Bluetooth: The Power Behind Predictive Maintenance

Bluetooth technology is practically inescapable in today’s world.

We use it to keep tabs on our physical movement via fitness trackers, use Bluetooth-enabled earbuds and headsets to make to hands-free phone calls as we go about our day, and use it to connect and control an increasing number of devices in our homes as the Internet of Things continues to expand.

But on a larger scale, the same technology that lets you air-drop photos to your friends or play music through a portable speaker during a barbeque could also help office equipment — and in turn, your business — run more smoothly.

Harnessing Bluetooth technology in the office space can safeguard and optimize the performance of electronic assets in several ways. Not only can it increase the efficiency of equipment repair technicians — saving valuable time and money — but Bluetooth capability can also allow you to download and archive performance data from the electronic equipment you service and manage and give you the information you need to avoid future problems by performing predictive maintenance.

First, let’s look at the advantages Bluetooth provides when equipment needs repair, considering how much time and productivity is lost when even one device encounters a problem or needs to go offline. The faster a technician can deduce the problem and locate the source, the faster a solution can be found and a return to profits can be made.

With Bluetooth-capable equipment, a technician doesn’t need to dismantle the machine or conduct time-consuming tests to diagnose the problem — a phone or tablet can connect to the dysfunctional piece of equipment and collect all the information it needs on the source and nature of the issue. In other words, instead of trying to find a needle in a haystack, the Bluetooth-capable haystack presents the needle directly to you.

Power issues are a great example of where Bluetooth technology can pinpoint problems frequently encountered by electronic office equipment. Our power demand has increased along with our technological capabilities, resulting in problems such as network outages, bugs, and communication glitches caused by incompatible generations of devices or programs.

The difficulty becomes how to figure out exactly why a piece of equipment is acting up, and this is where Bluetooth steps in. With Bluetooth capability, a phone or tablet can act as a voltage meter for the electronic equipment being serviced, easily detecting power disturbances like surges or sags. Using this data, a technician can quickly create a report outlining the cause of the power disturbance, make adjustments to fix the problem, and save and store all of the information directly to the cloud for future reference.

The ease and convenience of this data collection also has benefits beyond immediate repair issues. Bluetooth technology allows you to download a device’s entire event and performance history and upload it the cloud, creating an accessible information archive that can be referenced to spot patterns in power disturbances and to aid in solving future problems. In fact, Bluetooth technology allows you to download data from all devices on a network to create a comprehensive database of power usage data. This wealth of information can create quicker pathways to power solutions, saving technicians time and customers money.

But the ease of data collection and convenience of cloud storage that Bluetooth capable devices offer leads to what may arguably be the greatest advantage of all: predictive maintenance. Just as we need to take care of our own bodies to keep them running smoothly and prevent illness or injury, electronic office equipment needs care and upkeep to run efficiently and prolong its lifespan.

This is where the Bluetooth-derived information you’ve collected really adds value — knowledge is power after all. Data on performance history and power usage can be utilized to develop strategies that prevent equipment problems before they have a chance to appear. If problems can be prevented in the first place, the time and cost of repairs and work stoppages can be avoided entirely, and technicians can avoid unnecessary or excessive service calls.

Developing a power management plan for customers from your stored data will also be invaluable to the lifespan and reliability of the equipment. Even small power variabilities that occur daily can add up to work delays, machine lockups, and increases in service calls. Bluetooth technology can sense and monitor power variabilities to keep equipment running as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

So, are you ready to see how Bluetooth technology can benefit your dealership and your customers? From helping repair technicians work more efficiently to creating more power-efficient workplaces, Bluetooth capable technology is set to create multiple pathways to saving time and money, allowing everyone using the equipment to focus on what’s most important — the business.

Steve McBride

Steve McBride

Steve McBride is vice president of sales, Innovolt. He joined Innovolt with 39 years of experience in the Office Equipment industry. Before joining Innovolt he spent 11 years at Katun with the last 5 years as General Manager of the North America Business Unit. McBride’s career also included owning a technology company, that sold copiers as well as network services, which he sold to Ikon Office Solutions. He spent 10 years leading various sales organizations at Ikon, with the latest of those as Director of Sales for a southeast marketplace. McBride holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Mississippi College.