Why a BMS is not a substitute for CMMS ?

Building Management System

A building management system (BMS), also known as a building automation system (BAS), is a computer-based control system installed in buildings that controls and monitors the building's mechanical and electrical equipment such as ventilation, lighting, power systems, fire systems, and security systems. Building management systems are most commonly used in large premises with multitudinous services. Basically IBMS systems operate on pre-set of programs which are designed to receive Input signals from Field devices and other building systems; further the data received is utilized to monitor various equipment including third party systems and Provide control signals for their operations. The Faults or any other Operability conditions are notified through inbuilt alert systems.

A few main functions of BMS system are

  • Boiler controls-maintain a constant temperature and switch boilers on/off at certain times.
  • HVAC-Maintain IAQ, control fans and dampers, control air handling units and fan coil units.
  • Lighting control-turn lights on/off according to a specified schedule and control Emergency lighting.
  • Electric power control-control and monitor core electrical and mechanical equipment.
  • Ventilation-adjust based on occupancy controls (DCV).
  • Security and observation-access control, surveillance and intrusion detection.
  • Fire alarm system-smoke control system, active alarm locations.
  • Elevators-elevator video display, status system.
  • Plumbing and water monitoring-detect hydraulic flows, open/close valves automatically, monitor/observe temperature deviations.

A few highlights on BMS are:

1.Monitoring functionality, Run times and operability conditions of Mechanical equipment.

2.Access and Control the Equipment, Maintain IAQ.

3.Activate fire prevention system such as Fire dampers, Trip required Mechanical equipment during emergency using fire detection system inputs, thus help in reducing fire hazards.

4.Maintain IEQ

5. Improve Energy efficiency by Monitoring and controlling- equipment like DCV systems, VFD’s , Pumps, Chillers etc.

Computerized maintenance management system

A computerized maintenance management system or CMMS is software package which maintains a database of information about Assets with their maintenance records and facilitates the processes of maintenance operations. The information is intended to help maintenance professionals for their activities and also to help management to keep a track on Maintenance works and decision making processes.

Once existing equipment data is uploaded, managers can organize and schedule preventive and corrective maintenance, manage labour, monitor wrench time, and track inventory. The work orders are assigned automatically to a responsible Maintenance personnel weather an inhouse resource or an External service Provider thus digitalizing the maintenance operations. With the integration of condition-monitoring sensors and IoT devices, the baselines can be set and work orders can be raised automatically If those conditions go beyond an acceptable range thus helping in cost savings and reduction in equipment breakdowns. Mobile work order maintenance, Asset Management, Stock Management, and Reporting tools are usually embedded in a CMMS tool. A CMMS offers multiple core maintenance functionalities. It is not limited to manufacturing but expands to facilities, utilities, fleet, hospitals, sports arenas and more where any type of equipment/assets are subject to repair and need maintenance.

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A few main functions of CMMS system are

  • Manage and report asset data and Maintenance history
  • Planning and scheduling PPM activities, Keep track on maintenance activities and help in decision making.
  • Manage Work orders, assign resources, adding maintenance related costs and reporting
  • Automated maintenance work orders - Predictive maintenance using IOT and sensors
  • Manage inventory , Manage labour, Monitoring wrench time etc.

A few highlights on CMMS are:

1.CMMS Reduces equipment downtime and lower maintenance costs.

2.Enhance Work order management thus increasing Productivity.

3.Generating custom reports and help in data driven Decision making.

4.Statutory Maintenance activities can be scheduled in CMMS tools.

5.Increasing Efficiency of equipment by PPM and also improve inventory management.

Why a BMS is not a substitute for CMMS

The BMS is designed for controlling and monitoring the building's mechanical and electrical equipment such as HVAC systems, Uninterruptible power supply, Power systems, plumbing, and Fire prevention and suppression systems.

Whereas a CMMS is designed to plan, manage, improve, and to standardize maintenance operations of assets. It also maintains asset information with their maintenance records, providing various standardized reports thus helping in decision-making process with respect to assets and their operations.

The Diversities, advantages, and limitations of both these solutions can be addressed through the integration of BMS into CMMS solutions which not only provides CMMS with an access to operability issues and faults but also an automated preventive maintenance or predictive maintenance which helps organizations reduce unplanned downtime, boost uptime, and increase asset reliability, saving time and money

Author : Vishwanath Shettar

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