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The Risk Factor

06 January 2011

Whether working in the public sector, private sector or as a small business, the risks of downtime through loss of power can be devastating both financially and operationally. Having a back-up plan is essential to any facilities manager, but even with a plan in place there can still be unforeseen risks which can disrupt the smooth transition as your power back-up plan is put into practice.

What happens if the generator fails or is vandalised? Some generator companies offer a system which can monitor if the generator has moved, but what happens if it is switched off in the middle of the night or if the fuel starts to run dangerously low. There are many factors which can contribute to the failure or sudden interruption and loss of your back-up power supply. How can you guard against them?
MEMS Power Generation have employed a system across their entire generator rental fleet which combine some unique bespoke solutions in conjunction with state of the art telemetry and data tracking to answer these questions and many more. “Power generation and the uninterrupted supply of power is mission critical for most businesses. Our DataTrak system is unique in the market offering the reassurance and constant monitoring and control of power that our customers demand.” comments Mark Diffey, Director at MEMS Power Generation.
DataTrak works like a silent guardian monitoring a host of variable components which constantly update MEMS 24 hour manned control centre, with data ranging from fuel levels to the generator's status and location. While some systems will offer only the location of the unit; MEMS DataTrak System goes beyond geo-fencing. This is vitally important because the responsibility for facilities managers is the safety and security of the unit whilst on hire at the company's premises. A key-benefit of MEMS DataTrak System can also be the reduction in insurance premiums due to the constant monitoring of the unit.
The system allows companies to free facilities management staff to focus on other activities safe in the knowledge that DataTrak and MEMS are proactively monitoring to ensure an uninterrupted flow of power where and when it is needed. In the unlikely event that a generator should stop working, with the telemetry information available at our control room we can deploy the right resource to ensure that power is restored as swiftly as possible.
In poor signal areas which though rare, still exist in places, alarms and indications can be hard-wired into the client's operational centre so they can monitor the process via audible or visual alerts for facilities managers as an added safeguard.
So what should a facilities manager be looking for to ensure they are doing the most to keep power flowing in times of an emergency?
The facilities manager's check list should include:
 Does my system have a Geo-Fence or WatchBox relaying geographical information the moment the unit is moved providing alerts?
 Does it provide telemetry to allow remote monitoring of a unit's status and condition?
 Does it tell me if a generator is ‘running’ or ‘not running’?
 Can it provide information on the circuit breakers position?
 Does it have a 'Common Alarm' feature warning of shut down or other variables which could lead to the interruption of power?
 Can it tell you when the 'emergency stop' has been engaged?
 Does it give you or the operator incremental fuel levels?
 Is the system monitored by a dedicated 24 rental hour control room with access to various resources to deal with any eventuality?

We can safely say that unless you are using MEMS DataTrak System the answer to these questions would be 'No'. Your current supplier may provide some of the above but MEMS DataTrak is unique in the industry by providing so much information and having the reassurance that back-up's are in place should any part fail. The system is also employed in the vehicles MEMS supply to deliver the units and fuel. At any given time, MEMS knows the location of its vehicles and drivers ensuring an expedient, safe, and reliable delivery to the customer. Reassuring them that response is timely and co-ordinated.
Mark Diffey concludes. “Our role is to supply power when it is needed most and that's when the existing mains have failed or if power needs to be brought to a location where it doesn't already exist. Our commitment is by investing in systems such as DataTrak, we can maximise the delivery and constant supply of that power in the most efficient and secure manner and we do this without adding additional charge to the customer.”
Taking the risk factor out of your back-up plan - should the worst happen - should be a key priority for all facilities management personnel.

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