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Working for the Machine, BIM and the Broken Fan

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posted on Jun, 18 2019 @ 07:43 AM
1960 - A call comes in to the maintenance guy, several people's offices are cold. The maintenance guy grabs his tool box and goes to check it out. In the local mechanical room he finds a fan pulley with a broken belt. He replaces the belt, turns the fan on and just like that the offices are warming up.

2020 - A call comes in to the maintenance center automated service, several people's offices are cold. The automated service opens up a maintenance repair ticket in the multi-million dollar maintenance and asset management 'system' (let's say IBM's Maximo). The system took thousands upon thousands of hours to install and configure, employing dozens of programmers for years. The system then assigns a maintenance technician to the maintenance ticket and the tech is dispatched. **record scratching** was the technician dispatched? Well, the technician was dispatched when the asset management system handed off the ticket to a complex piece of "Dispatching" software which runs on another system...which also cost millions of dollars and required thousands of hours to configure.

The technician doesn't grab his tool box, but instead logs into his computer. He accesses a 3-D model of the building and all of it's contents in a Building Information Modeling (BIM) system. Now, this system cost tens of millions of dollars and took hundreds of thousands, possibly even millions of hours, to install and configure. He also opens up another application called a Building Management System (BMS) which tells him the status of all the things in the building. Yeah, you guessed it, this system too cost tens of millions and took countless hours to install and configure. He sees a red box in the BMS system, something's broken. He then goes to the BIM system to show him a 3 dimensional representation of what's broken and the exact location. It even tells him the part number for the fan belt which is broken. Cool stuff.

Now that he has the part number for the broken fan belt he can go into the back stock inventory application and request the fan belt from the parts shop. (Yep, and that one cost millions too, and you know the rest of that drill). So now he's ready to go fix the fan, right?? Well, not so fast...

Okay, pretty standard stuff up to this point, right? Now it's going to get harder, and there might be a quiz! LOL!

Okay, so far, the technician has expended about 3 whole calories typing on his computer and his tool box is collecting dust. He has interacted with about $50 million dollars worth of computer hardware, software and data. But the fan is still broken. He says he'll go fix it as soon as he finishes his coffee. He logs out of the BMS system, but when he goes to log out of the BIM system he sees a flashing message. The message is a warning message telling him the belt which broke was replaced recently so something else must be wrong too. Oh, and lemme' tell ya...THAT feature costed a pretty penny to get!!! They spent literally YEARS getting all those parts loaded into the system; every belt, every pulley, every fan, every light fixture, every toilet, every faucet, every flush handle, every freaking thing you can possibly imagine (and a billion others you never even thought of)!!!!

Now he's got a problem. The system says the last time the belt was replaced the tech noted the pulley was worn. The pulley should probably be replaced too. The problem is, replacing the pulley requires two men, not one. Now he's got to go back into the maintenance and asset management ticketing system and add the pulley to the original ticket, which will drive the system to send an update to the dispatching system, which will in-turn dispatch a second technician for the job. Then it's back over to the BIM system to re-open the 3D model of the fan and get the part number for the pulley. Then over of the parts system to request the pulley from the parts warehouse. Then he's got to make 5 phone calls to coordinate the second technician and picking up the parts.

Wash rinse and repeat about 4 times.

Pretty soon the tractor trailer load of parts shows up at the gate, along with a bus load of maintenance technicians, a crane and two forklifts.

When they finally get to the fan (several HOURS later) they find that a protective housing had vibrated loose around the pulleys and sheared off the belt. DAMMIT! Nobody ever thought of that! Now, we need to put a monitoring switch on the protective housing so we can tell if it falls off again...and update the 3-D model in BIM, and update the BMS system which requires a whole host of engineers and programmers to design, install and configure. Plus, now they have to hire an additional technician to monitor all these added points on the system.

I could literally go on for days like this, just days and days! And, it never ends.

So what's really going on here? Are the machines working for US...or are we working for THEM?

edit on 6/18/2019 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 18 2019 @ 08:30 AM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

You just described the difference between a private business and the federal

But yeah, you are absolutely correct.

posted on Jun, 18 2019 @ 10:46 AM
Agreed- no private business operates this way.
They'd send the maintenance guy to the cold rooms- he'd confirm it was cold and then head to the source of the air that should be coming from that vent.
They wouldn't consider buying a part without eyes on a problem, and at best they'd have a diagram on a binder somewhere in a dusty room saying which fan goes to what office space- not 50 million in software.

Sounds exactly how government would do it- someone should probably cut their budget


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