Informed Decisions with the IIoT & Industry 4.0

Organisations across almost every asset-intensive industry (such as oil and gas, manufacturing, or transportation) are challenged with how to maximise the value of assets throughout their life-cycle. Establishing a successful strategy is key to realising the value of enterprise assets. And for an asset strategy to be successful, it must be built up from four main elements:Asset Visibility

  • A clear vision;
  • Skilled people;
  • Business-focused processes; and
  • Solid technology

As for the technology component-  many organisations are successfully utilising EAM/CMMS software solutions, but is that enough in today’s day and age? Buzzwords such as ‘Industry 4.0’ and ‘Industrial Internet of Things’ (IIoT) are flying about and organisations are struggling to understand how they can use these technologies to support their asset management and maintenance activities.

"Organisations are struggling to understand how Industry 4.0 and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) support their asset management and maintenance activities."

The management of human resources, increase in global market place commoditisation and competition, compliance with industry and government regulations, workplace health and safety, green and sustainable operations, and higher costs of doing business, have all contributed to the emergence of Industry 4.0 -the current trend of automation, robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, sensor technology and data analytics. 

As organisations evolve and enterprise assets become increasingly interconnected, asset management must evolve as well. With new technologies continuing to emerge, organisations are connecting their assets into complex ecosystems, allowing them to collect and store large volumes of data like never before. This data, generated by both traditional business transactions and IIoT, represents a tremendous opportunity for forward-thinking, asset-intensive organisations to design, construct, commission, operate, maintain, decommission, and replace physical assets.

Connected AssetsHowever, for the data to be of any value, organisations need a way to analyse it, uncover hidden patterns, correlations, trends, and other useful insights, in order to make more informed business decisions. Unfortunately, our traditional data processing software is now inadequate to deal with this amount of data. With mobile, cloud and analytics technologies, there are more opportunities than ever to collect, consolidate and analyse information about assets to help fine-tune organisational performance.

Predictive Maintenance 

So comes the introduction of next-generation asset management and the integration of IIoT and EAM systems which goes beyond asset and maintenance optimisation, and into the world of Predictive Maintenance. Predictive Maintenance (PdM) conquers the shortcomings of both Corrective and Preventative Maintenance by providing organisations the power to foresee how and when a failure might occur, unless interventions are put in place to avoid it.

PdM not only helps organisations avoid expensive equipment malfunctions, improve production quality and reliability, increase work planning efficiency, and reduce labour costs, it also improves worker health and safety by conducting maintenance procedures only when required, avoiding exposure to dangerous and ad hoc projects.

Authored by: Lisa Ferguson, Business Analyst, Denver

"For data to be of any value, organisations need a way to analyse it, uncover hidden patterns, correlations, trends, and other useful insights, in order to make more informed business decisions. "