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Fluke Corporation: IoT means future problems can be solved before they are noticed

Question: What are the benefits of the IoT for building occupants today?

Answer: For building occupants, benefits of the IoT may largely be unseen, as future problems can be solved before they are even noticed. An example would be a heating/air condition system that is drifting out of tolerance.  The system will send data to the maintenance team, who can then decide on what repairs are needed and schedule the work after office hours.  To the occupants the problem never occurred. To the maintenance team they are better prepared with the right tools and parts plus the ability to schedule the work when the fewest occupants are affected.

Question: What advantages does IoT technology provide for facility professionals today?

Answer: Part of IoT is wireless test tools.  These new tools can help facility professionals in at least four ways:

Safety – wireless test tools can keep the user out of dangerous situations.  In fact, proper use of wireless tools can be gather data that would have been impractical before.  Wireless tools allow the user to power down the equipment, open access panels and safety doors, connect the test tools and then close all the doors.  Now the only thing that is exposed to a potential arc flash or moving equipment is the test tool.  The same concept applies to areas that may involve hazardous gasses.

Efficiency – with wireless test tools, the need to put on hot, bulky PPE is reduced.  Proper safety procedures must always be followed, and that includes verifying that a panel, cabinet or equipment is deenergized before approaching it without PPE.  But having performed that step, the need to suit up time after time is removed, as the only thing exposed to dangerous voltage and current is the test tool.

Expertise – wireless test tools allow technicians to share data with other members of their team, even if they are in different places.  This means that the one “expert” can view test data from multiple locations and pass along recommendations to the field.  It also allows field technicians to receive approvals and work orders in real time without having to return back to the office.

Cost savings – Organized test data is a key element of a preventive maintenance program.  In the long run, wireless test tools allow better planning of scheduled maintenance, when impact to operations is minimized.  This is a far more profitable approach than a strict run-to-failure system.

Question: Are the benefits and advantages of IoT technology being realized today, and can you provide a specific example?

Answer: Yes.  The benefits listed above are available today through Fluke Connect wireless test tools.  These tools include digital multimeters, infrared cameras, current clamps (both ac and dc), voltage modules (both ac and dc), thermometers (K-type thermocouple) and vibration meters, all of which are common tools for facility professionals.  As an example, Fluke Connect ac current and temperature modules, connected to a motor 20 feet away from the operator, can send test results to a Fluke Connect digital multimeter that is simultaneously measuring voltage at the switch.  The DMM would display voltage, current and temperature, and all three measurements can be displayed, and stored, on the smartphone or tablet.

Source: John Neeley, Product Planner/Program Manager, Fluke Connect

For more insights on the products, technology, benefits and challenges of the Building Internet of Things, visit www.FacilitiesNet.com/IoT

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posted on 11/18/2015