Installers often do not have it easy. When it comes to ordering the individual components and ultimately installing door components, they face many challenges. What are the biggest hurdles? Moreover, how can digital tools simplify the installation and commissioning of access solutions??
Time-consuming cabling, different BUS systems, many individual components from different suppliers, numerous standards and guidelines for installation and commissioning: These are just some of the buzzwords that aptly describe the everyday life of an installer.
Products with sometimes complex, electronically controlled components need to be combined into a functioning system so that they meet the requirements for emergency exit and escape routes, fire protection, accessibility, or access control.
BIM in the planning phase – and what about installation?
Digital solutions that encompass the entire building system and, above all, simplify planning have been around for a long time. However, when it comes to digitization, the construction industry is still relatively conservative.
Take BIM, for example; the basis for interdisciplinary planning with firmly defined interfaces and information requirements makes many things more manageable, especially in the preliminary stages.
For the installation, digital tools and apps are supposed to remedy the situation, accompanying the installer from door-to-door on the construction site. By seamlessly linking individual products, smart installation aids can reduce time and complexity. However, what are the reasons in detail?
1. Reduced Effort in the Planning Phase
Anyone who installs door solutions knows that the effort already starts at the planning stage. Individual components have to be ordered. Necessary product information, wiring, and connection diagrams must be kept on hand, and technical drawings and floor plans must be provided.
If misunderstandings arise during communication between building owners, planners, suppliers, and other installers such as electricians, this is where the stumbling blocks are laid that can complicate and slow down the process right through to installation.
The digitization of access solutions, on the other hand, offers the advantage of being differently positioned already in the planning phase, which then also favors the installation:
- For preliminary work on-site, access to all planning documents is possible,
- during installation, all information is available digitally and quickly,
- thus, the consistency of all data ensures that potential stumbling blocks are eliminated.
2. Digital Installation is a Building Block for the Smart Building
Building Management Systems (BMS) take over to control tasks of communication, home, and security technology. As a result, they not only simplify the operation and maintenance of these systems but also represent a central component of the smart building.
They are joined by systems that digitally map all-access solutions, for example. Furthermore, time recording, and access control solutions also play a role in the digital building ecosystem. Individual interfaces must mesh perfectly to ensure that everything is in harmony to add extra value across the entire chain.
Back to the installation and commissioning of door components: If they are entirely digitized and integrated into the building management system, it is not only fabricators who benefit from simplified maintenance or quick repairs. Data consistency and immediate availability of all information also make subsequent operations much more efficient.
3. Maximizing Skill and Reducing Labor Gaps
Digital progress makes technical products not only more versatile and powerful but also more complex. Access systems, in particular, are subject to strict industry standards and security requirements, which is why highly specialized knowledge is indispensable during installation. However, since appropriately trained specialists do not grow on trees, good advice is usually expensive. There is often only one specialist in the company who is familiar with unique custom solutions.
Digital installation tools can help: For both existing and new systems, installation is possible even by less trained personnel since all the necessary data is available digitally and only needs to be transferred to the door.
Expensive and time-consuming training is no longer required. At best, installation and commissioning can be completed with just a few hours of labor. Nevertheless, this is by no means about rationalizing away specialists. Everyone stands to gain: The processor has less stress at the end of the day and can better satisfy the customer. The soft factors fit better, which also positively impacts the company’s own business.
4. Increased Overall Productivity
Fast installation saves time, effort, and money. Low susceptibility to errors also reduces the number of complaints. However, if problems occur, the urgently needed ad-hoc support is usually lacking.
By providing information digitally, fabricators have everything they need consolidating at their fingertips, starting with wiring and connection diagrams, through technical drawings, floor plans, and installation videos, to component lists. When products are digitally networked for commissioning and also communicate with each other digitally, some of the effort previously required for wiring is also eliminated. Simplified, it can work like this:
- The processor uses an app on which a digital twin appears.
- The virtual image contains all the defined functionalities of the door.
- This means he does not have to go to each component and manually enter all the parameters to harmonize everything.
- Finally, the digital twin connects to a central control unit and transfers its knowledge, data, and desired functionalities to the overall system.
This results in faster commissioning thanks to preconfigured parameters and functions. The data consistency helps to reduce manual efforts and to guarantee consistency throughout the entire process of the building development cycle.
5. Guaranteed Safety
The future of smart buildings is connected. Furthermore, when smart buildings regulate their air conditioning, open and close doors automatically, and special apps access systems remotely or help with installation, it takes the Internet of Things (IoT), which is also vulnerable to cyber threats.
Digital solution providers and manufacturers naturally have this in mind: First, through secured servers that are located in domestic data centers for their own data sovereignty. Second, through internal protection. To prevent malicious software from spreading through the internal network, they use micro-segmentation technology. Building systems are grouped into particular subnets that are individually secured once again.
Connectivity & Co. – Is the Future of Access Solutions Digital?
Digitization allows individual products to be seamlessly connected, reducing complexity and minimizing the cost of installation and commissioning. Nevertheless, it is also clear that expanding one’s core competencies can ensure that processors offer their customers added value over the competitive landscape as early as the planning phase.
The advantages are obvious, but the challenges are certainly not getting any smaller. It is good if everyone can figure out the answer for themselves. If there are modular solutions that take individual requirements into account and the costs are reasonably proportional to the benefits: All the better.