Choosing The Right System For The Application

Building Management (BMS) or Building Automation Systems (BAS) are designed to control buildings efficiently. Continuous Monitoring Systems (CMS) or Environmental Monitoring Systems (EMS) monitor conditions and provide secure documentation for compliance. These two kinds of systems (BMS and CMS) are designed to achieve very different goals. A CMS records data for compliance and sends alerts to personnel, whereas a BMS can control multiple systems in buildings, or a network of buildings.

The Different Between BMS/BAS & CMS/EMS System

Control of temperature, humidity, and pressure throughout a facility. Monitoring and historical logging of GMP critical environmental parameters including:

  • Temperature
  • Pressure
  • Particle Counts
Control of plant (e.g. boilers, chillers, production or wastewater systems). Monitoring and historical logging of GMP critical equipment including:

  • Fridges
  • Freezers
  • Incubators
Provide access control security (e.g. card swipe access) throughout a facility. Alarming of critical environmental and equipment out of specification events.
Provide CCTV or video surveillance throughout a facility. Strict access control including audit trail, electronic records, and electronic signatures in line with FDA 21 CFR Part 11 and PIC/S Annex 11.

Benefits of BMS & CMS System

Continuously keeping an eye on a building’s performance and operations will reduce operational and compliance risk. Here are some advantages of continuous monitoring:

Better Management Of Resources

Reliable Data & Accurate Information 

Predictive Maintenance

Building Compliance

Performance Validation

Increased Health & Safety

Reduce Risk Through Efficiency

Improved Occupant Comfort

Benefit Of Separate Systems

As you can see, there is a clear difference between the intent of the two systems. However, a BMS and EMS are commonly combined into one system. However, there are many benefits to having separate systems:

Separate systems Details
Monitoring data if the BMS stops If the BMS was to stop, whether from failure or scheduled maintenance, the EMS will continue to run and record regulatory data. So the EMS could show that the product was maintained within the specification even during a BMS outage. This could mean the difference between saving or rejecting a batch.
Only EMS is the GMP critical system The BMS does not necessarily have to be fully validated because the GMP critical data is logged and stored on the EMS. This simplifies validation activities as EMS sensors will only be placed in GMP areas (e.g. laboratories, critical storage, production suites, etc.) whereas the BMS sensors are throughout the facility, including GMP and non-GMP areas (e.g. offices, shared spaces, bathrooms, car parks, etc.).If the systems are not separated, the BMS becomes the GMP system. Obviously, you don’t want to waste time validating sensors in a non-GMP area just because they are attached to a GMP system.
Quality of hardware Some BMS solutions are configured to use the BMS hardware, software and sensors. Sometimes these sensors are of basic HVAC quality and difficult to calibrate – that is, not what you would want for a critical GMP system. Using higher quality sensors on the EMS can achieve the accuracy and repeatability requirements needed.
Change management is only required for GMP impacts If you wish to adjust a GMP critical set-point, it must be handled under the facility Change Management system. If the BMS is the GMP system, full change request documentation will need to be completed even if, for example, Mary in Accounts wants the temperature turned up a degree.

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Off Jalan Puchong, 47160 Puchong,
Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia.
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