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At the bottom of every license plate in the Canadian province of Québec, the French motto “Je me souviens“ is embossed with pride in white and blue letters. Translated to “I remember,” it’s a profound reminder of the region’s 375-year history and the long road it has taken to get to where it is today.
Yet in a place where honoring the past is so fundamental to its identity, it is progressive and sustainable practices that help ensure its future.
Forward-thinking contractors have helped the City of Montréal, located within Québec, improve productivity while serving the local community in new and exciting ways. As part of a city-wide effort to modernize programs and processes, contractors have helped the city integrate the talento smart™ Digital Timw Switch with great success.
Favored for its time-saving mobile app and all-around versatility, the Grässlin by Intermatic timer control has saved hundreds of man-hours in the field in just a few months’ time.
Growing to Scale
Nearly two million Montréal residents access the 1,200 public parks and outdoor athletic fields within the city limits. This includes more than 100 mixed-use parks, which combine multiple activities (i.e., soccer, basketball, skateboarding, gardens, etc.) at a single location.
Each park is unique, which makes it important to have lighting controls that are adaptable. For example, a baseball field or tennis court may require lights to switch off at 10 p.m., while nearby lights along a park trail need to stay on all night for security.
Park maintenance responsibilities include quality assurance of existing lights, updating program schedules for special events, new installations and replacements of defective components. It’s a lot to manage, and every extra moment counts.
In early 2017, contractors for the city installed two talento smart units as part of a small pilot program. They were impressed by the timer’s mobile capabilities and found great value in practical features like its extended backup battery, compact footprint and DIN rail-mounted design. By March 2017, the project expanded to include 30 additional units as well as a special request for all new park developments to specify talento smart.
Cutting Maintenance Work in Half
One of the key aspects of park maintenance is monitoring the status of LED lights and adjusting program schedules.
In the past, individuals had to physically open each enclosure and manually turn on the lights to check that they were working properly. Updating schedules for special events was even more demanding since it required multiple trips to set and then reset the park’s timer controls.
Time spent on this type of maintenance work dropped drastically once contractors installed the talento smart. Through the talento smart app, which connects to the timer via Bluetooth®, individuals could verify program schedules in a matter of minutes without ever opening an enclosure.
The same job that previously required 10 hours of labor could now be done with the assistance of a smartphone in an hour or two max.
Due to the outdoor nature of the work, park maintenance is also heavily affected by weather conditions. Average January temperatures in Montréal track at a bone-chilling -10.2 degrees Celsius, which can make even simple tasks very challenging.
With talento smart, contractors no longer needed to spend time de-icing locks on outdoor enclosures or freezing their fingers at the device. Instead, they could stay in their trucks with the heat on and get the job done faster using their smartphones.
Setting Programs with the Swipe of a Finger
Contractors for the city quickly found ways to streamline installations by taking advantage of the talento smart Template feature. This feature makes it easy to copy pre-made schedules to new timers, which allows users to be sure the correct programs are in place prior to installation.
The time-saving feature allowed contractors to simply choose the appropriate schedule template (e.g., baseball, tennis court, trail, etc.) and go.
A built-in Astro feature, which triggers dynamic sunrise or sunset events based on the latitude and longitude coordinates of any location, is also frequently used by installers to save time on setup.
Training Made Easy
Finding the right balance between functionality and usability has been essential to long-term success. With minimal training, users of all different backgrounds and ages can intuitively understand how talento smart works.
Moreover, the user-friendly design of talento smart allows any trained individual with the talento smart app installed on their smartphone to make last-minute adjustments when duty calls.
From a small pilot program nearly a year ago, the city is looking ahead with excitement and considering creative new ways they can integrate the talento smart to serve the local community and improve daily work.