Failure that can cost your business, and your reputation.
A major nationwide hotel chain with hundreds of sites nationally, including 20 within central London were looking for a solution to keep their pumps running.
All the hotels depend on providing constant hot and cold running water and a fully-functioning effluent removal system for guests. If and when these fail to be operational, it is an offence to let rooms. So in the event of a breakdown in either system, the hotel has to be closed down and guests ejected. In a central London hotel, with rooms costing around £100 a night or more, this incurs considerable costs in refunds, not to mention inconvenience and reputational damage.
Hotels have both duty and standby hot/cold water pumps and effluent pumps for just such an eventuality. If the duty pump fails, the standby pump automatically comes into operation. As the pump immediately cuts in, there is no interruption to the system’s operation.
However, with no alarm or alert to provide notification when the duty pump has failed, it remains unusable until the next routine maintenance check. If the standby pump fails meanwhile, the system shuts down completely.
Getting to the route of the problem
The requirement was for a plant status monitor, incorporating an automatic notification system. No parameter monitoring or reporting was required beyond, simply, is the system in operational or fault mode?
The key was to adopt an Industry 4.0 approach, and capitalise on the potential of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), to provide information, automation and communication.
The machine-mounted sensor would provide the operating status information. The interface would detect a fault and automatically trigger an alert, the cloud technology would enable automatic remote communication and notification.
Mark Jackson – Service Centre Manager at ERIKS Dudley Electronics – had already designed a simple monitoring device for another customer, and this was easily adapted and further simplified to meet the status monitoring requirement for the hotel maintenance plant. The universal, easily connectable interface interface is based on a standard relay and allows multi-voltage input – enabling it to be used for a wide range of equipment.
ERIKS proposed the use of ERIKS eConnect gateway communication system to connect the equipment in the plant room and send information via the internet to the cloud-based data centre. The system then sends a text and email to the designated maintenance engineer.
Once alerted, logging-on to the system would provide a view of each pump’s fault status, using a simple red and green traffic light graphic for each pump.
In this way the customer would be aware that there had been a fault, that the standby system had taken over, and that action was needed to resolve the issue.
Offering solutions that last you a lifetime
The first status monitoring system was installed in a London Hotel at the same time as three new boilers were fitted.
Within a week, the monitoring system reported one of the boilers was in fault mode. The customer contacted ERIKS, believing that – as the boilers were new – it must be the monitoring system which was faulty.
ERIKS remote diagnostics confirmed that the system was operating correctly and advised the customer to contact the boiler company. An engineer from the company attended and found that the issue was indeed with the boiler.
By eliminating the cost and delays of sending out a Facilities Management engineer to determine the cause of the fault, before organising a visit from the boiler company’s engineer, the ERIKS eConnect monitoring equipment paid for itself within its first week of use.
ERIKS’ plant status monitoring system is now being rolled-out to more of our customers hotels in London – most of which have at least two plant rooms, and some of which have up to seven.
Want to know more about eConnect? Contact us here.