Articles, IIoT, Industry 4.0

How Is IIoT Changing Maintenance Management?

Gartner predicts that by 2020 we will have 26 billion IoT units installed across all industries.

One of those industries in which IoT has been creeping in for a while now is surely manufacturing industry. However, today we concentrate only on one part of it and look at how is IoT slowly changing maintenance management. IoT brings in insightful data to the maintenance team to improve their decision making, taking maintenance services to a whole new level.

And with IIoT, things are going to get a lot simpler.

IIoT - How Does It Differ?

IoT is what we are looking at to create an ever-connected world around us with smart appliances and gadgets. Ultimately resulting in improved efficiency and accuracy in addition to reduced needs for human intervention. IIoT or Industrial Internet of Things, on the other hand, refers to the infrastructure that collects information simultaneously from various sources. Loaded with a sensor, it could be used on anything- smartphones, computers, vehicles, production equipment, building automation systems, appliances and so on. IIoT delivers crucial information to the maintenance management team and increases their efficiency on many grounds. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

Reactive to Predictive Maintenance

Frost & Sullivan, in a recent study, paradigm of service strategies will shift from corrective to preventive and predictive maintenance services over the next five years, thanks to IIoT.

Here are a few ways of how it can help managers improve productivity and management.

1. Overall improvement of maintenance operations

Most maintenance services follow pre-defined approaches for repairs or fixes, according to a pre-decided operating procedure. Most times, managers only initiate it when assets broke down and aren’t able to function. With IIoT, you can take the guesswork out of the process. IIoT can promote automatic and scheduled maintenance and repairs based on pre-configured algorithms. Sensors transmit real-time information which can be used to set up dynamic maintenance schedules.

2. Reduced operating costs

With predictive analytics, based on the information delivered by IIoT, expect a reduction in costs and prevent unplanned downtime. According to the latest maintenance statistics, 27% of organizations believe that industrial IoT can help them to effectively predict and prevent potential facility shutdowns.

3. Effectively Tracking Machine Health

Earlier, you had to conduct a physical checkup of your machine when you wanted to know their condition. But IIoT has changed all of that.

And how does IIoT carry out this magic work?

You don’t need to check out the gauges or meters on your machine anymore. The sensors located on the machine send out vital information like vibration rate, temperature, pressure, rotation speed, fuel level and other details right to the maintenance team. Integrated with a CMMS, it can provide a detailed picture of the health of your assets.

Real-Time Analytics for Informed Decisions

IIoT can deliver data to the maintenance team at the right time, on the right place on a suitable device. You can also set up the cloud or your CMMS to analyze the crucial data and form real time analytics on a wide range of aspects. For example, the heavy duty machinery company Caterpillar installs multiple sensors on their products. The sensors collect a variety of information like idle time, location, oil levels and send it to the customer, dealers and the company. You have the data transferred in milliseconds to the stakeholders so that they can always stay up to date on their asset’s conditions. It enables the maintenance team to make informed and strategic decisions for the best outcome.

Improved Data Quality and Quantity

IIoT eliminates the need for paper-based manual inspections by automating them. You can also increase the number of parameters to monitor without any increase in cost or effort as the system is automated. As a result, the quality and quantity of data increases. The data is also accurate as you eliminate the possibility of human error. Better quality data leads to better insights and subsequently to more informed decisions.

What Does It All Translate To?

The contributions of IIoT to maintenance management include reduction of cost and effort along with improved uptime of assets. In fact, it is estimated that it can reduce maintenance costs by up to 30%. As we see more facilities implement industrial IoT we can expect to see further changes in the way how plant maintenance teams work and interact at each stage of operation. The expected result should be improved asset availability, generation of additional service revenue, and enhanced customer service.

However, just a basic IoT implementation won’t lead you to above mentioned benefits on its own. It will only provide you with additional information. Your success will depend on how you can utilize that information. Integrating IIoT data with maintenance management systems is the only way you can fully utilize all the advantages that come with IIoT implementation. As the things move forward, we will need more advanced software solutions that can analyze and create deep insights from the IIoT data to get the optimum results.

About the author:

Bryan Christiansen is founder and CEO at Limble CMMS. Limble is a mobile first, modern, and easy to use CMMS software. We help take the stress and chaos out of maintenance by helping managers organize, automate and streamline their maintenance operations.

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