LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The UK’s army of field service engineers will for the first time be able to utilise the Internet of Things (IoT) on a large scale to automate a range of functions thanks to job management technology group simPRO.
simPRO, one of the world’s leading software as a service businesses for the trade services industry, will unveil its new IoT solution at next week’s (June 19) Field Service Management Expo in London. The technology will be rolled out to the company’s 100,000 + users in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and New Zealand over coming months.
simPRO IoT takes hardware, software and data from businesses in the trade and field service 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 and significant cost.
simPRO’s IoT solution also includes machine learning, proactive action triggering and automation of field service activities, which significantly reduces the complexity of administrative tasks like selection, installation, integration and management, and can trigger field service activities for businesses in near real time.
The real world applications of simPRO’s IoT solution are extensive. The company has already begun working with airport lounge operator Swissport and facilities (building plant and equipment) management group Thermacell to keep guests at Luton Airport in the UK warm in winter and cool in summer.
The number of connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices worldwide will jump 12 percent on average annually, from nearly 31 billion in 2018 to 125 billion in 2030, according to analysis from IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO), a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions.
IHS Markit estimates (https://cdn.ihs.com/www/pdf/IoT-Trend-Watch-eBook.pdf) the commercial and industrial sector, driven by building automation, industrial automation, and lighting, will account for nearly 50% of new connected devices between 2018 and 2030.
simPRO Chief Technology Officer Jonathan Eastgate said the company’s approach to the IoT was the first step toward a new future of facilities management across the UK.
“The concept of IoT, that anything that can be connected will be connected, is exciting for businesses who are looking to integrate their technology to find the straight line to efficiency and success. In the UK there is a need for a range of integration and software development to achieve a complete working solution, and that’s what we’ve built.
“For example, simPRO IoT can save clients significant time and costs running routine inspections to site, by introducing an IoT real-time feed to our already extensive asset management platform, whilst improving the level of response to issues on site,” he said.
According to Mr Eastgate, simPRO IoT was the equivalent of giving a business its own brain.
“By integrating operations with simPRO a business can increase its own
crisis reaction times, reduce reactive maintenance, automate data entry
and archiving and even help secure new business,” he said.
“When issues are automatically identified early, business interruptions and resolution times are reduced and servicing and maintenance costs are brought down, it creates a formula for inevitable productivity and success.”
The UK is not oblivious to IoT services, but in order to for businesses to implement them a range of hardware, middleware, suppliers and vendors is required. Often the effort, costs and time investment needed to introduce IoT sensors into existing equipment installations outweighs the benefit.
However, simPRO IoT is handled through one vendor – simPRO – and can be retrofitted at minimal cost to any existing equipment and be up and running in minutes. Through our partnership with Yosensi in developing this complete IoT solution, simPRO customers are able to deploy their IoT requirements at scale without the need to involve multiple vendors. The simPRO platform is also open to allow for integration with any other IoT devices or protocols from third parties or existing installations, meaning simPRO won’t demand a business to dismantle its entire digital infrastructure simply to incorporate simPRO IoT into its operations.
CASE STUDY 1 - SMASHING FATBERGS, SAVING MILLIONS
simPRO 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 specialists Three Nations (www.threenations-online.co.uk) to develop the technology to help eradicate the scourge of fatbergs with a fully integrated and automated solution called FOGCheck.
FOGCheck utilises 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.
These unique services and technologies have come together to produce the only self-managing solution on the market that is proven to work and does not rely on the site/ facility manager to ensure continued compliance.
A spokesperson for the Three Nations FOGCheck team said simPRO’s IoT solution was a fundamental offering allowing the creation of an asset register for the FOGCheck System and the ability to easily associate the live telemetry coming through the dosing sensors.
“This provides us a real time view of compliance for the solution which is monitored on each individual unit and site. Any asset failures can be easily flagged for investigation and servicing can be planned and tracked. Without this technology a managed service, with real time visibility, such as FOGCheck, would simply not be possible,” a spokesperson for the Three Nations FOGCheck team said.
CASE STUDY 2 - KEEPING LUTON AIRPORT LOUNGE RUNNING
Using low-cost plug and play sensors integrated with simPRO’s job management platform, facilities (building plant and equipment) management 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,” he said.
“The simplicity of the solution allows our own engineers to install on customer sites with ease and without the need for IT specialists, thereby slotting seamlessly into our own day to day services."
Thermacell is a specialist FM provider, providing a blended range of services to lounge operator Swissport including reactive and pre-planned M&E, HVAC and Building Services. The company has security clearance and operating experience across many of the UK airports allowing them to quickly meet the demands of their clients operating in these high security restrictive environments.
simPRO provides business management cloud solutions for the trade and specialty contracting industries; including security professionals, plumbers, electricians, HVAC, solar, data networking, and others. simPRO eliminates the hassle of field service management, reduces paperwork, refines office processes, streamlines field operations, increases profit, maximises your workforce, and enables more business growth. As it is cloud-based, it can be used anywhere, anytime to help improve streamlined business productivity and efficiency in real time, giving businesses the potential to grow, meet and exceed their goals.
With customers in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, simPRO provides global leadership for trade and specialty contractors worldwide.
In 2016, simPRO secured USD$31 million in growth capital as part of an aggressive product innovation and expansion strategy that has seen the company enter the United States and the United Kingdom over the last two years.
At the end of 2017, simPRO had more than 4,000 clients and 100,000 users globally, with clients ranging from small contracting operations through to corporate enterprises with thousands of staff.