According to industry experts, the spending on the Internet of Things (IoT) will exceed $900 billion by 2020 in the industrial manufacturing sector. This is compared to $472 billion in 2014. This money will be used to purchase sensors and devices that monitor the health of equipment in order to optimize production and reduce maintenance costs. We will discuss how the industrial Internet of things is disrupting maintenance policies. We also detail the additional benefits IIoT can offer organizations who have a complete data strategy for their IIoT architecture.

Current Solution: Maintenance Schedules, Reactive Repair and Replacement

Businesses have traditionally developed elaborate maintenance plans and policies to optimize the performance of machinery.

Although companies use maintenance plans to address problems and prevent them from happening, it can prove costly. Sometimes parts and components that work perfectly can be replaced by newer ones. During scheduled maintenance, machinery is not functional. Additional staff is required to support a regular service program and analysis.

If a maintenance schedule is not followed, simple upkeep procedures can be overlooked and lead to costly breakdowns. Equipment can also fail, even with regular maintenance.

Businesses often adopt a reactive approach to maintenance and repair in order to avoid these potential pitfalls. This can lead to inefficiency and waste.

Broken devices are repaired and troubleshooting can cause production to stop in unexpected ways. While parts and new machines are ordered, shipped and installed, employees and manufacturing lines remain in limbo. Unpredictable costs can arise, often at the worst possible time.

Businesses can still avoid many of these problems with the right technology.

The Industrial Internet of Things, (IIoT), Is Changing How Businesses Approach

Machine Maintenance and Replacement

IIoT promises a paradigm shift in how businesses approach equipment maintenance. Algorithms can pinpoint the time when preventative maintenance tasks should be started more precisely on the computing side.

IIoT software will then be able to integrate this data with your company’s computerized maintenance system (CMMS), or enterprise asset management software (EAM). To automatically generate work orders and contextualize checklists, add nuance, reporting, and more

Your business can use additional data from IIoT device sensor to implement a variety of service, repair, replacement and reporting options that will help you save money, maximize performance and increase your earnings.

Consider the following example:

Dynamic maintenance plans can be developed based on actual wear and tear of components. Sensors can be used to identify when certain thresholds have been exceeded and initiate an automatic request for maintenance.

Your team will be able to perform maintenance on a scheduled basis rather than interrupting operations due to an unexpected breakdown. This means less surprises, less time and money, and more productivity.

You can also set up automated alerts to notify the appropriate personnel when product quality approaches a lower level. This is useful if multiple sensors indicate a more severe problem or other important issues.

Because IIoT system continuously monitors your equipment, you will have fewer maintenance staff. These programs use sensors to monitor data points like fluid levels, stock, temperature, rotation speed, temperature and vibration rate to give you a complete picture of the equipment’s condition.

Similar to devices and sensors, they can also communicate with one another to optimize performance in a piece of equipment or production line without the need for maintenance.

Your IIoT system can generate clear, actionable reports that are useful for all who require them. Every employee in your company can benefit from IIoT data, whether they are technicians or line employees.

Three additional benefits of IIoT

The Industrial Internet of Things offers many benefits beyond cost savings. It allows you to shift from reactive and corrective maintenance towards predictive and preventive maintenance. There are other benefits:

Secure, Unrestricted Access to Real-Time Data & Reports via the Cloud

A few operations can isolate data from individual machines, production lines or departments. The cloud securely sends IIoT data to each device. This allows data from every production line, department and facility to be accumulated and processed in one place. It will be available in real-time to any member of your staff with an internet connection.

Get deeper insights into your company’s operations with customized reporting

Fully integrated data allows you to create customized reports that provide the exact insights you need. A technician might need data from one machine for a specific problem, but high-ranking stakeholders may require instantaneous reports of the total output or projections.

IIoT provides reporting that can be used by anyone, whether you’re on the floor or in a C-suite.

You can create a service contract with your customers to offer these insights and predictive analysis to your devices if your company sells devices to other companies for their products.

These service contracts can provide new and very lucrative revenue streams that match your device sales.

Unprecedented Scalability with Cloud Computing

Cloud computing allows data collection, processing and storage to be moved from the operations to remote, secure facilities that are specifically designed for these purposes.

automating data process allows you to add unlimited sensors and devices, without having to hire staff. Your IIoT infrastructure can grow as your business expands.

About the Author

Cesar Agostino

Hardware and Software Design Leader in 4i Platform.

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