Reactive and preventive maintenance: intuitive flexibility is the route to success
Category: Facilities Management
Maintenance of infrastructural or industrial assets, be it in a residential, corporate or industrial set-up is perhaps, equally important as running these assets. The assets can only deliver when they are in a shape to do so and work to their optimum levels. For this to happen, one needs to work towards preventive and reactive maintenance measures in a planned and definitive way.
Need for preventive and reactive maintenance
Preventive maintenance is a schedule of planned maintenance actions targeted at the prevention of breakdowns and failures. The primary goal is to prevent the failure of equipment before it actually occurs. It is designed to preserve and enhance equipment reliability. Preventive maintenance activities include equipment checks, partial or complete overhauls at specified periods, oil changes, lubrication and so on. In addition, workers can record equipment deterioration, so that they know when to replace or repair worn parts before they cause system failure. The long-term effects and cost-comparisons tend to favour preventive maintenance over performing maintenance actions only when the system fails.
On the other hand, reactive maintenance could be looked at as all maintenance work that is scheduled less than 20 hours before it is executed. There is a strong correlation between safety incidents, injuries and reactive maintenance. In a reactive situation one might not be able to take the time to plan and think before taking action, but that is the call of the hour.
Basically, in an efficient maintenance plan, the right amount of planned preventive maintenance tasks need to be highlighted as also, provisions ought to be made for reactive maintenance work.
An important player in the facilities management field carrying out both- preventive and reactive maintenance tasks is the Al Shirawi Company. Oasis Investment Company is the holding company of The Al Shirawi Group of Companies. The close business association between the families of Abdulla Al Shirawi and Mohan Valrani is the key to the success for this conglomerate.
Their commitment to the group has allowed it to grow into one of the largest manufacturing, engineering, trading, marketing, distribution, contracting and service industries in the Gulf region. With headquarters in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, it now has more diverse operations in industrial and business fields than any other similar group.
It has diversified into 29 major companies. From its inception in 1971 as a trading and contracting company, the group’s scope has broadened to encompass a whole cross-section of products, services and industries. This includes steel and metal fabrication, engineering, contracting for air-conditioning and refrigeration, water-proofing, interior decoration for commercial complexes and showrooms, printing, plastics, technical services, electronics and computers, trucks and heavy engineering products, industrial, consumer and food products.
From just handling air-conditioning contracts to becoming an Integrated Facilities Management company today, marks a journey well-traversed. Al Shirawi Air Conditioning began in 1974 to cater to the increasing air-conditioning needs of the Gulf region. However, the company was re-christened as Al Shirawi Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (ASEME) and with its expanding expertise and fields of work, today it stands at the threshold of becoming Al Shirawi FM LLC. With over 35 years of solid experience spanning the fields of air-conditioning, electrical and mechanical works, plumbing jobs, HVAC coil manufacturing to general cleaning and security contracts; the company has managed its operations with high standards of excellence and discipline.
As a part of the Oasis investment portfolio, even in the recessionary times, ASEME can leverage the financial support of its partners to finish off even the most demanding projects. Lakshminarayanan, Operations Manager, Facilities Management (FM) has this to say,
“It’s a bit of a mouthful, but we are one of the oldest establishments in the history of Dubai. Our strength in the technical field gets compounded with the cleaning and maintenance wing of the company. From hard maintenance to an integrated approach, we attempt to catch the pulse of the market. The company finds itself on the foundation of a strong understanding and rapport between the two families- Valrani and Shirawi. This kind of strength, control and yet, flexibility is very rare.”
Al Shirawi and integrated FM
The company’s attention on quality is brought to the fore as it meets the criteria laid down in the ISO 9001 standard. The management and the dedicated team continue to set novel standards of growth and their passion for excellence is the main motivating thrust behind the ideal blend of youth and experience.
“There are 31 companies in the group and it was a conscious decision not to get involved with real estate development. The decision has been to be an infrastructural strategic growth company,” quips the Operations Manager.
He adds, “When recession strikes, customers tend to save costs. So specialist companies need to combine into one. The classic difference between a facilities management company and a facilities services company is that while the former outsources its tasks for managing a property, Integrated FM in- sources everything except some specialist services like lift management, third party certification, etc.”
The organization is a case in point of adopting the model of Integrated Facilities Management. The aforesaid involves hard FM, annual contracts and reactive maintenance. Under the umbrella of A+ Services, the corporation has broadened its horizon and seeks to provide security and cleaning services as well. The bottom line seems to be ‘multi-tasking security’ and ‘clever cleaning.’
