Building-Automation System: Technician Training Key to Performance

By Chris Matt, Managing Editor - Print & E-Media  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Airport Looks for Ways to Cut CostsPt. 2: Building-Automation System Upgrade Meets Energy-Efficiency DemandsPt. 3: Airport Upgrades to Wireless BASPt. 4: BAS Improves HVAC Control, Energy EfficiencyPt. 5: BAS Promotes Trending and Preventive Maintenance PracticesPt. 6: This Page

When an organization installs or upgrades a building-automation system (BAS), saving energy — and money — often is the primary objective. Maintenance and engineering departments typically can achieve that goal, provided technicians receive training on the proper use of the system.

"Training is pretty much continuous," says Len Boehm, an HVAC supervisor with Pittsburgh International Airport. "We're always looking for other things to do to make it better. There are always new people coming in and out."

The airport upgraded its 10-year-old BAS in 2002, and roughly 20 operators received training about a week before the airport completed the upgrade to ensure a seamless transition from the old system to the new BAS. The BAS vendor provided classroom training, which helped technicians tackle a fairly steep learning curve.

"I came from a hangar facility where everything is pneumatics," Boehm says. "So I'm coming into a new (direct digital control) system, all computer-driven. Having a background in pneumatics really helped me out. The (vendor) technicians did nothing but help us out to get this thing pushed forward so that we could understand exactly how it does operate."

Operators went through about two days of training before becoming comfortable with the airport's new BAS. After those two days, technicians were confident the system would help streamline maintenance operations and improve the bottom line.

Says Boehm, "The system, as large as it is and as complicated as it may look, it's not that hard to understand."

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  posted on 10/7/2009   Article Use Policy

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