How managers can move their organization from reactive emergencies to planned activities
Angela Testa, senior vice president of operations at American Campus Communities, strengthens operations without compromising a healthy work environment
One of the most difficult tasks of setting up the CMMS is inputting all of the appropriate data. In many cases, facilities personnel are too busy to upload thousands of line items. Managers are in the same predicament. They are too busy dealing with the daily challenges of buildings to perform data entry. There are many solutions to this conundrum, one of which is to investigate the role of a commissioning firm.
This firm can perform many tasks that can help a department implement and maximize a CMMS. During new construction, commissioners collect all the nameplate data and locations for the equipment. During system testing, commissioning engineers witness startups, collect contact information of the startup techs and maintain a startup log containing all the pertinent reports associated with that equipment. Commissioning engineers also develop the functional testing scripts for the equipment, which includes building management systems (BMS).
This piece of the commissioning is important for two reasons as it relates to the CMMS.
First, in many cases technicians use the BMS system to communicate with the CMMS to gauge run-hour usage, trending and faults on equipment. If the BMS is not functioning properly after the CMMS is linked, it will not be able to gather the correct information, rendering the reporting function useless.
Secondly, technicians can use the functional testing scripts for PM activities on systems and equipment.
The commissioning engineer also can:
• review installation operation manuals (IOM). This is important for the proper development of the CMMS because the IOM contains PM requirements for equipment.
• ensure IOMs are specific to the pieces of equipment on the site or asset.
• verify that the list of parts is correct and included – a crucial step in developing a successful CMMS.
• perform warranty reviews for the manager to ensure equipment is properly covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, the mechanical contractor’s warranty and, in some cases, extended warranties purchased through the project.
Hiring a commissioning firm to ensure the building operates properly during and after new construction also ensures that information technicians use to operate the CMMS is accurate and up to date. Managers can upload reports from the commissioning engineer to the CMMS, so data entry and time-consuming tasks, such as scraping nameplate data, are already completed. The IOMs are already reviewed for the equipment specific to the asset, so technicians can trust that the data entered is correct.
Finally, the commissioning engineer can verify warranty data and equipment startups so CMMS administrators can properly program PM functions of the CMMS. Work orders and service requests can begin the minute the building is turned over to the owner.
CMMS and existing assets
Implementing a new CMMS in an existing asset can be a daunting task. A commissioning firm can assist with this process as well by providing services such as retrocommissioning – an important step toward successful CMMS implementation.
During retrocommissioning, the engineer:
• assesses existing conditions
• recommends or implements no-cost and low-cost system improvements
• outlines available energy conservation measures (ECM)
• performs a BMS assessment
• functionally tests recommended ECMs or capital improvements after implementation.
During these processes, equipment is analyzed and equipment documentation is created. Model and serial numbers are noted, current equipment conditions are recorded, and units are tested to determine if they are operating to the original design intent. All this documentation and testing can be used to accurately set up a CMMS system for the existing asset.