What if your machines could talk to you? What would they say?
Some time ago I worked for a company that provided preventative maintenance monitoring. By measuring various things on mechanical and electrical equipment, they could predict that something was going to break before it happened. I was fascinated by this. They would measure vibration, heat, changes in voltage or amperage even analyse oil for particle contents.
However I believe there is now an opportunity to take this technology a step further. Platforms like Arduino can measure, monitor and react to various types of data. Think about building management for a second. Hundreds of moving parts; fans, pumps, motors for lifts etc. For a relatively low cost, you could setup sensors that collect information like heat, vibration and electrical signals. Then react to certain conditions by sending an email to the building manager. Or even better, an email to your maintenance contractor. You could even trigger posts on your enterprise social network so the remedial work can be quickly delegated across your organisation. Everyone from property managers to portfolio managers could get a real sense of the health an asset – without having to get costly reports or analysis done. This video shows how it can be done with Salesforce Chatter and Arduino.
Its about having systems that ‘push’ information to the people that need to respond to them, rather than have employees constantly having to check up on the health of their services infrastructure. I’m interested to know if anyone is doing this already. It seems like a very exciting opportunity.