Despite the name, the six schools of the Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo (Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo, or IPVC) are spread over different municipalities in Alto Minho: Viana do Castelo, Ponte de Lima, Valença and Melgaço. The distance between the Institute’s central services, in Viana do Castelo, and Melgaço’s Sports Complex, in Prado, is 104 km.
In addition to the distance between the different buildings, which would already be a challenge in itself, there is another important detail: each one is adapted to different types of education. Some have laboratories, while others have gyms and wards. For this reason, not all building operation and maintenance plans are fully replicable.
Among the 6 schools and other support infrastructures, such as cafeterias and university residences, IPVC manages an inventory of more than ten thousand assets. Maintenance work, both preventive and reactive, is divided between internal technicians and external suppliers.
In practice, this means that there is a comprehensive list of external suppliers – responsible for the maintenance of electrical installations, elevators, HVAC systems, cleaning services, security services, grounds maintenance, among others – with different contracts for each building.
Until 2019, the facility management team recorded the inventory in Excel and managed the work orders (WOs) on its own platform. Considering the inventory’s size, this prevented them from having a global picture of the infrastructures: it was almost impossible to know the status of each asset or to assess compliance with the maintenance plan.
To face these challenges, the Institute’s team was looking for maintenance software that would allow for:
- organising the thousands of assets in the inventory;
- managing maintenance plans and monitor WOs from a distance;
- communicating with all external suppliers and controlling deadlines;
- centralising all information, in order to integrate the equipment, WOs and other tools used, namely their Business Intelligence software.
With the implementation of Infraspeak, there are 5651 assets registered on the platform, a number expected to double during 2021. Each asset is associated with the exact location within each building, as well as the respective manuals and maintenance plans.
Once the goal of organising the inventory was achieved, it became possible to monitor operations remotely and schedule changes without unnecessary travelling.
“With Infraspeak, we are able to know the status of each building – number of pieces of equipment per building, breakdowns, etc. – at any time and with only a couple of clicks. We can design and carry out changes on a large scale without having to travel to the premises.”
–Ivo Araújo, HVAC Maintenance Contract Manager
All suppliers also have access to the Infraspeak platform in order to easily open and close work orders, though this is not the only advantage. Repairs are now significantly faster, since all the necessary information is accessible through Infraspeak.
“Infraspeak has contributed to improving compliance with preventive maintenance plans within the established deadlines, in addition to giving us a real sense of all existing work orders and the state of each equipment.”
– Ivo Araújo, HVAC Maintenance Contract Manager
What’s left now is to speed up work order creation even further using Infraspeak Direct™, which seamlessly links staff with the relevant maintenance teams.
The implementation of Infraspeak Operations™ in IPVC’s laboratories, which are “microstructures” with very specific needs, is already scheduled for 2021.
All the data collected in Infraspeak is also useful for deciding whether to modernise or replace equipment with more efficient alternatives. Following the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, the Institute is committed to improving the energy efficiency of its buildings and has carried out several renovations with this specific purpose in mind.
This strategy has already paid off. In 2020, the Sustainable and Inclusive Campus of the Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo was ranked 172nd in the UI GreenMetric World University Rankings and 2nd at a national level, with the best national classification for Infrastructure and Energy and Climate Change.