Handling reactive maintenance
This is the age of not just satisfying the customers, but more than delighting them and the USP for a player in this industry is its integrated approach. The thrust ought to be integration rather than being a hard FM company with a cleaning arm. The challenge however, lies in the task of finding suitable and efficient personnel towards accomplishing world-class professional cleaning tasks.
“The more complicated the buildings, the more care do they need and the key lies in performing the cleaning assignments well without compromising on the quality of the work on any account. Our USP is integration and the mantra is that we don’t want to just work, but work well,” responds Lakshminarayanan.
“Disruption happens,” he adds. “It is our bread and butter. Today we have increasingly complicated buildings. With budget restrictions, quality of the buildings also suffers as has been seen during recession. So we need to be prepared to handle exigencies all the time and if you help the clients now, they’ll stick with you.”
Technological advancements in the cleaning sector and ways of tackling recession
The Al Shirawi team uses a hitherto less used technique of utilizing ionized water for cleaning purposes. This is an absolutely sterile form of water and apart from cleaning thoroughly; it leaves a protective coat on the surface to prevent dust accumulation.
This cleaning technology uses electrolytic ionized water. This uses electrolysis technology to create active agents that help the cleaning within the cleaning solution, thereby greatly reducing the use of cleansing chemicals.
It would definitely not be incorrect to say that preventive maintenance is comparatively heavier on the pocket, but worth each penny. In a place like the Middle East region, this exercise ought to be worked out backwards and undertaken during the months of October to February when the weather supports.
“In today’s market, we are trying to be more preventive. If you get the prevention right and the maintenance work is in order, you tend to cut costs. During recession, FM ought to be condition-based. For example, instead running three chilling units below capacity, it’s better to shutdown one. This is reacting to the customer’s needs,” opines the Operations Manager.
The biggest challenge in the FM industry according to Lakshminarayanan is the retention of the client. Innovative offerings in sync with the times are the need of the hour. To substantiate, it would be the best time as of now to offer a re-fit plan to the cruise liners as per the situation and condition of the liner.
The Operations Manager - FM throws further light on technological advances when he talks about using the computer-controlled building controllers wherein robots can carry out the process of ionized cleaning. This indeed is a customer-focused technique with minimum labour utilization.
Dubai calls for green FM and preventive maintenance
With rising environmental concerns, the need of the hour is low energy settings and condition-based maintenance. The effort ought to be greater on preventive maintenance rather than reactive in today’s times. Such measures acquire bigger dimensions with the humidity of the Middle Eastern climate. Lakshminarayanan offers the following insight on dealing with humidity vis-à-vis maintenance jobs.
“High humidity levels lead to more running and sweating of the equipment as well and to remove moisture, we have to look into preventive maintenance. To prevent such effects of humidity as moulds, the ideal way is to have auto-close doors working perfectly at all times. This goes a long way in protecting the investment of the owner and working on the principle of preventive maintenance.”
He continues, “In a place like Dubai, December to February ought to be the peak maintenance months leading to summers ahead. Otherwise, one can suffer on account of reactive maintenance wherein one needs to immediately look into a breakdown caused due to a lack of maintenance because of recession.” Keeping the market scenario in mind, multi-tasking is the panacea for better work productivity and higher customer satisfaction. Coupled with this, if innovative technology is put to use, it can go a long way to resolve issues far more satisfactorily. An example to this end would be the trial runs of the micro-fibre glove by the Al Shirawi workers which aids them in completing their tasks successfully without leaving the clients unhappy due to the finger prints left on the surface while pursuing their respective tasks.
“Another extremely significant factor in executing FM tasks is the time factor. Of imperative importance is the timing of the job. A simple task like steam cleaning if carried out in a well-timed fashion can help control humidity and the growth of mould,” adds Lakshminarayanan. He also feels that initiatives requiring expenditure are worth it if they lead to long-term benefits. Energy efficiency ratios can be maintained if planned maintenance work is carried out and endeavors such as air-pressure control mechanisms in cinema halls can also assist in cash savings by cutting down costs towards helping the air-conditioning to carry on uninterrupted. Plus, one can work on recycling the disposable plastic glasses used everywhere.
“Adaptability is the answer to surviving and thriving in the FM industry. Be it ionized water, effective management or the micro-fibre technology- Innovation is the buzzword. Fresh air handling units are equally important as also the economic situation and the timing of the technology to be used.
Flexibility with top-end resources can make any player a leader in the FM industry. It is a constant upward battle,” sums up Lakshminarayanan.
