The future of air handling units lies in the cloud
Why cloud-based services are changing heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
More control, faster service and lower costs: The benefits of cloud-based solutions in heating, ventilation and air conditioning are manyfold. Swedish air handling unit manufacturer IV Produkt in cooperation with Siemens has developed an advanced cloud service, which offers a glimpse into the future of the industry.
The cloud is changing the business world, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) is no exception. With good reason: cloud-based technologies make it possible to access HVAC systems from remote locations. The ability to provide remote support unlocks new opportunities for everyone involved across the board – today and in the future.
Keeping track from anywhere
IV Produkt – the leading Swedish air handling unit manufacturer – partnered with Siemens to take advantage of these opportunities and created an innovative and efficient, cloud-based solution for the maintenance and optimization of its equipment. Conventional solutions are more costly and less frequent since they require installers or service technicians to be on site, which limits preventive measures and can lead to more equipment failures. Such solutions also lack a mechanism for making routine adjustments on a regular basis in order to optimize system performance and energy efficiency. System upgrades also take more time and effort when handled conventionally.
Cloud-based services are changing the HVAC business.Mattias Sjöberg, CEO of IV Produkt
To address these issues, the Swedish company developed a new offering called “IV Produkt Cloud”, which is based on Siemens’ Climatix IC Remote Servicing System. It allows installers and service technicians to keep track of the systems from anywhere they have an internet connection. From just one location, they can monitor and diagnose air handling units on multiple sites, which helps them improve service speed, reduce the number of on-site visits and – most importantly – perform predictive maintenance.
Increased efficiency and reduced costs
Facility managers and building users at facilities of all types also benefit greatly from IV Produkt Cloud. Just ask the Falkenberg Strandbad Hotel on the west coast of Sweden, which offers conference facilities, a spa and a restaurant to tourists from Sweden and abroad. When parts of the former air handling system had to be replaced, the hotel owners were looking for a future-proof, reliable and cost-efficient solution – and chose IV Produkt equipment and IV Produkt Cloud.
Because the IV Produkt solution is plug and play and requires less wiring during installation, the hotel and its installers saw immediate benefits. Its preconfigured and tested applications plus intelligent bundling of components also increased efficiency and reduced costs during the commissioning phase.
With the hotel’s new air handling system up and running, service technicians can use their mobile devices to monitor the entire HVAC system. When they receive alerts about potential problems – most of which can be solved remotely – they can react right away. They are also better prepared when they need to perform on-site maintenance, making those visits as time-efficient as possible. What’s more, the hotel’s facility managers can control the indoor climate from anywhere and anytime.
Game changer for the HVAC business
According to Mattias Sjöberg, CEO of IV Produkt, “cloud-based services are changing the HVAC business”. In his opinion, it is not only the customers who benefit from the new services, but also his own company. “OEMs which use the cloud have lower costs and higher customer service levels” Mattias Sjöberg added. Once systems are connected to the cloud, new services can easily be applied and OEMs can grow their service business. Thus, leveraging the cloud is a win-win-win situation for manufacturers, installers and end customers.
The future is also bright for OEMs; they can use the data stored in the cloud to develop additional services such as alarm diagnostics and predictive analysis. The experience gained by long-time service technicians can be codified in the cloud to provide a scalable platform from which manufacturers can develop alarm diagnostics businesses. Then, manufacturers can move from alarm-driven servicing to predictive analysis so that service events can be pushed out or brought forward as needed.
IV Produkt Cloud is the latest success story from the 30-year partnership between IV Produkt and Siemens. Founded in 1969, IV Produkt manufactures energy-efficient air handling units and has become the market leader in Sweden. Its cloud offering is a prime example of the types of innovations that OEMs can develop when investing in digital solutions.
The core technology of IV Produkt Cloud is the Siemens Climatix IC Remote Servicing System. Climatix IC is an open, scalable solution that is flexible and future-oriented. For example, Climatix IC uses API interfaces to be open to new possibilities for controlling HVAC applications in the future. The Siemens solution is certified by the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA).
Picture credits: Siemens AG
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