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The untapped potential of remote monitoring

Remote monitoring is fast becoming a key element for improving the overall running of lift systems and the accuracy of proactive maintenance. Matt Miller, Commercial & Mechanical Research Manager at ILE looks at the benefits of remote monitoring and why it may be time to give every lift a monitoring upgrade.
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What is remote monitoring?

Remote monitoring is a technology that gives a greater visibility of your lifts, via the internet, on a single dashboard, viewed on any device. Providing a real-time overview of a range of elements, sensors send data on temperature, vibration, speed and signal strength, amongst others, allowing a comprehensive picture of each lift to be built.

Information is collected to monitor the running conditions and ensure the lift is kept in good working order. This data informs a range of stakeholders, from the manufacturer to the building manager, with dashboards tailormade to display only the information relevant to each party. Data can track how efficient lifts are; how often they are out of service and why, as well as monitoring issues or service defects that can be programmed for maintenance.

How is remote monitoring installed in lifts?

The remote monitoring system is made up of a router and a module within the controller which sends information to the cloud, to then be drawn down to the dashboard view. Most lifts can be fitted with remote monitoring, and here at ILE we retrofit systems to our own control panels and third party panels, as well as installing monitoring as part of new lift solutions. An installation on a new lift takes around two to three hours, with retro-fitting to our own controllers taking a similar amount of time, and fitting to third party panels taking no longer than a day, depending on the age of system, how it works and the customer’s requirements.

The benefits of remote monitoring

Monitoring lifts remotely holds a wide range of financial, safety and efficiency benefits.

  • Increased efficiency
    Remote monitoring increases the efficiency of lifts, as conditions can be constantly reviewed and potential issues attended before they occur and render the lift out of service.

  • Identifying trends
    It shows the reasons behind issues and allows users to begin to identify trends, drilling down into the data to understand the effectiveness of each lift and create maintenance programmes accordingly.

  • No false call outs
    It also removes the need for manual checks and false call outs, with instant checks saving time and eliminating engineers travelling unnecessarily.

  • Correct resources allocated
    With a detailed view of issues, resource can be allocated appropriately; an engineer with the correct skill set can attend faults that they are proficient to fix.

  • Pre-empting issues
    Proactive maintenance becomes the norm, increasing efficiencies and saving time, solving problems before they become expensive or dangerous.

  • Instant system information
    The system can be used to send emails directly to engineers, providing them with all the technical information they need to complete the repair, saving time.

  • Custom alerts
    ‘Red status’ alerts can be customised, with the user choosing the criteria of this status. Once flagged, the system will automatically alert the relevant people.

Should all lifts have remote monitoring?

With a single initial cost up front, remote monitoring starts to pay for itself from day one. Break-even point is around six months, in terms of reducing down-time and identifying issues and faults, and with components that use minimum electricity, anything that the system flags up saves time and money. This is why we consider remote monitoring a benefit for any building. People rely on lifts for movement, especially in residential buildings, and even more so in hospitals and care homes where near 100% of residents need to use a lift to move around. Remote monitoring improves the efficiency of the building; if there is a problem, someone is usually on the way to fix it before most people realise there is an issue!

What do we offer at ILE?

We offer remote monitoring with all our lift solutions, as we understand that our customers look for cost-saving and efficient systems; we think it is a critical component in every lift.

Our SKYDATA remote monitoring system is cloud-based, accessed via a web portal. It allows you to view live data, send notifications, set commands remotely and draw down information so monthly reports can be viewed and used to identify trends to forecast and plan proactively. We listen closely to our customers and use their feedback to constantly improve the system, adding features and options as required. Our system doesn’t stand still; we are constantly evolving the product as we aim to help our customers achieve the maximum benefits for their lifts. We are expanding our offering to monitor ride quality, temperature and door opening times to demonstrate how busy each lift may be. Incorporating cameras supports this further, as well as acting as a vandal-deterrent.

Remote monitoring also improves communication between the solution provider and building manager, with a transparent view of the system. Every user views the same data, and can see when lifts are out of service, when engineers are onsite and when the lift is returned to service. This gives better visibility of what’s happening on the ground to all users at the same time, setting a consistent expectation.

Quick realisation of benefits

Remote monitoring can be added to any lift – old or new – with far reaching benefits that are quickly realised. If you’d like to find out more about how remote monitoring would benefit you, contact us on 0208 527 9669.

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