This blog post is a snapshot from the webinar “IoT Connected Product Design of Grease Monitors for Engineers, Facility Owners, Maintenance & Regulator Compliance.”
IoT and automation in the right tools can provide bottom line results for businesses. IoT has changed the world of plumbing to create efficiencies for those who maintain the plumbing systems and cost savings for building owners. Let’s look at three main ways business are impacted by IoT plumbing products.
The first way businesses are impacted by IoT in plumbing is through automating repetitive tasks. Some businesses need to check and document line pressures. Other businesses need to clean out grease or oil separators on a regular basis. All businesses need to plan out preventive maintenance. When automated, all these tasks can significantly reduce required labor by using technology already available in the plumbing industry.
The second way is IoT creating visibility into the health of building operations. For example, connected fixtures, such as connected faucets and connected flush valves, can show how much the system is getting used right down to the individual faucet. Connected plumbing can also notify maintenance teams when something needs to be addressed in a restroom, like when a flush valve stops working or when a battery needs to be replaced.
Did you know a dead battery is one of the leading causes of emergency maintenance dispatch for a non-functioning commercial faucet? Do you think the head of maintenance would like to know of a failing battery before it is an emergency? What do you think it does to maintenance costs when changing batteries moves from an emergency service call to a preventive maintenance task?
One can imagine how some facilities could save a significant amount of money when the plumbing fixtures keep building managers informed of what is going on instead of waiting for a client or employee to report a problem.
The third way is the ability to assess priorities earlier than before. Jan-san teams can see how often fixtures are activated, informing them where bathrooms are getting used or ignored. Usage insights allow team leaders to right size cleaning crews in specific areas while limiting crews in unused areas of a building or campus.
Savings from IoT go beyond restrooms such as with the SmartPro grease interceptor monitor. The SmartPro measures how much grease and sediment are in an interceptor tank. Those results are automatically recorded for regulatory compliance, but the daily measurements also mean pumper trucks can be schedule based on demand, based on when an interceptor tank is actually nearing its maximum limits, not based on a blind schedule. Blind schedules or calendar-based schedules for pumper trucks mean the trucks come more often than necessary creating unnecessary costs. In some cases, the trucks do not come often enough, which means breaking the law with grease flowing into the sewer.
One chain of convenience stores started installing SmartPro to find one location out-of-compliance with local regulations, but most of the stores were over-pumping. Once all the stores have a SmartPro installed to change from interval pumping to on-demand pumping, the company expects to see annualized savings of up to $720,000 per year with an estimated ROI of 12-15 months.
One may debate whether it is better to turn off a light by hitting a switch or through an app on a phone, but a $720,000/year savings in operating costs means IoT in plumbing is not a fad. Instead, IoT is a potential big win for maintenance teams, jan-san teams, and building owners as well as the engineers who bring these opportunities to the attention of stake holders.
For a deeper dive into how IoT in plumbing products, be sure to check out our recent webinar called “Internet of Things: IoT Connected Product Design for Engineers, Facility Owners, Maintenance, & Regulatory Compliance.”