How IoT is Transforming Maintenance for Manufacturers

When you hear about the Internet of Things (IoT), the first thing that comes to mind is probably some application of technology. You may think of smart home devices, such as digital thermostats or Amazon’s Echo, or even more advanced technology in the form of machine learning and artificial intelligence could come to mind. But what exactly is IoT, and why are we talking about how it relates to manufacturing? IoT’s use in manufacturing is a lot simpler than you think, and it’s all connected with data.

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Guide to IoT’s Manufacturing Maintenance Transformation 2 When you hear about the Internet of Things (IoT), the first thing that comes to mind is probably some application of technology. You may think of smart home devices, such as digital thermostats or Amazon’s Echo, or even more advanced technology in the form of machine learning and artificial intelligence could come to mind. But what exactly is IoT, and why are we talking about how it relates to manufacturing? IoT’s use in manufacturing is a lot simpler than you think, and it’s all connected with data. What is the “Internet of Things”? The Internet of Things is a popular buzz phrase, but what it really refers to is devices that are connected to each other, often via the internet, that work together or communicate in some way. The way that IoT is being leveraged today is related to the increasing availability of devices with internet access and sensors. More and more people are switching to smartphones, the cost of internet broadband access is going down (and it’s more widely offered than ever in restaurants, stores and even public spaces), and companies are starting to see how they can leverage all of this data floating around in devices. One example, as we listed above, are digital thermostats that can be controlled from the device itself or via your smartphone. It can also refer to something as simple as a desktop computer sending a document to a fax machine or printer, or even just connecting your laptop to your home Wi- Fi. In short: IoT is all about being connected and getting information without human intervention. You can start to see how manufacturing could leverage IoT. Having a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) readily provides you with data and insights into your operations, and you already have a large amount of historical information on equipment. Taking that data and using it – without any manual input from your employees – is what elevates your maintenance from reactive to proactive and lets you plan for the future, or Industry 4.0. Smart Manufacturing, or Industry 4.0 In Industry 4.0, IoT takes manufacturing to the next level. The phrase refers to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The First Industrial Revolution occurred when steam and the first machines took over the work that had been done entirely by hand, the Second was electricity and mass production, and the Third was the beginning of automation when computers and robots were introduced.1 Industry 4.0 is all about interconnectivity. As Industry Week describes it, it focuses on “creating an environment where all available information – from within the plant floor and from along the supply chain – is captured in real-time, made visible and turned into actionable insights.”2 Machines are the lifeblood of manufacturers, and maximizing OEE is one of the most valuable objectives. Therefore, Industry 4.0 has a huge emphasis on leveraging new technologies to ensure that your machines are up and running when you need them. Smart manufacturing, Industry 4.0, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – there are many names that refer to it, and when it comes to maintenance it all means that you have an automated, continuous supply of data that will help you reduce downtime and ensure that your equipment is ready when you need it. Leveraging all this data and technology available to them in maintenance enables a way to plan into the future. We’ve talked about preventive maintenance (PM) and its value for manufacturers. It’s almost impossible to plan ahead if you’re stuck in a state of reactive maintenance and waiting to run your equipment to failure. With a CMMS, you can begin to plan out work orders in advance and reduce the number of problem requests that your team receives. While you should still perform PM, predictive maintenance (PdM) takes your maintenance routine one step further by not only keeping your work proactive but also anticipating when something will fail or break. 200019501900185018001750 FIRST (1784) Mechanical production, railroads and steam power THE FOUR INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTIONS SECOND (1870) Mass production, electrical power and the advent of the assembly line THIRD (1969) Automated production, electronics and computers FOURTH (NOW) Artificial intelligence, big data, robotics and more to come 3 The Future of Maintenance: PdM According to a recent survey by Plant Services, 74.5 percent of manufacturing professionals stated that they use PdM for condition monitoring.3 Instead of only doing preventive work to prevent future failure, PdM analyzes historical data and real- time information so you capture a more detailed picture of your assets’ working lives. To capture this information, PdM works hand in hand with condition monitoring. This process minimizes downtime as you can capture information while equipment is running. Some common types of condition monitoring includes vibration analysis, oil analysis, acoustic analysis and more. With IIoT, you can automate these condition monitoring processes and many others with the use of sensors and machine-to- machine communication. Machine-to-Machine Communication Machine-to-machine (M2M) communication is essentially any automated process