Smart OM: modernizing maintenance to serve our customers
In November 2018, ENGIE Digital was asked to develop an innovative software solution to optimize the ENGIE Group’s B2B operations and maintenance service activities. The goal was to enhance the energy service offer for all types of technical installations (air conditioning, heating, electricity, charging stations, etc.) and specific environments (office buildings, specialized sites like data centers and hospitals, energy and transportation infrastructure, etc.).
“We spent three years building a digital platform, dubbed Smart O&M, that can control the entire data value chain from collection to reporting and enhance it thanks to algorithmic processing based on Group experts’ subject matter expertise,” explains Frédéric Kapp, Head of Platform Smart O&M at ENGIE Digital.
Beyond the purely technological challenge, the solution is designed to give ENGIE’s clients a competitive edge in their operations. “Smart O&M represents a paradigm shift: by providing transparency on the condition of and maintenance work done on installations, we want to make it easier to build deeper partnerships between operational teams and clients, for contract managers and technical teams alike”.
Smart O&M offers high quality, high added value services
In practical terms, Smart O&M is the digital twin of a building or machine. It can record and report all of the behavior measured in real time and operations carried out on the site. That means it can be used to optimize management of the activity, particularly by monitoring equipment performance, so technicians can intervene at exactly the right time. “This kind of granular, precise control of data means you can guarantee that you can meet your contractual commitments to your customers,” notes Kapp. “Our platform also allows you to offer a broader array of services because it enables contracts with obligations of results, instead of the current practice of contracts with obligations of means.”
“Thanks to Smart O&M, ENGIE can improve its quality of service and be even more proactive in contributing to keeping facilities well maintained and running smoothly,” says Kapp. The goal is to help clients meet their own needs, whether they aim to improve energy efficiency or guarantee the availability, conformity, or performance of their facilities.
Smart O&M’s ability to combine data processing and analysis with different subject matter expertise is key to ensuring that the Operations & Maintenance business does not ultimately become just another commodity. Kapp notes that, “The solution uses data from connected assets to offer higher quality, higher added value services.” Given all of that, training ENGIE teams and our clients is key to transition from traditional maintenance to a conditional approach to maintenance, based on connected data analysis.
According to Kapp, this shift has the advantage of offering substantial savings very fast, far outweighing the cost of the solution. “For example, on a standard contract for an office tower, the Smart O&M platform enabled 10% energy savings thanks to better equipment configurations and a nearly 25% decrease in the number of failures, and it should cut the need for preventive maintenance service calls by up to 30%”.
“Thanks to Smart O&M, ENGIE can improve its quality of service and be even more proactive in contributing to keeping facilities well maintained and running smoothly“
Fréderic Kapp, Head of Platform Smart O&M at ENGIE Digital
Practical applications of Smart O&M
Like an integrated activity management software package, Smart O&M is a toolbox designed around 3 main products:
- equipment and space management,
- energy management,
- operations management.
The platform can detect early signs of equipment failure by logging data like decreased performance before a breakdown occurs. With this kind of early detection (predictive approach), real-time notifications can be sent to the technical teams so they can perform appropriate maintenance, based on the level of criticality of the equipment.
Space monitoring can be critical in both the tertiary and industrial sectors. In museums, for example, it is key to keep artworks in the right conditions. With Smart O&M, as soon as an alert is triggered by an abnormality, a technician can intervene proactively to get the system running again and notify the client that a problem has been identified.
Another benefit of Smart O&M is its ability to model change in energy consumption based on a predefined target. That makes it easier for clients to be energy efficient. “We waste a lot of money on energy when we do things like leaving HVAC systems running in “occupied” mode when the building is empty. With Smart O&M, you can limit those costs,” notes Robert White, Head of Technology and Innovation at ENGIE Solutions in UAE.
The platform can also improve work order preparation and management for technicians working in the field, whether they are internal team members or sub-contractors. That in turn optimizes management of Service Level Agreements (SLAs). “Before, our technicians often had to visit clients multiple times for a repair. With Smart O&M, they have all the information they need to plan ahead and provide on-site services efficiently,” says Jérôme Deroubaix, Business expert and BIM data manager at ENGIE Solutions France.
That adds up to clear, practical benefits for customers, who can also better understand and manage the operating condition of their installations. In addition to significantly improving the quality of the services themselves, the platform serves as a portal and database that brings asset descriptions and all the related documentation together in a single location: “Smart O&M provides clear benefits to everyone involved in the real estate value chain, including owners: the digital twin addresses their property documentation and regulatory reporting challenges,” explains Thomas Huerre, Director of Operations at ENGIE Solutions France.
Objective: rolling out the solution at scale
“By the end of 2024, we aim to have tens of thousands of sites and users,” says Kapp.
Smart O&M in key figures
- 5 pioneering markets
(Canada, Dubai, France, Netherlands, and Singapore)
- +250 sites worldwide
were using the Smart O&M solution by end 2021
- 50 K. sites
could be using the solution by end 2024
- 70 people
on the Smart O&M team at ENGIE Digital
“We started experiencing Smart O&M in 2020 on a large contract, an 18-storey building located in Dubai, in which we have been operating property, asset, facility and energy management for more than 5 years. Considering the high volume of history data available, that was the ideal context to 4 months to set up and fine-tune the algorithms, and also train all users to make relevant use of information. After that period, we managed to use Smart O&M to anticipate breakdowns and therefore reduce the number of failures. Also, the solution helped driving improvement in operational energy efficiency, meaning optimizing consumption with no significant investment.
Smart O&M allowed us to detect logic errors and optimization opportunities in the HVAC systems programming based on space management, leading ultimately to more than 10% savings on consumption. In addition, we believe we can optimize the work efficiency by at least 15% by maintaining better assets, and by automation and remote monitoring.”
Robert White, Head of Technology and Innovation chez ENGIE Solutions Middle East