By David Singer, X-traWeb Inc
In 2001, facility management has evolved far beyond changing light bulbs and adjusting the thermostat. Professional facility managers are not only responsible for efficiently maintaining the entire working space, but are also required to face the challenges of rising energy costs and the ability to utilize new technologies.
How much easier would your job be if all you had to do was pull out a Palm Pilot to check the status of your security system? Or, if you could be paged before your HVAC system fails? Maybe your facility purchases its own power and needs to get a historical and accurate assessment of energy use in order to buy more efficiently. Gathering such information via the Internet could change the way we work.
X-traWeb is a technology that puts critical facility information over the Internet by giving equipment and critical systems its own Web address that can be accessed through a computer, Palm Pilot or Web-enabled wireless phone. The technology is a combination of a 1.6 KB Web-server and an independent gateway that provides access to the Internet. The server translates data from the system or equipment into a language we understand-information.
Since each Web address is unique to each device, system or piece of equipment, the information is secure. Also important to managers is that it is non-invasive and has the ability to reboot and continue to operate without intervention in the event of a power outage.
By putting the information over the Internet, the data is more accurate and immediate, and service issues can be detected earlier. Companies get real-time data on energy usage and performance issues, which could save facility managers hours each week, as well as thousands of dollars in operating costs by eliminating routing checks and costly troubleshooting time while helping to maintain energy efficiencies.
For example, the manager of a campus type facility, could turn building lights on or off without having to walk the campus or individual buildings. Groups of lights or even individual lights can be accessed to ensure building efficiency. Managers would even be able to know if a light has burnt out and its location before being notified by the tenant. Similarly, security systems can be armed or disarmed with a press of the button. To ward of theft or vandalism, security staff can check the status of the system and receive a warning message if it has been tripped.
Rising utility cost is having a profound effect on those who are charged with maintaining efficiencies. Utility usage-gas, water and electricity-can be checked and tracked with the X-traWeb system. Long-term energy use can also be plotted by a database that records all of the meter information. By monitoring energy usage, companies can balance their supply and ensure ample levels or make adjustments to utilities that are being underused.
Often, key areas in warehouses, medical laboratories or industrial food freezers have strict environmental requirements such as specific temperature and humidity levels, which require constant attention to maintain. By using the X-traWeb technology, facility managers can set a temperature range in sensitive areas, alarming managers when areas are slipping out of their safe environmental range. Not only would it eliminate costly maintenance checks, it could help provide additional utility efficiencies and save thousands of dollars in spoiled goods.
Technology is constantly evolving as we improve on the way we do business. Wireless systems like X-traWeb will be important in improving efficiencies, saving time and money. It’s important that managers chose a system that can work with current technologies as well as adapt to those of the future.
David Singer is president and CEO of X-traWeb Inc. and X-traWeb’s parent company, World Wireless Communications Inc. For more information, visit www.x-traweb.com or call 303-221-1944.