Johnson Controls has launched a Connected Chiller offering that adds remote monitoring and analysis tools into its warranty and service offerings.
The offering addresses a key customer challenge, giving organisations with chillers greater control, improving responsiveness to equipment issues, and enhancing the maintenance and life of these high-value assets through improved service and warranty delivery.  This offering is available in South Africa now.
The Connected Chiller solution offers constant monitoring of equipment and analysis of information at Johnson Controls’ remote operations centre:
* Critical alarms are monitored 24/7, so customers know promptly if something goes wrong;
* Chiller operating data can be collected and stored to analyse and troubleshoot issues;
* Chiller health reports can be provided during the warranty period to make sure issues are detected before they become serious problems; and
* Operating and trend data is provided to Johnson Controls’ local, regional and global experts as needed to help troubleshoot and resolve problems.
It’s a solution that has been rapidly adopted in Europe and the US, and is likely to add considerable value to clients in South Africa.
Explains Neil Cameron, area GM: building efficiency – Africa at Johnson Controls: “Chillers are expensive, sophisticated pieces of plant equipment. They cost anything from R600 000 to R25-million and are a long-term investment. If they are well maintained, their average lifespan can be extended from 25 to 40 years and lifecycle costs can be contained. Yet many customers lack the skills to do more than implement standard service contracts that typically cater for a quarterly inspection and scheduled or annual service.
“As chillers are predominantly stand-alone items, performance data is not monitored or collected. This means that if there is a failure or alarm, technicians must fault-find to discover what happened. And even if chiller systems are connected, customers often do not have the onsite skills to interpret alerts – they cannot distinguish between system notifications and alerts that require a simple switch reset (perhaps as the result of a power surge), and urgent situations such as an impending failure alert that requires the immediate attention of a skilled technician to prevent serious damage or downtime.
“This means a lot of opportunities to fine-tune equipment to improve performance are lost, as are opportunities to timeously attend to potentially serious mechanical or technical issues that could result in expensive repairs.
“Johnson Controls’ Connected Chiller offering takes the uncertainty out of the equation, making informed, pro-active real-time responses possible.”
The benefits of proactive maintenance include:
* Identification of energy savings opportunities – helps identify waste;
* Reduction of future repair costs – technicians can identify and troubleshoot issues remotely and actions can be verified to see if they resolved the problem;
* Extend asset life – identify performance drift by providing visibility into trend data; identify early issues that could become more serious problems; use 24X7 connectivity to reduce the risk of undetected failures that can create additional damage;
* Ensure productive environments – helps identify faults before they affect occupant comfort or critical processes; and
* Environmental health and safety – helps identify potential refrigerant loss that may be escaping into the atmosphere.