An unknown person once said, “I’m allowed to have high maintenance because I’m the one keeping it.” When an asset you depend on to run your business falls apart, it’s up to you to locate it, send workers to get to it, identify what’s wrong and then see if you can fix it or if it needs replacement. All this takes time. In the meantime, you lose money and may even risk your life. Intelligent Maintenance enables you to detect problems and malfunctions, locate the problem, and then fix it before it damages or shuts down your equipment – and possibly your business.
Most people have always agreed that prevention is better than trying to cure. In fact, prevention is not only the best, but also the cheapest. Think of the savings by eliminating the cost of replacing the kit, the time and risk of having people on the ground doing the repair or alteration and minimizing the loss of production and income. The key to prevention is the ability to measure assets.
Benefits of network technology and the Internet of things
IoT devices installed in assets are used to record variables such as vibration, temperature, humidity and flow through a more accurate level using IoT devices installed in the assets. Combined with advances in 4G and 5G – where we now have global network coverage – connecting and returning data from assets and devices is now easier.
Data from IoT devices flows into the data lake; From there, AI is used to identify the main ideas and the most important elements. This insight, presented via Power BI, provides a visual representation of where problems are likely to arise.
A lack of smart maintenance can have dire consequences. For example, a critical piece of equipment in an oil refinery malfunctions, reducing supply and causing an increase in oil and fuel prices. Combine smart maintenance with IoT, and you get near or real-time tracking allowing organizations to calculate the time between failures.
Intelligent maintenance enhances brand appeal
Intelligent maintenance is also indirectly related to brand appeal through perceived quality. Mercedes, for example, uses IoT devices in their cars to see what the engine is doing at any given time, predict engine failures before they affect performance, and call the car for repair before a problem arises. Customers are happy, the Mercedes brand is stronger, which increases loyalty and sales.
When deciding whether to
- Expense vs. long-term value
- Cost vs Margin
- Cost vs. Market Share
- Cost vs ability to implement (Example: Oil pipelines can be thousands of miles long, so the cost of placing an IoT device every mile may not be worthwhile.)
There is also a context of need. The ability of the COVID antiviral vaccine manufacturer’s ability to predict the point of failure is vital; If production is interrupted by a malfunction, the manufacturer will never meet the demand for 1,000,000 ampoules per day, putting life at risk. Or consider hospital equipment. Without intelligent monitoring and maintenance, a heart monitor that cannot send out any alert has any malfunction, potentially endangering the patient. Smart maintenance doesn’t just affect business; affects life.
Common sense for any business – in the right situation
By the end of 2021, 90 percent of all manufacturing supply chains were invested in technology and business processes such as smart maintenance and the Internet of Things, and 20 percent treat assets as “internal customers,” monitoring them for errors and predicting the emergence of problems. The goal is to reduce downtime by up to 40 percent.
By the end of 2023, 20 percent of all industries will support EaaS (everything as a service), which includes the remote Internet of Things. For manufacturers, this means longer life for plant assets, fewer interruptions in production, lower operating costs, improved brand awareness, and more.
Although the advantages of smart maintenance are obvious, it may not be suitable for every situation. The first step is to assess the cost against the potential return on investment, as well as the potential differentiated value. If smart maintenance reduces the number of production failures, ensuring that order schedules are met, repair costs are reduced, or a service that adds value, it may be worth the investment.