Connecting your Maintenance Program to The Industrial Internet
Generation of new revenues and business models, reduction in maintenance costs, increasing asset uptime, improving production efficiency and customer satisfaction are some of the benefits driving the implementation of the Industrial Internet in organizations today. However, a detailed assessment and plan is needed to realize the potential of the Industrial Internet given that there are records of failed projects. This article will serve as a guide to help companies looking to leverage the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) in Nigeria in their maintenance efforts
Leveraging the maintenance benefits of the Industrial Internet, businesses are able to:
. Automate equipment based on set criterion
. Generate work orders
. Reduce equipment failure and non- productive time
. Generate recommendation to support specific types of maintenance
. Reduce production defects
. Generate new service business models
A detailed assessment should be done by the Industrial Internet Centre of Excellence (CoE) to examine hardware, connectivity and software needs, costs and security measure inclusive. For businesses looking to connect maintenance program to the industrial Internet, the following should be considered.
Master what IIoT is, how it is able help.
The IIoT is many times misunderstood. The Industrial Internet of Things is about connecting equipment to the Internet to gather data from the equipment, find insights from the data to make better decisions. Automation is one of the use case of the IIoT and not necessarily what IIoT is all about. IIoT just like the condition based maintenance (CBM) and reliability centered maintenance (RBM) exists to obtain maximum output at a predicted rate. However, IIoT is helping to provide more information, instant results as a wider range of data can be gathered for real time insights thus reducing down time and failure. IIoT enables a proactive approach to problems via alarms and reports generated from processed data. IIoT can strongly complement the benefits of CBM and RBM and help reduce costs associated with maintenance programs as maintenance will be carried out when necessary and not based on a calendar or scheduled program. It is important to note also that IIoT is not an alternative to basic maintenance routines.
The RCM is your starting point
Reliability centered maintenance (RCM) helps you assess the needs of your asset and thus a very important RCM program is needed to maximize asset value. It is imperative that businesses develop an efficient RCM program. IIoT is all about data and when businesses understand their assets needs, they are able to know what data is needed, how and when. This will help maximize the potential of an IIoT solution.
Not every equipment needs to be connected to the internet when implementing an IIoT solution. A good RCM program helps to identify which asset is critical and which is not. Businesses are able to tell how the status of an asset affects production and to what extent.
Risks analysis, failure modes, root cause failure analysis, mean time between failures and many more are some of the activities done in RCM. These activities provide information on relevant parameters that help mitigate the risk of failure. This information helps determine what type of sensor to install when implementing an IIoT solution. Using the IIoT to drive the effectiveness of an RCM program is how businesses can get the greatest value in an IIoT project.
Go with your people
Business will need people to implement and work on IoT projects and also with the solution. There are a number of questions to ask otherwise projects may fail.
· Are there skilled employees/ existing partners who are able to work with an IIoT solution?
· Will an IIoT solution fit into your company’s structure; are there set objectives and visions you think IIoT can complement?
· Are you ready to let existing ERP systems inter-operate with an IIoT solution?
· Where do you rate your maintenance status- reactive, proactive, and predictive?
Asking these questions will confirm readiness in deploying an IIoT solution otherwise data gathering will only be a waste.
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