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Maintenance planning strategies for Buildings & Assets

Real estate and all its components including buildings, assets and technical installations are precious items on any company’s balance sheet. Considering the high cost of buildings and increased expectations from RoI (return on investment), it becomes imperative for building managers to maintain the buildings properly and efffectively. This in turn is the key for prolonging the life of buildings and optimising the operational costs, writes Vishal Mani, Country Head, MCS (India).

By some estimates the cost of runnning building operations could be 5 times more than the cost of construction cost. In this context, building’s overall lifecycle cost becomes much more important than the construction cost alone.

Hence optimal building designs and effective maintenance strategy go a long way to minimize the operational cost of the buildings.

Building designs

It should be noted that building design has the most significant impact on the running operations of the building. As much as 70% to 80% of the operations and maintenance cost gets influenced by the building designs. For example, factors like construction material, external facade, building insulations, lighting choices among others impact the energy consumption in a building through out its life.

Maintenance planning

The building designs are not easy to change after its construction, and hence significance of maintenance planning increases many folds to run the builing operations effectively and efficiently. With the progression of time, various models of maintenance planning have evolved with increasing order of maturity. Some of the prominent models are:

Fig 1. myMCS Help Desk for Reactive maintenance

Reactive maintenance

Reactive maintenance is pressed into action in case of breakdowns or failure of equipment. It is often used for low cost equipment where the cost of replacing equipment is same or lower than the cost of preventive maintenance.

The key benefit of this strategy is its low cost to setup. Maintenance managers deploying this strategy typically setup a robust service request desk (Help Desk) to manage the inbound service requests reporting breakdown and failure. On the contrary this approach leads to adhoc interventions, unpredictability and higher indirect costs.

Preventive Maintenance

Fig 2. myMCS Preventive maintenance planner

Preventive maintenace is done on building and equipment to reduce the likelihood of breakdowns and failures. This is among the most common practices followed by building maintenance managers.

The preventive maintenance tasks may involve overhauls, lubrication, part replacement etc. to prolong the life of building equipment.

Preventive maintenance is important becuase the cost of rectifying breakdowns can be as high as 10 times the cost of preventive maintenance. ensure that building and equipment rema

In order to plan the preventive maintenance, a CMMS (computerized maintenance management system) tool like myMCS can be of immense help as this assist in planning the technical intervention on a planner sheet. The technical maintenance work orders can be tracked and closed for proper control mechanism. The CMMS tools also record the complete maintenance history of building equipment for calculating the lifetime cost of ownership. This in turn helps the building managers to take the Repair Vs buy decision of the equipment.

Fig 3. Condition Based Maintenance using myMCS apps

Condition Based Maintenance

Condition-based maintenance (CBM) is a maintenance strategy where the maintenance is planned on the basis of the equipment’s actual condition.

When applying a CBM concept, maintenance is performed only when needed, i.e. when indicators show that asset performance is decreasing or that an installation is about to fail (predictive maintenance). Performance indicators may include data from visual inspections, scheduled tests, metering (e.g. utilities consumption) and connected sensors. The condition data can be captured at specific intervals or in real-time.

CBM has certain advantages compared to time-based preventive maintenance, because equipment need maintenance based on their usage or running conditions. Doing too little maintenance for over used equipment may lead to breakdown, whereas doing too much for seldom used equipment may incur (high) maintenance costs.

Predictive Maintenance

The latest maintenance model getting evolved is predictive maintenance where the condition of the equipment is monitored to predict the time for maintenance. Predictive maintenance is largely based on “condition monitoring”, where the data of the equipment is gathered for analysis.

The data can be related to building, equipment, surrounding environment and processes. This data can be captured through field work force of sensors (IoT), which can be analysed to predict the outcomes. This helps in correct assessment of conditions and risks, on the basis of which the maintenance can be planned.

In any case, in the larger interest of the the lifecycle cost of buildings, it is imperative that the building managers must adopt the right maintenance strategy to optimise the running cost of the buildings. These strategies need to be supported by right design principles, trained workforce and efficient support systems (CMMS systems)

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