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Do You Have an Identification System or Approach for Numbering Equipment?

Dude Solutions
  • May 23, 2014
  • 3 minutes

Q: Does anyone have an equipment numbering system that they can recommend to me? I'd like to set up a system that will work for the folks in the office as well as the tradesmen, and I'd really like to hear from you if you have a system that works well. 

A: Great question. Each piece of equipment will need to have a unique "Item Number". This Item number can be alphanumeric. The best practice is to use a consistent naming convention. How you create them generally depends how you want your equipment displayed in list views and reports. For example, the equipment list view in MaintenanceDirect can be sorted by Item Number or Description. I would recommend you create your Item numbers in a way that will group your equipment either by location or types of equipment. 

It is ideal for the Item number to be easily recognizable and you can identify exactly what the equipment is by looking at the Item number. Here is an example of how we might see Item Number commonly used 

JHS-AHU-001 

JHS-AHU-002 

This numbering convention identifies the Location Jones High School, the type of equipment Air Handling Unit and the number of the unit. If you have a number for your location or building code this could also be used. I.e. 

120-AHU-001 

I hope this helps and I'm interested in seeing some other client suggestions. 

I have seen a few methods and learned a couple of tricks, especially if you are establishing an ID number. 

Many people I've seen will use a series of abbreviations to help look at a list and search for it.  The abbreviations often include the site/campus, type of asset and the number.  Occasionally, someone may include the trade. 

Examples: 

  • ADM_RTU_01 or AdmRTU01 

  • ADM_HV_RTU_01 or AdmHvRtu01 

This means it is at the Administration Building and it is a Rooftop Unit that HVAC services.  It makes it consistent and easy to search. 

Why did I use an _ vs. a - or a .?  Sometimes, certain special characters are treated as wild cards in searches. An underscore usually means something more exact. 

Here are some possible acronyms to consider: 

Acronym Name 
ADO: AUTO-MATIC DOOR OPENER 
ADU: COMPRESSED AIR DRIER 
AED: AUTOMATIC EMERGENCY DEFIBULATOR 
AFD: AUTOMATIC FIRE DETECTION - SMOKE DETECTOR 
AHU: AIR HANDLER UNIT 
AMP: AMP THEATER 
ARD: AIR DOOR 
BBG: BASKETBALL GOALS 
BFL: BACKFLOW PREVENTER 
BLR: STEAM BOILER 
BLR: BOILER 
BPS: BACK-UP POWER SUPPLY 
BPS: BATTERY POWER SYSTEM 
BRE: BREAKER 
BRK: BREAKER, CIRCUIT 
BRL: BROILER 
BRZ: BRAZER, TILT 
CDR: CONDENSER 
CIRC: CIRCULATOR PUMP 
CLR: CHLORINATION SYSTEM POOL 
CMP: COMPRESSOR 
CTR: CONTROLLER 
CTS: CHEMICAL TREATMENT SYSTEM 
DMP: DAMPENER 
DRY: CLOTHES DRYER 
DSD: DUCT SMOKE DETECTOR 
DSP: DISPOSAL 
DST: DUST COLLECTER 
DWR: DISHWASHER 
EC: EVAPORATIVE COOLER 
ECO: ELECTRICAL CONTROL 
EDP: ELECTRICAL DISTRIBUTION PANEL 
EEW: EMERGENCY EYE WASH 
EF: EXHAUST FAN 
ELV: ELEVATOR 
EML: EMERGENCY LIGHTING 
EMS: EMERGENCY WASH 
EVP: EVAPORATOR COIL 
EVP: EVAPORATOR 
FAN: FAN ALL 
FB: FIRE BLANKET 
FCO: FIRE CONTROL OPERATORS 
FD: FIRE DOOR 
FDR: FIRE DOOR ROLLUP 
FFI: FIRE FLOW INDICATOR 
FFV: FIRE FLOW VALVE 
FH: FIRE HOSE 
FHC: FIRE HOSE CONNECTION 
FIL: POOL FILTRATION 
FIS: FIRE SUPPRESSION SYSTEM 
FRY: FRYER, DEEP 
FWM: FOOD WARMER 
FXT: FIRE EXTINGUISHER 
FZR: FREEZER 
GAS: GAS UTILITIES 
GND: GRINDER 
GTE: GATE 
HOD: HOOD, EXHAUST, KITCHEN 
HTB: HOT TABLE 
HTR: HEATER 
ICE: ICE MACHINE 
KET: KETTLE 
LFT: LIFT POOL 
LPD: L.P. GAS DETECTOR 
MCC: MOTOR CONTROL CENTER 
MTR: MOTOR 
MXR: MIXER 
OVN: OVEN 
PGS: PLAYGROUND STRUCTURE 
PRH: PERIMETER HEATING 
PSC: PRESSURE COOKER 
PWS: POWER SOURCE 
REF: REFRIGERATOR 
REG: REGULATOR, PRESSURE 
RNG: RANGE TOP 
RTB REFRIGERATED TABLE 
RTU: ROOFTOP UNIT (AIR HANDLING UNIT) 
SBP: SWITCHBOARD PANEL 
SLP: SOLAR PANEL 
SLR: SLICER 
SRV: SERVER 
STM: STEAMER 
SWB: SWITCHBOARD 
SWG: SWITCHGEAR 
SWH: SWITCH HIGH VOLTAGE 
SWS: SWITCH SAFETY 
TMR: TIMER 
TNKP: TANK PRESSURIZED 
TRF: TRANSFORMER 
VAL: VALVE 
VAV: VARIABLE AIR VOLUME BOX 
VFD: VARIABLE FREQUENCY DRIVES 
WAS: CLOTHES WASHER 
WC: WATER COOLER 
WCL: WHEELCHAIR LIFT 
WH: WATER HEATER 
WIC: WALK-IN COOLER 
WIF: WALK-IN FREEZER 
WS: WATER SOFTNER 

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