“Coil Crime Scene Investigation” by Dean Taylor & Jim Lee



Operational forensics is the practice of using building automation system data and data analytics to determine the sequence of events leading up to an incident and to determine root cause.

Imagine walking into your facility on a Monday morning to find water covering the floor.  Water damage is everywhere – mechanical rooms, laboratories and office spaces.  The laboratory experiments and the complex machinery used to run the experiments are damaged.  The office computers, paperwork, chairs and carpets are wet.  As an owner, operator, user or facility manager this is your nightmare scenario.  The costs and the liabilities from such an incident can be substantial.  But who is to blame for such a crisis?  Was anyone at fault or was it simply an unfortunate equipment failure? Your first words would likely be “Get me the Facilities Manager!”

Now imagine that all of the facilities management functions are actually performed by a contractor. Does your interpretation of ‘liability’ change?

Unfortunately, such an event actually happened.  Luckily for the building owner, Cimetrics was already providing Analytika, an ongoing commissioning, fault detection and diagnostics service, to the owner. Analytika enabled Cimetrics to investigate the crime scene, dubbed “The Coils Incident”, to determine precisely what happened and who should be held accountable.  Utilizing the Analytika system, Cimetrics was able to conduct ‘Operational Forensics’ to determine the sequential events that led up to The Coils Incident and to determine the root cause of the failure.

Read the rest of this article and the entire “Internet of Things”-themed November edition of AutomatedBuildings.com here.

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