One of the most common complaints of field service people in the industrial and commercial HVAC market is the inability to locate the equipment Operation and Maintenance Manual months after the unit is installed. Printed IOM manuals, as they are called, are shipped with every unit from most manufacturers and contain important information regarding unit operation. IOM manuals are also lost or misplaced on almost every project...often on the day the unit is installed.
One simple solution to this problem that has been implemented by the Mestex, division of Mestek located in Dallas, Texas is to implement Microsoft Tags. These Tags are placed in the control compartment of the equipment (or on the outside of the equipment in some cases). The Tags are printed on weather resistant mylar labels so they will stay intact for years.
By downloading the free Tag reader software to his/her cell phone, the service technician can aim the phone's camera at the Tag and a .pdf copy of the appropriate IOM will be downloaded from the Mestek corporate "cloud" servers.
Although most applications of Tag and QR technology to date have been in the retail environment this implementation shows one way that the "smart tag" concept, combined with cloud services, can be used to put a bit of intelligence right on a piece of commercial equipment in order to simplify the proper long term service of the machine. With complicated machinery, proper maintenance over the life of the machine is the key to obtaining true "sustainable design".