How to Maximize Uptime & Productivity of your Commercial Electrical System
An electrical system is arguably the most important system in a building. Controlling everything from the lights, HVAC, computers, and fire alarms, it acts as the heart of the building.
Your electrical infrastructure needs to be both reliable and efficient in order to keep your facility and operations running to it’s full potential. Downtime isn’t an option- maintaining a constant, smooth operation is paramount; even a few minutes of electrical system downtime can have crippling costs to a business.
So how do you maximize uptime and productivity of your commercial electrical system? Here are 3 ways…
It’s essential for businesses to be able to predict future electrical issues. You need to be proactive- Don’t wait for a fault to happen and then fix it; it’s much costlier, both financially and in terms of downtime. Installing an electrical monitoring system will provide the following:
- Energy-cost allocation
- Usage analysis
- Building energy performance benchmarking
- Energy sub-billing
Effective electrical system monitoring can report on the status of the system down to the smallest of parts. Real-time reporting can help to identify problems early, allowing engineers to remediate them immediately, before any serious issues occur. By catching problems at an early stage, systems can be switched over without any noticeable changes to system status. A proactive approach is much more beneficial than that of a reactive response.
2. Preventive maintenance
It’s no good waiting for a fault to occur and then fixing it- this will cost you more in the long run. Implementing a preventative maintenance program is the way forward.
Your electrical system’s productivity depends largely on the condition and performance of your system. Preventative maintenance (PM) services will help reduce unexpected process issues by creating a customized maintenance plan for your installation. PM will allow you to anticipate potential risks, and deliver increased uptime and higher efficiency levels for your entire building.
Think about what an hour of downtime would cost your business. Although estimates vary depending on the industry, the costs to some companies have ranged from $50K to over $1M per hour of downtime. Wouldn’t it great to be able to avoid this cost?
Preventive maintenance typically includes:
- Physical inspections
- Software inspections
- Physical clean
- Change of filters, fans and batteries
- Route testing
If you're interested in preventive maintenance, read our blog on Preventive Maintenance Checklist for Electrical Distribution Systems in Commercial Buildings
3. Reduce human error
Building operators have come to recognize that people are responsible for the majority of interruptions to critical operations, accounting for approximately 70% of electrical system downtime events.
With rigorous design, construction and commissioning providing smooth equipment operation more attention must be paid to ensure human error is minimized.
Here are 5 ways to reduce human error:
- Clearly document procedures. It’s vital to clearly outline tasks and processes, while also allocating ownership. Written processes and back-up plans are critical for all tasks performed in the switch room. Multiple departments are involved, therefore there is a higher frequency of human activity and a higher chance of accidents occurring.
- Shield emergency stop buttons. Often these are not covered or labelled and can therefore be mistakenly shut off.
- Ensure secure access policies are in place. Only authorized personnel should be permitted access to certain areas, particularly the switch room.
- Continuous training. Ensure up-to-date training on equipment and basic knowledge is adhered to so avoidable mistakes don’t occur.
- All switching devices should be labelled correctly. Ensure that one-line diagrams are available close to the equipment for quick reference.
Unscheduled downtime is not only unacceptable but it’s very expensive. Your electrical infrastructure needs to be both reliable and efficient in order to keep your facility and operations running to its full potential. By creating visibility into the quality and availability of your power, you’ll have higher efficiency, as well as fewer process interruptions, less wear and damage to equipment, and improved safety conditions for your employees.