. All of these drive business value, which is especially important in today’s competitive and challenging commercial building environment, when building operation teams are being asked to do more with less.
However, traditional preventive maintenance plans can be labor- and cost-intensive, with the potential for overmaintenance and unnecessary inspections and repairs. For those reasons, many building owners and operators are turning to digital tools and intelligent technologies from companies like Xylem Inc. – Bell & Gossett to enhance their preventive maintenance plans and optimize HVAC system performance. These smart technologies have the potential to effectively streamline operations, reduce maintenance costs and energy consumption, and increase awareness about overall equipment health.
Ongoing Condition Monitoring
One of the most common and effective ways to use digital tools and technologies for preventive maintenance is to install sensors and monitoring devices on pumps and motors. These devices can track the condition and performance of HVAC equipment in real time and identify potential issues or anomalies before they escalate into failures or breakdowns.
Although condition monitoring sensors have been used in industrial applications for some time, the commercial sector has only recently started incorporating these tools in mechanical rooms, thanks in large part to declining costs and smaller device size.
Condition monitoring devices provide health guidance and predictive maintenance insights for mechanical and electrical assets, such as pumps, motors, heat exchangers and steam traps. Monitoring solutions like Xylem’s optimyze™ sensor use magnets to mount directly to the pump or motor and periodically monitor system vibration, temperature, and pressure. These devices also collect, store, and analyze asset health information, allowing users to understand health and historical trends, create maintenance reminders, and generate detailed reports.
Affordable and easy-to-use, optimyze monitoring sensors are now being fastened directly to Bell & Gossett pumps before they ship to the customer. Integrating monitoring sensors on commercial pumps can also help lower lifecycle costs and improve the return on investment. All the customer needs to do is download the monitoring app and take action only if a reading indicates an issue.
Remote monitoring and control systems also boost preventive maintenance by enabling easy and convenient access to data for building owners and managers. They can improve communication, collaboration, and feedback among maintenance teams and stakeholders.
Xylem recently launched Avensor, a cloud-based monitoring system that allows customers to remotely monitor HVAC equipment from their smartphones, tablets, or laptops. Avensor collects and analyzes data to provide live data, trends, and alerts via the web or mobile app. An affordable alternative to advanced supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, for which integrating new devices can be complex and costly, the Avensor system can connect assets by leveraging existing systems while protecting data.
Remote monitoring and control systems like Avensor help detect system issues early, sending automatic alerts to building owners and operators so they can adjust equipment settings, parameters, or operation modes as needed. Receiving remote data and actionable insights also helps reduce the need for physical inspections, site visits, or manual interventions, saving time, money, and resources.
A Smarter Future
As the commercial building sector continues to seek ways to better optimize HVAC system performance, connected digital solutions are pushing the boundaries of traditional preventive maintenance plans.
Intelligent solutions like optimyze and Avensor demonstrate the ability to bridge the gap between the industry challenges of today with adaptability for the future. Both tools feature true remote connectivity and real-time monitoring to prioritize system equipment health and enable more efficient allocation of system time and resources.
With the help of service providers like Xylem, building owners and operators are implementing advanced predictive maintenance plans that deliver key insights and a new level of connectivity through simple-to-use smart technologies.
For more information, visit www.xylem.com.