Case Study for Siemens Corporation
Siemens Building Technologies Group selected zLink, Inc. to develop and implement the next generation business solution for the Inspection of Fire Safety Systems based on their zVerfy™ Platform. Key challenges that needed to be addressed:
- No central repository of information to generate metrics to meet compliance requirements or offer additional services to the end customer.
- A technician’s lack of mobility while inspecting a facility meant more than one person was required for an inspection.
The solution entails building a system that will allow Siemens to inspect and troubleshoot a variety of Fire Alarm panels. These panels maybe manufactured by Siemens or other 3rd party vendors. The vision of the new system named TAP5 (Tech Advance+ Version 5) is for over 500 technicians and 1000 branch back-end staff to access the application and use its functionality via mobile technologies based on iOS and Android software and internet communications.
Inspecting technicians able to use smart phones or tablets that have a TAP5 client application on them to access a web site with offline storage capability to perform and record inspection test results. The web application communicates via a communications application with the central server which then talks to the laptop connected to the Panel. The smart phone or tablet is then able to control the Panel to acknowledge alarms, silence alarms, etc. The client application on the smart phone or tablet is also able to store notes and pictures related to any particular installed device, as well as bar code scan the device and store information about the scan. The client application is able to operate to without internet connection if the Fire Alarm Panel’s installed device list and other information about the inspection have been uploaded onto the smart phone / tablet internal store. The back-end server stores information collected and processes requests from the smart phones or tablets and desk-top PCs. Configuration information for each installed Panel and previous inspection information are stored and used for business analytics as well as to generate, edit, and make the inspection reports available to customers.
In addition to the I/O functionality described above, zVerfy™/TAP5 application repository integrates:
- As-Builts CAD drawings of Client Sites Fire and Life Safety (FLS) configuration Control Panels and controlled – networked FLS devices (i.e., Alarms, Emergency Lights, etc);
- Technical Documentation for each of installed FLS configurations as “Installed”;
- Technical Maintenance and Inspection Procedures for each Panel Class installed;
- Link of each installed FLS device to technical documentation including pictures and drawings, service specifications and instructions, installation, life cycle costs per client contract, maintenance and inspection history, and Field Reports
- Over ten thousand (10,000) Siemens customers can use the portal to view and retrieve the inspection reports of their facilities stored in TAP5 central server
- Data stored on the server for safe and permanent storage.
- A common information base allows the management to review metrics across countries and leverage ROI.
- Huge cost savings are derived by reducing the number of technicians required to complete an inspection using mobile technology.
- Troubleshooting existing install base remotely reduces the need to fly experts to a site
- Linking of all devices to drawing, bar-coding, attaching pictures, accessing and visualizing information from anywhere make inspections more efficient