Technology Transfers From Manufacturing Plants to Commercial Facilities

By Laurie A. Gilmer, P.E.  
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As we move forward in this age of increasingly high-tech devices, vast quantities of data, and interconnectedness, the lines between industries are blurring more than ever. As part of this evolution, maintenance and engineering managers are seeing an even larger wave of technology crossing over from manufacturing plants.

The trend is similar to previous transfers that have brought preventive and predictive maintenance strategies, computerized maintenance management systems, commissioning, and infrared-imaging technology to commercial and institutional facilities.

Reports on emerging technology and strategies in manufacturing offer managers clues into product applications and management ideas that are likely coming to their facilities in the near future, either directly or indirectly through adoption and adaptation. While it will take time for these technologies and strategies to make the leap into the commercial sector, it is interesting to understand the way they start in one industry and make the jump to another.

The migration can happen rather quickly, while at other times it takes a while. In the case of commissioning, for example, the process has its roots in the 17th Century in the readying and testing of sea-faring ships. Not until the 1970s did we start applying commissioning to buildings, and it wasn't until the late 1990s that it was applied with any regularity.

In the case of institutional and commercial facilities, three technologies that have been developed and applied in the nation's manufacturing facilities either are in the process of entering facilities or soon will make the move.

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  posted on 12/7/2013   Article Use Policy

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