Dissatisfied with the costs of maintaining equipment and controls at its corporate headquarters in Memphis, Tenn., Buckman Laboratories International Inc., a manufacturer of specialty chemicals used in the pulp-and-paper, water-treatment, leather, coatings-and-plastics, wood, and agriculture industries, invited Johnson Controls Inc. to submit a proposal for maintenance of its building-automation system. The resulting service contract will save Buckman approximately 18 percent in HVAC operation and maintenance costs, protect assets, and provide a path to migration to newer technologies.

"Johnson Controls presented a solution that provided service for the existing system while allowing us to integrate newer technologies through an organized plan of replacement," Wendell Rose, senior project manager of operations for Buckman, said.

Under a five-year agreement, Johnson Controls is responsible for repairing and maintaining the control system, mechanical equipment, and fire-alarm and security systems.

Johnson Controls technicians work closely with Buckman’s maintenance staff to ensure equipment is operating efficiently.

"Because of the nature of this international headquarters facility, equipment or controls downtime can cause serious problems and setbacks," Rose said. "Quick response time in these situations is critical."

Together, Buckman and Johnson Controls monitor equipment performance to determine whether replacement should be considered. Further, an organized plan of replacement of older equipment and controls is in place.

"The plan will allow us to carry the replacement costs over years instead of months," Rose said.

To accommodate new equipment and controls, a Johnson Controls Metasys building-management system was installed. The system allows the seamless integration of new equipment, while maximizing the life of existing systems. The Web-based system provides increased monitoring and control capabilities, along with enhanced data analysis, reporting, and trending.

Graphic displays representing the pre-existing system were developed.

"We are able to operate both systems from a single-seat platform and remotely as needed," Rose said. "Greater flexibility and control provide improved performance, even of third-party equipment." According to Rose, plans for additional upgrades are being put in place.

"I am happy with what we’ve accomplished and what we are working towards," Rose said.