by Brianna Crandall — July 13, 2018 — Field maintenance technicians in four countries will for the first time be able to utilize the Internet of Things (IoT) on a large scale to automate a range of functions thanks to technology group simPRO.
simPRO, a provider of software as a service (SaaS) for the trade and field services industries, unveiled its new IoT solution in London in recent weeks. The technology will be rolled out to the company’s 100,000 users in Australia, New Zealand, the United States and the UK over coming months.
simPRO provides business management cloud solutions for the trade and specialty contracting industries, including security professionals, plumbers, electricians, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning), solar, data networking, and others. simPRO is designed to eliminate the hassle of field service management, reduce paperwork, refine office processes, streamline field operations, increase profit, maximize the workforce, and enable more business growth.
The new simPRO IoT takes hardware, software and data from businesses in the trade and field services industries and integrates them into one platform, allowing previously separate programs and machines to talk to each other and provide automated solutions ordinarily requiring extensive manual effort.
simPRO Director Curtis Thomson said IoT would revolutionize the trade services and maintenance industries, adding:
The ability to connect anything and everything and manage and monitor remotely is extremely exciting for businesses looking to maximize efficiency. There is serious demand for a range of integrated hardware and software that achieves a complete working solution, and that’s what we’ve built.
He said simPRO’s IoT solution would save significant time and costs in the management of routine site inspections for equipment maintenance, continuing:
By introducing an IoT real-time feed, it could be possible to almost eliminate the need for someone to visit a site unless an issue is detected.
By integrating operations with simPRO, a business can also increase its own crisis reaction times. When issues are automatically identified early, business interruptions and resolution times are reduced and servicing and maintenance costs are brought down.
One of the major benefits of simPRO IoT is that it is handled through one vendor and can be retrofitted at minimal cost to any existing equipment and be up and running in minutes, notes the company. The simPRO platform is also open to allow for integration with any other IoT devices or protocols from third parties or existing installations.
Case Study #1: Smashing “fatbergs,” saving millions
simPRO says it is providing its leading-edge IoT solution to help tackle one of the UK’s “most disgusting” problems; the buildup of fat, oil and grease (FOG) in sewer pipes that leads to the formation of “fatbergs” that block drains and sewers and cause tens of millions of pounds of damage every year.
simPRO has teamed with hospitality facilities management (FM) specialists Three Nations to develop the technology to help eradicate the scourge of fatbergs with a fully integrated and automated solution called FOGCheck.
FOGCheck utilizes a new biological treatment for the removal and prevention of build-up and blockages caused by fat, oil and grease in commercial kitchens, drains and sewers called Stopblox. This bio-treatment is combined with hardware that remotely monitors automated dosing to prevent blockages.
simPRO IoT is used for monitoring the dosage system and is dynamically linked to automated waste water sampling and the management of the equipment that dispenses the agent.
Case Study #2: Keeping Luton Airport lounge running
Using low-cost plug-and-play sensors integrated with simPRO’s job management platform, FM (building plant and equipment) group Thermacell is able to monitor the performance of air conditioners at lounges in Luton airport remotely in near real time and automatically receive alerts in response to anomalies.
This allows Thermacell to identify and diagnose many issues prior to complete failure and without the need for time-consuming and expensive site visits, often constrained by airport security measures.
Thermacell Service Manager Alan Chandler said the company shared simPRO’s view that IoT would have a significant impact on the facilities management and maintenance services Thermacell provided.
simPRO’s IoT solution allows us to get closer to the Swissport Lounge and provide a more responsive, customer-focused offering based on the accurate live data we receive on both asset and facility performance.