RELATED ARTICLES FOR FACILITIES MANAGEMENT
World FM Congress to take place during FM Expo 2011 in Dubai
Participants will be able to see how Atlantis Hotel in the UAE reduces its utility bills and optimises energy savings systems in addition to learning about how other projects are being handled worldwide
Viridity Software enters partnership with Information Systems Associates (ISA)
Viridity Software, a global provider of data center infrastructure management (DCIM) software, has announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership agreement with Information Systems Associates, Inc., a leading provider of data center and facilities management solutions.
Markus Oberlin, general manager of Farnek Avireal, writes on the essentials of energy saving for building owners who are not connected to power grids; as opposed to diesel generators that cost 73 fils per kWh and emit 2,599 kilos of Co2 everyday
The future of FM in the UAE – Energy Management and Optimisation
With the growing concern for environmental issues
and challenges, ‘CSR’ – or, Corporate Sustainable
Responsibility and energy management has become
a cornerstone when delivering facilities management
Sustainability is not an option - it is the only solution
In the pursuit of progress and development, failing to implement sustainable practices is definitely not an option. And we are not just talking about sustainability as a mere marketing stunt or a PR tactic. Sustainability must serve as the guiding principle behind the continuing search for innovation and improvements in the society. It must be the ultimate outcome in a well-defined, long-term strategic development plan.
Security surveillance technology: opening new doors to strengthen FM services
Security has become the core focus for all the organisations today and due to different unfortunate events taking place all around the world, the security market has grown and is expected to grow further.
Tariq Chauhan – Group Executive Director and board member of Emcor Facilities Services (EFS) shares his thoughts on what makes the company stay ahead of the game despite recession with Chandrima Dutta.
PermaFrost –Environmentfriendly technology to help facilities reduce energy consumption
EMRILL, a leading facilities management (FM) services provider in the UAE has installed PermaFrost to their residential clients for more than four months and is now expanding the program to their commercial clients
Macair, part of Transguard Group has appointed Patrick Sweeney as CEO. The company is a project specialist with expertise in mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP), construction, interior fit-outs, hard landscaping and
Musanada and MEFMA host forum dedicated to facilities management professionals in the Middle East
Abu Dhabi General Services Company Musanada, worked in partnership with the Middle East Facilities Management Association (MEFMA) to provide an open and landmark event on October 17, which served as an educational and networking platform dedicated to all facilities management professionals, constituents and other construction industry stakeholders.
MITIE acquires remaining 50% share of Service Management International
MITIE Group, the outsourcing and building Services Company based in the UK, has acquired the remaining 50 per cent share of Service Management International (SMI) to take full control, according to reports.
MAF Dalkia: Providing sustainable FM services in the Middle East
MAF Dalkia is a fast growing FM and energy management company in the Middle East and is currently involved in projects across the region serving a wide portfolio of clients in the public and private sectors.
MAF Dalkia awarded FM contract for Arcapita Building in Bahrain Bay
MAF Dalkia has announced that it has been awarded a five-year facilities management contract to manage the 16,000 sqm Arcapita Building located in Bahrain Bay. This bold new corporate headquarters boasts intricate and elaborate structural design and an imposing horizontal glass structure, and has already become a centerpiece of the development.
Johnson Controls to maintain nearly 400 Shell retail sites in Oman
Johnson Controls Global Work Place Solutions (GWS), provider of facilities, commercial real estate and energy management for many of the world’s largest companies, announced that it has been awarded a facilities management contract for Shell Oman Marketing Company’s retail and commercial sites in the Sultanate of Oman.
International Facility Management Association celebrates 20,000 member milestone
The International Facility Management Association is pleased to announce that it now serves more than 20,000 members worldwide. IFMA members are a diverse group of facility professionals concerned with the form and function of the built environment.
Inaya in Arabic translates to ‘care’ and Inaya
Facilities Management Services company strives hard to live up to its name. Based in Dubai, the company has grown rapidly, from 10 to more than 150 employees in a span of nine months.
Imdaad to provide waste management and recycling services to Burj Khalifa
Imdaad, a leading integrated facilities management company in the UAE, signed a 3-year contract with Emaar Properties PJSC to undertake waste management and recycling for Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.
Imdaad launches HomePro Maintenance Services to assist residential owners
Imdaad, a leading regional integrated facilities management solutions provider, announced the launch of its recent major initiative, Imdaad HomePro Maintenance Services, an exclusive service division offering clients comprehensive maintenance programme to help protect and preserve homes.
Imdaad CEO named ‘Visionary of the Year’ at CEO Middle East Awards 2011
Imdaad, a leading provider of integrated facilities management solutions in the UAE, has announced that its CEO Jamal Abdulla Lootah has been named ‘Visionary of the Year’ at the CEO Middle East Awards 2011.
