What is Proactive Commissioning?
In Maintenance and Reliability, there are a complete set of tools dedicated to Proactive Maintenance.
When it comes to commissioning your data center, or any other mission critical facility, it pays to be proactive versus just going with the flow. Many organizations bring on the Commissioning Authority (CxA) just before they are needed to test all the equipment. Just in time to get all their test scripts developed, be ready to get their testing done, and get off the site so the facility can be turned over to do what it was built to do. Unfortunately, for those organizations that deal with commissioning in this manner, that facility is often not very capable of fulfilling its mission very reliably nor with desired availability.
The commissioning process, when executed properly, can ensure those defects and functionality problems are identified and corrected ahead of the deployment date for the facility and its critical equipment. The most efficient manner for doing this is being proactive and ensuring those problems are identified as early in the process as is possible.
By bringing the CxA onboard early in the design phase, they can help utilize their previous experience and knowledge to ensure problems are designed out of the project. They will also be able to identify roadblocks to effective commissioning and help determine resolution to those roadblocks early instead of late in the project.
Routine inspections by the CxA during the construction phase also helps to ensure quality construction. This also helps to better acquaint the CxA with the equipment and personnel they will be working with to best deliver a trouble-free facility. Keeping them involved with reviews of all equipment submittals, design changes, Requests-For-Information (RFIs), and issue identification/resolution ensures the testing of your equipment is conducted in the most thorough and effective manner, which in the end is exactly what you hired the CxA to do.
During the commissioning phase, the CxA should be using all the tools available to them to best test the equipment and facility. Some of these are by thorough review of reports executed by others such as Test, Adjust & Balance (TAB), Infrared (IR) Thermography scans of electrical and potentially mechanical equipment, alignment documentation, pressure/vacuum tests, etc. Other tools providing specific data may be obvious: BAS and EPMS screenshots or data history. They should also be using the BAS for trending of various tests and normal operations. Power Quality Metering (PQM), separate from that which may be provided by the EPMS, is also typically implemented and analyzed for STS/ATS transfers or UPS testing. It can be important to use PQMs for ensuring the quality of the power from the Utility and backup power sources.
Utilizing various environmental monitors to analyze and trend for space temperature, Relative Humidity, and differential pressures under various load conditions ensures your air handling equipment will perform as designed. Vibration Analysis or Ultrasonic Emissions (UE) testing may also provide valuable data or even just to set baselines for the maintenance program to be utilized during the operation of the facility.
However, all of this data is useless without an in-depth analysis. It is important to ensure that the CxA is not only analyzing this critical information but also providing specific reports on each data set and performance trend.
Proactive commissioning doesn’t just mean starting this process early in the project, it means ensuring you are using all of the predictive tools and systems at your disposal. As well as performing an evaluation of the data available to ensure required adjustments and corrective actions are implemented prior to the need to operate your mission critical facility.