mCloud: digitally transforming the energy sector
Currently standing at over 41,000 assets, AssetCare is marketed as the only service which combines IoT, AI and the cloud to form a system capable of continuous monitoring that optimises operations and drives efficiencies.
Also available for sections of the food industry but primarily utilised by the oil and gas and wind energy sectors, mCloud’s solution can monitor valuable assets such as HVAC units, lighting, refrigeration units, compressors, valves and turbines.
Confident of success
Speaking about the company’s accomplishment, Russ McMeekin, President and CEO, stated, "We had complete confidence we would achieve the asset growth target we had set for ourselves in 2019.
"We saw solid growth through the continued success we have had in getting thousands of new buildings connected in our Smart Facilities business throughout 2019.
"As a result, we saw our Western Canada oil and gas customers in Smart Process move their near-term legacy project services budgets toward the implementation of AssetCare subscriptions.”
McMeekin’s pride in mCloud’s success extended to his attitude towards the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic; he suggested that, whilst the virus was having a major economic effect, he did not expect the company to suffer.
“While we expect to see lower demand for our technical project services in segments such as oil and gas, we believe these should be offset through the activity we are seeing in connecting buildings, remote wind farms, and [...] remote connected workers."
Indeed, he opined that the company would be able to achieve its new target of 70,000 connected assets by the end of 2020.
Enabling energy efficiency
Based on calculations by the US Environmental Protection Agency, mCloud’s asset monitoring enabled its customers to mitigate 80,000 tonnes of carbon from being emitted thanks to increased energy efficiency.
An eco-friendly approach is not novel for the company, which has been utilising AI to drive more sustainable operations in the long-term and has recently launched a new project focusing on digital air quality management.
"Recent scientific research has shown that proper ventilation and airflow can play an important role in reducing the spread of airborne contaminants and pathogens," said Barry Po, PhD, President of Smart Facilities, mCloud.
"Today we are tracking CO2 levels and air quality in over 3,000 buildings, continuously improving our AI to make real-time decisions about how to optimize HVAC runtime, improve building comfort, and ensure building occupants avoid the impact of sick building syndrome."
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Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.