that allows two machines to exchange data or other information without human intervention. M2M communication relies on sensors for condition monitoring so that it can predict when a failure or problem may occur. Sensors are installed directly into machinery and can measure a variety of factors, from temperature to vibrations. Wireless sensors are widely available, making it easy to take advantage of the automated PdM process. Whether you choose to use a wireless, RFID or Ethernet-connected sensor, as long as it’s able to access the internet, it can send and receive data. This automated monitoring, also called “lights out manufacturing,” acts as your eyes and ears when no one else is there in two ways: 1. The system catches early warning signs of a failure and notifies a technician, even if it’s after hours 2. The system can predict when something will fail in the future, how much it will cost and when it will happen so you can prepare ahead of time While humans are still an important part of making this process work, there’s little need for extensive oversight because the machines do all the monitoring for you. In fact, you’re not required to step in until a sensor recognizes a problem and sends a notification back to your monitoring system thanks to automated condition monitoring. But as with any kind of data monitoring and collection, it’s not enough to simply have the information if you don’t utilize it to improve your operations and develop insights. IoT sensors extend beyond asset condition monitoring when linked to a well-designed CMMS to fuel your PdM plan. 4 of manufacturers use predictive maintenance3 M2M Communication NETWORK CMMS TECHNICIANS ASSET ASSET ASSET SENSOR SENSOR SENSOR 5 Predictive Maintenance and Your CMMS Whether your equipment requires maintenance based on run hours, parts produced, vibration analysis thresholds or temperature ranges, a CMMS, like Dude Solutions’ Asset EssentialsTM, is invaluable to making it all work. PdM with a CMMS helps you in four major ways: 1 . A D V A N C E D W O R K F L O W S The right solution helps you configure your CMMS’ advanced workflows to trigger email notifications, work orders or other actions to tackle any problems that are detected in real time. This means that you don’t have to wait until the next day to discover that an error occurred; a technician can receive the message and address it immediately, ensuring your machines have maximum OEE. 2 . A U T O M A T E D , D E T A I L E D R E P O R T I N G Automated CMMS reporting may be scheduled to be delivered to key employees to understand the relationship between maintenance activity and current and historical condition data. You’ll also be able to prove the worth of your PdM efforts to management and make data-driven decisions for optimizing your maintenance operations. 3 . A C C U R A T E F O R E C A S T I N G F O R B U D G E T S By predicting when a piece of equipment will fail or reach the end of its useful life, you can then accurately project those expenses into your budget. If, for example, you see that a piece of equipment needs to be repaired soon based on your PdM analysis, you can also look back at that equipment's work orders for typical repair hours and costs associated. If you determine that it costs more to repair than to replace it, you can then justify this in a report that uses both your condition monitoring data and maintenance history. 4 . I N F O R M A T I O N O N T H E G O A CMMS mobile app ensures that technicians can work directly at the plant floor without interrupting their workflow by having to return to their desktop computers. This allows your technicians to work on the floor and receive up-to-date information from wherever they are. They can also attach photos and other documentation to open work orders, use QR codes and more. The Next Revolution for Maintenance Any initiative that you take on in maintenance for manufacturing should be toward maintaining the lifeblood of your organization: Your machines. On top of that, a new maintenance program needs to make your lives easier, not more difficult. With all of the IoT capabilities out there on the market, there are many ways that you can improve your operations. Dude Solutions’ Asset Essentials solution works to empower manufacturing maintenance teams with features that are designed specifically for their unique needs. On top of that, all of the core functionality is available in the user-friendly mobile app, allowing for more time spent in the field and less at a desktop computer. The mobile app access makes it even simpler for personnel to respond to notifications. Plus, with detailed reporting, it’s easy to prove the worth of initiatives to stakeholders and to create accurate capital projections. 6 866.455.3833 / [email protected] / A B O U T D U D E S O L U T I O N S Dude Solutions is a leading software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider of operations management solutions to education, government, healthcare, senior living, manufacturing and membership- based organizations. For nearly two decades, Dude Solutions has inspired clients to create better work and better lives. We combine innovative, user-friendly technology with the world’s smartest operations engine, empowering operations leaders to transform the most important places in our lives. Today, more than 10,000 organizations use our award-winning software to manage maintenance, assets, energy, safety, IT, events and more. For more information, visit SOURCES 1 Bernard Marr. “What Everyone Must Know About Industry 4.0.” Forbes. everyone-must-know-about-industry-4-0/#4b9699ef795f 2 Kevin O’Marah. “IoT and the Digitization of Manufacturing.” Industry Week. 3 “Predictive Maintenance: PdM Survey Summary 2017.” Plant Services. 2017?submissionGuid=1134c548-216c-4818-b53f-1a98c42de2cf
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