HOW CAN WE APPLY IIoT AND THE INTERNET OF THINGS TO INDUSTRIAL MAINTENANCE?
The keywords here are data gathering. Since the moment that machines have sensors and collect data that we previously didn’t have access to, it becomes easier to predict when will a failure happen. Finally, industrial maintenance strategies based on predictive maintenance are within our reach.
Despite not being a new concept, maintenance is still divided into two main types: Preventive maintenance and Predictive maintenance. Preventive maintenance does not prevent all failures. We can also never be sure that we are not wasting resources (equipment, time, and human resources) carelessly. On the other hand, waiting for a failure to happen, and adopting a reactive approach leads us to constant corrective maintenance, which is usually urgent and more expensive.
Predictive maintenance unites the best of both worlds. First of all, it removes the uncertainty that is associated with preventive maintenance: “am I focusing on the right assets?”, “Is this the best working agenda?” and so on. Then, it prevents failure from actually happening. So, compared to a reactive approach, it significantly reduces downtime, increases asset availability and reduces costs.
To add to those benefits it’s also worth mentioning the machines’ ability to manage maintenance requests on their own, or the software’s ability to demand maintenance based on the information gathered from the sensors. Then the same mechanisms will be connected to the CMMS, which will notify the staff accordingly. And we can follow this whole process from our cell phone. So, forget about manual data entry or gathering.
For the time being, there is a clear disadvantage: the cost associated with the installation of sensors and the necessary data collection tools. Certainly, these technologies are not within the reach of all companies.
As the Industrial Internet of Things becomes a reality, at GDX Group we are sure that we are entering a new era in the world of maintenance and Industry 4.0, and we are all geared up to face this new way.