The Fall has arrived and much of the country is seeing the weather start to fluctuate. It is also the time when
Given that 50% or more of all facility costs are usually related to heating, cooling, lighting and water use, it is logical to make intelligent decisions that minimize their impact on your cash flow.
Inspections Should be Designed to Uncover Problems
The first step is to use your EAM CMMS to schedule inspections on all energy using assets.
By inspecting assets, maintenance planners can determine the condition of equipment and subsequently identify which assets need preventive maintenance, repair or replacement.
Inspections can also be used to track the settings of energy using equipment. This is important because the change in seasons and how often equipment is used changes energy requirements.
For example, many facilities have the temperature of spaces set to cool to a specified temperature during the summer. More often than not, HVAC units run 24/7 which can make the facility feel like an ice-box early in the morning.
To complicate matters, some facilities also have their A/C running during cold snaps. Besides being uncomfortable, running the A/C like this is a tremendous waste of money. This lost money could be used to improve working conditions or provide the cash needed to invest in technology or better insulation.
Improve Energy Management with an EAM CMMS
Better energy management takes planning and uses technology when it is available. In the example above, two obvious solutions come to mind.
The first is to turn down thermostats at the end of the day. This can be done manually or in facilities with multiple thermostats, technology can be used to program them.
The second solution is to use an EAM CMMS to inspect thermostats/controls to ensure they are working correctly. During the inspection, controls can be adjusted to change the settings to correctly reflect the changing weather conditions.
The same principles can be applied to most equipment. Some examples of assets that should be adjusted for seasonality include:
- All water heating and cooling systems
- Ice machines (less demand for ice when it is cold, greater demand in the summer)
There are countless devices on the market that can be installed to assist in energy management such as occupancy sensors to turn off lights, water flow meters, energy use trackers and programmable thermostats. Facilities should also make use of newer energy star rated appliances that support facilities in break rooms and kitchens.
Maintenance Planning for Seasonal Operations
The benefits of a EAM CMMS go beyond the ability to schedule inspections. Should maintenance staff discover faulty controls, EAM CMMS mobility enables them to quickly submit a work request for review by maintenance management. A work request can then be either turned into an immediate work order or scheduled for maintenance at a better time.
In addition, an EAM CMMS will keep track of the work orders as well as the results, enabling maintenance planners to identify assets requiring repeated repairs. The work history collected by the EAM CMMS helps maintenance planners forecast expenses and schedule maintenance more effectively.
This brings us to one of the most important aspects of using an EAM CMMS for seasonal asset and maintenance management. Good maintenance planners know that when production decreases or ceases, the machines that fuel the organization need to be stored properly until they are called upon again.
For example, motors should be cleaned and stored in a dry environment to avoid corrosion. Since few environments are dust free, the same assets should be scheduled for additional cleaning and lubrication just before they are used again.
Deciding how your facility will adjust to seasonal conditions is a matter of asset and maintenance planning. The secret to minimizing energy and MRO expenses is the blending of experience, common sense and technology.