CMMS: Wireless Connectivity an Issue
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: The Benefits and Challenges of Wireless CMMSPt. 2: Wireless CMMS: Managers Must Convince TechniciansPt. 3: Wireless CMMS: Consider Total Cost of OwnershipPt. 4: Mobile CMMS: Questions About Data EntryPt. 5: This Page
Wireless connectivity raises a few concerns — namely, cost, security, and coverage. Many institutions become frustrated when trying to establish a completely wireless campus. The cost of complete coverage can mount quickly as departments install special equipment to bring coverage to areas such as basements and mechanical rooms.
While 100 percent coverage sounds ideal, it is not necessary in most cases. The cost difference between 100 percent and 90 percent coverage is significant, while the difference in benefits is minimal.
Managers can develop a mobile CMMS solution with the goal of functionality when not connected. In that case, 90 percent coverage is more than enough. In this scenario, the device still will be able to function when not connected, meaning a technician still can take readings, record data, and perform other essential tasks, then simply upload the data once connected.
The rule of thumb is to plan a mobile solution by thinking about the technicians using the hand-held device every day, focusing on the features and functions that will make it most useful to them.
By considering the input from individuals at all levels of the organization, managers can lay a solid foundation on which a mobile CMMS solution not only will improve efficiency but will pay for itself.
Kris Bagadia — is a consultant, an educator, and president of PEAK Industrial Solutions LLC.
Pieces of the CMMS Puzzle
Wireless computerized maintenance management systems consist of three primary components: software, hardware, and the network.
Software provides hand-held devices with the capability to perform certain tasks, such as interfacing with a database, ordering parts, and receiving work orders.
Hardware is the physical device itself — the smart phone or a more sophisticated hand-held device with increased functionality and extreme durability.
The network is the means by which the wireless devices transmit data. The standard among most operations is a Wi-Fi connection because it can handle high levels of data traffic and adaptable coverage.
— Kris Bagadia