By Kim Anderson and Chor-Ching Fan

Inventory is the most important part of sensor maintenance, because without it, it wouldn’t be possible to carry out any other steps of the maintenance process.  It gets difficult to track the locations and statuses of individual sensors when there are thousands of them deployed, as is common in large areas. There are easily thousands of sensors in a place like a college or a city street. However, it’s necessary to track sensors individually, because each has their own job to do and their own maintenance needs.

You can think of sensors like people on a team. On a marketing team, you have members with different names, job titles, and roles. There are graphic designers, copywriters, web developers, and strategists, to name a few. The marketing team has a common project goal, but each member has their own unique part to play in reaching that goal. If one person doesn’t do their part, the project will be undeliverable or won’t meet the performance expectations. The same is true of sensors deployed within an organization. If one sensor fails, automated operations can quickly fall apart, leading to security threats, health and safety issues, and other unexpected emergencies.

It’s a marketing team manager’s job to make sure that every team member has the resources they need to do their job effectively and to help them deal with any roadblocks that might prevent them from getting their job done. When each team member delivers successfully in their role, the whole team succeeds. All organizations should have employees assigned to manage sensors, in the same way that a marketing director manages their team members, by ensuring that they are equipped to carry out their jobs for successful automation operations.

So just like people, every sensor should have their own name, called a unique identifier, that they can be tracked by for management purposes. In a sensor management software system, where sensors and IoT devices can be registered, viewed, edited, and tracked all in in one place, the sensor type should also be listed. The sensor type can be thought of as a job title, because it lets us know what kind of role the sensor plays in data collection. A large office building may have a sensor with the unique identifier Employee Temp—Floor 3 and its sensor type listed as “temperature.” This would indicate that this particular sensor is a temperature sensor deployed in the employee workspace on the third floor of the building.

Sensor management systems also keep track of the “place” sensors are deployed, which is the name of the facility or area where it’s located. The place of the Employee Temp—Floor 3 sensor could be listed as Corporate Headquarters.

Additionally, sensor management systems can organize sensors by location, assign users to manage the sensors in one or more locations, and provide maintenance alerts for each unique identifier, such as privacy and security updates. Privacy and security updates for sensors can include things like new software installs and replacement to keep up with regulatory changes.

inQ, a trusted partner in sensor management solutions, can help your organization with unique identifier creation, assigning maintenance responsibilities, analyzing sensor security and operations, staying compliant, and more.  If you’re looking to achieve automation confidence,  contact us.