5 key Business value drivers for the adoption of remote machine diagnostics

With remote machine diagnostics becoming an integral part of plant automation, digitization and smart factory initiatives, it becomes extremely important to nail down the value creation and value drivers for such a program. Discover the factors which can help you to decide:

5 Key business value drivers for a remote diagnostics program

remote machine diagnostics

Reduction in downtime

Most process industries lose approximately 25 Million dollars per year on average production and operational losses. Monitoring 24×7 and predictive maintenance results in no unplanned downtime, no sudden breakdown and approximately 15% improvement in uptime and 30% reduction in spares inventory with root-cause analysis of impending failures. 

Ways to reduce downtime:

      • Install smart sensors to move to predictive, prescriptive and proactive maintenance. These smart sensors are easily added to any equipment, can perform remote monitoring, can be accessed from anywhere in the world.
      • Predictive maintenance helps in reducing downtime drastically.
      • Equipment downtime is reduced and the number of major repairs is reduced.
      • Prolongs equipment life, improving capex ROI.
      • Perform root-cause analyses of asset and process failures.
    • Improves the mean time to repair (MTTR)
  • Reduces maintenance fixed costs
    • Follow manufacturing best practices.
  • Undertake a risk audit.

Despite the developments in control systems, many manufacturers still work with very old equipment. Many times the aging PLC systems are no longer supported by manufacturers resulting in parts unavailability or parts taking weeks to deliver. Knowing your support networks and spare availability makes a lot of difference in downtime event.

  • Calculate the dollar cost of downtime it helps to focus and legitimise your prevention activities to your stakeholders.

Improvement in productivity

Higher productivity means higher volume of production with the same overhead cost which means low cost high profit.

Ways to improve productivity: 

  • Use of predictive maintenance 
      • If you know the health of all your assets 24×7, you can run machines/production lines at a higher speed
      • Reduction in maintenance costs
      • Reduction in machine failures
      • Increased service life of parts
    • Verification of repairs

Vibration analysis can be used to determine whether repairs to existing machinery have corrected the identified problems and/or led to additional abnormal behavior before the system starts up again. This eliminates the need for a second shutdown, which is often necessary to correct inadequate or incomplete repairs. Data obtained in a predictive maintenance program can be used to schedule plant shutdowns.

    • Use information to identify losses.
    • Review the losses and make the decision based on it.
    • Train and empower your employees.
    • Pay attention to predictive alerts.
    • Outline the standard procedures to handle the alerts of impending failures.
    • Pay attention to workflow automation.
  • Take customer experience frequently, it helps in improvement.

Reduction in spares inventory

Having spare parts on hand is crucial for manufacturing maintenance, all plants need to maintain spares to recover in the event of a failure. Many maintenance managers keep the inventory for everything in their store, which is not practical and affordable.

Possession of spares is a capital expenditure on products that return no bottom line contribution. Additional spares need additional real estate to store, that means additional expenditure. So if you can reduce on spares, you are reducing space waste and spares holding costs.

A best practice to reduce spare inventory is to ensure reduced downtime.

Ways to reduce spares inventory

    • Parts standardisation
        • If you have non-standard equipment on-site, you need to carry more spares, as they are all from different models and brands. You need to spend more capital on purchasing spares. A list of approved standard parts stops the ordering wrong parts.
      • Standardisation includes stocking critical parts, not all parts. This minimises spares expenditure, freeing up this cash for plant improvements.
  • Use Predictive Maintenance Analysis 
      • Predictive maintenance reduces the spare requirement drastically, as you know which part is going to damage way before it happens actually.
      • Because of Predictive maintenance the fault detects early sign of damage, so you can schedule the repair at initial stages, so life of the equipment already improved.
      • You do not need to keep spares for everything, you know which spare is going to be worn-out before time.
      • You can centralise spares for all plants. Based on the requirements of the plant and predictive model, you can move the spares.
    • You do not have to save the spare for all year long, keeping inventory for a few months is sufficient. You can save the cost.

Reduction in consumables

Bearings and couplings play a critical role in all mechanical machines with moving parts. 

In the world of power generation, manufacturing, refinery, transportation, and mining, the cost of equipment maintenance, service, and lubricants are ever increasing. Consumables, labour, equipment downtime and lubricant prices and disposal costs are concerns of a maintenance management program.

Traditional greasing programs use time-based preventive maintenance (PM). Traditional methods such as inspecting bearings during operation, checking for signs of excessive heat, and Motor failure. This method can result in over- or under-greasing, the major cause of bearing failure is improper lubrication. Issues include too little lubricant; too much lubricant; mixing incompatible lubricants; using the wrong lubricant; incorrect lubrication intervals; using old, deteriorated grease or oil; and water contamination.

With poor lubrication, bearings hardly survive for 5-10 percent of their potential service life. Over lubrication are not good for bearings. Many times, in conventional maintenance, technician tends to over lubricate.

In addition, it is critical to use the same grease for the entire lifecycle of a bearing. Replacement of the bearings, shafts, motors and other parts can be very costly. If the machine needs to be taken offline, expenses can potentially high

An effective predictive maintenance program uses vibration monitoring and performance monitoring. The condition of the system, based on testing, allows it to perform to the specific needs of your equipment. You can detect Impending failure before it is too late and can repair it in its early stages, and equipment is scheduled for proper maintenance without unexpected downtime. Lubrication oil and filters are replaced only when they are exhausted and no longer effective. 

Remote monitoring

With the help of remote monitoring the companies can maximize resources with increased equipment efficiency that result in cost savings throughout the supply chain. It optimizes equipment function, extends uptime, and eliminates losses from downtime, one of the biggest threats to profitability.

Benefits of Remote monitoring

  • Increasing the safety of workforce; as you can monitor equipment placed at hard to reach location
    • Increasing opportunity of work from home, as all plant data is at fingertips, the maintenance team manager can generate the reports as soon as you get alerts.
    • Reducing costs of maintenance
    • Predicting machine or part failure
    • Reduced service calls
    • Improving equipment efficiency with true information 
  • 24×7 remote monitoring of a plant without physical intervention.

How Remote Monitoring Works

    • IoT sensors monitor machine operation and productivity.
    • Sends data to the AI platform/ cloud, which then analyzes the information. 
    • Data is available in real-time data on machine function at any time. 
  • Detailed reports that inform alerts notifications on impending failures

For predictive maintenance there are multiple solutions in the market. Infinite Uptime is one of the best one stop solution for smart sensor.

Infinite Uptime is a global industrial edge solution provider for mechanical predictive maintenance in the engineering and process industries.

Infinite Uptime’s Industrial Data Enabler (IDE), patented edge-computing Vibration monitoring system for predictive analytics and maintenance remotely gathers tri-axial vibrations, noise, and temperature of any mechanical rotating equipment in real-time. It empowers the Maintenance team to monitor the machine uptime, reduce unplanned downtime, and combat impending equipment damage in advance. Moreover, the end-to-end solution with visual indicators ensures maximum machine-availability, decreased inventory of spares and maintenance costs, and complies with the guidelines on safety and physical distancing directed by the Government.  Not only does it help reduce maintenance fixed costs at a time where a reduction in costs and manpower is a dire need, but it also enhances social distancing by allowing remote monitoring of a plant without physical intervention.

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