Continuing our series on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), today we’ll examine the topic of predictive maintenance in the IIoT and how these enhancements are boosting industry-wide efficiencies. Jeff O’Brien with Reliable Plant sets the scene accurately by saying:
The main reason for applying IOT to manage your assets is predictive maintenance. Rather than performing routine calendar-based inspections and component replacement, predictive techniques monitor equipment for pending failures and notify you when a part replacement is required. Sensors embedded in equipment check for abnormal conditions and trigger work orders when safe operating limits are breeched.
When a predictive maintenance strategy is working effectively, maintenance is only performed on machines when it is required, thus reducing the parts and labor costs associated with replacements. With more and more systems shipping with Internet connectivity, the concept of predictive maintenance is likely to expand exponentially in the Internet of things.
So how does data fit into the equation? Examined in our last post, while software, machine-to-machine learning and other technologies work together to analyze data from physical objects – the sensors are key to gathering the information. If software is the brains of the IIoT, sensors are the nervous system collecting continuous streams of data to be processed. Industrial systems rely on sensors for reliable, consistent and accurate data in all aspects of automation. One could even argue the IIoT is nothing without sensors to measure strain such as temperature, position, and pressure.
Specifically pertaining to maintenance, it is the data from sensors that consistently monitor machine conditions that enable predictive maintenance. Automation allows patterns to be found in the data sets that in turn, picks up on and indicates any possible error or fault before an issue actually occurs. This allows any potential error or issue to resolved early and puts corrective measures in place before failure. It also cuts down on unplanned downtimes, keeps staff safe and ensures that resources are utilized as effectively as possible.
To learn more about the intersection of predictive maintenance, sensors and IIoT, see some of our favorite readings including:
- Improve Maintenance with Internet of Things (Reliable Planet)
- Maintenance a Prime Benefit for IIoT (Plant Engineering)
- Predictive Maintenance in the IIoT (I’m An Engineer)
Sensuron is a leading global provider of fiber optic sensing systems that use light to test, measure, control, inspect, assist with operation and ensure safety of innovations across aerospace, medical, automotive and energy industries.