Gulf Organization for R&D launches ‘International Journal of Sustainable Built Environment’
The Gulf Organization for Research and Development, the developer of the Qatar Sustainability Assessment System (QSAS), has developed and launched ‘The International Journal of Sustainable Built Environment’.
Nadeem Zaman, Vice President, Business Transformation & Facilities Management, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) talks about managing a world-class facility – the region’s high-profile purpose-built complex for events and exhibitions, in an interview given to Swaliha Shanavas
FM sector in GCC records $21.8billion investment in 2012
UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are leading the region in terms of facility management (FM) industry growth, but margins are declining and suppliers are seeking more sophisticated contract and delivery mechanisms as a way of protecting profit
Etisalat launches Mobile Work Force Management solution for businesses in collaboration with Syclo
The solution will enable businesses to improve field worker efficiency and communication in areas such as field force management, inventory management, workflow approvals, IT asset management, fleet management and facilities management.
Etisalat FM forms strategic alliance with Elite Security
Etisalat Facilities Management LLC (EFM), one of the Business Units of Etisalat Services Holding -the Business-to-Business arm of the Etisalat Group - announced their strategic alliance and partnership with Elite Security.
Emrill Services chosen as FM partner for The Torch in Dubai Marina
Select Group, one of the leading private real estate companies in the UAE, announced appointing Emrill Services LLC as its facilities management partner for its world’s tallest 86-floor residential tower, The Torch at Dubai Marina.
Emrill receives ISO honours for environment and safety
Emrill, the leading Facilities Management provider in the UAE, announced it has received ISO certifications for Environmental Management and Occupational Health and Safety Management systems, further reiterating the company’s commitment to delivering excellence with stringent systems and checks in place.
The prestigious ISO 14001:2004 and OHSAS 18001:2007 certifications follow Emrill’s successful certification to ISO 9001:2008 for its customer focus, leadership and continual improvement.
Emirates Green Building Council network event focuses on building envelope performance
Emirates Green Building Council (Emirates GBC), an organisation aimed at conserving the environment by strengthening and promoting green building practices in the UAE, held its monthly networking meeting on May 30 last month at the Metropolitan Hotel in Dubai.
EFS wins Oracle Business Implementation of the Year award
UAE-based integrated facilities management service provider, EFS Facilities Services announced that the company was honored with the Oracle Business Implementation of the Year 2012 Award at the Gitex Oracle Gulf Awards.
Effective security solutions and how Security Threat and Risk Assessment should be conducted
Experience shows that property owners and developers very rarely understand the importance of providing an effective security solution and all too often the security concept and delivery fails to meet operational needs and demands.
Dubai fire testing laboratory approved by global safety
The UAE-based building assembly testing laboratory, Thomas Bell-Wright International Consultants, announced today that it has been qualified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) as a subcontractor laboratory for fire testing of fire rated doors and dampers according to UL standards.
Drake & Scull International (DSI) PJSC, a regional market leader in integrated design, engineering and construction disciplines of Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP), Civil Contracting, and Water and Power announced today at the international MEP summit at Oryx Rotona – Doha that it has secured an AED 100 million MEP contract for a private residential facility in Doha through its newly acquired MEP specialist company Drake & Scull International Qatar L.L.C. (DSQ).
District Cooling is a viable, sustainable solution, particularly considering that we are living in a region where temperatures remain high for most part of the year says Adib Moubadder, Managing Director of Emicool in an interview with
Cleaning and maintenance at heights: a goldmine of challenging opportunities
Despite traditional means of accessing facilities at heights, rope access is fast gaining momentum as one of the preferred means for cleaning and maintenance at heights. Muhammad Sekagya reports on different high-access solutions from Grako.
Burj Khalifa: A challenge to the science of facilities management
Sadhvi Sabherwal talks to Ali Al Suwaidi, Senior Director, Operations, Burj Khalifa, and member of Middle East Facilities Management Association (MEFMA) to find out how the world’s tallest tower is being managed
Increased interest from owners of private villas in Dubai for facilities management services besides maintenance of swimming pools and landscaping has driven business by 100 per cent for Belcare, the
facilities management division of Belhasa Projects over the last one year.
‘Work on the Move,’ IFMA’s new book on alternative workplace strategies to debut at world workplace
The IFMA Foundation is said to announce a new publication that brings together global workplace experts to analyze how work is changing, the impact it is having on the workplace and how facility professionals can respond.
FM industry experts tell Swaliha Shanavas how ‘sustainability’ has been understood (or misunderstood) and how they are putting in relevant efforts to make their operations more sustainable, with focus on water, energy and other key environmental aspects