Why industrial analytics is the asset for today’s production line

The era of the Smart Factory and Industry 4.0 may be here, but production downtime still casts a shadow over most manufacturing facilities, oil refineries and water treatment plants. Indeed, almost every factory loses 5% of its productivity capacity through faulty equipment, a loss of value that for the automotive sector alone is worth 28 million euros daily.

The mission to tackle the challenge of downtime is ongoing. However, it has progressed significantly in recent years, driven by Big Data. We are now flooded with data from a variety of sources that tell us far more about the inner workings of assets and equipment. The challenge remains making sense of, and integrating, all the intelligence now available to enhance financial and operational performance, says Alessandro Chimera, industry consultant at TIBCO Software.

The reactive approach

Looking back at the evolution of maintenance, it’s clear that we have come a long way – from a starting point of no data insight at all. For example, for the average factory of the 1980s, mechanical wear and tear routinely brought operations to a standstill. As the production line lay idle until the fault was diagnosed and repaired, costly and frustrating downtime was incurred.

With no immediate insight into the causes of the problem, and an entirely reactive approach to maintenance, the average uptime and asset reliability was just 50%, a situation that reduced productivity and had the capacity to harm brand and reputation.

Taking control: Scheduled maintenance

At the turn of the 21st century, manufacturers could no longer afford the disruption caused by random breakdowns. Greater competition and regulation demanded more reliable asset management and signalled the introduction of planned or scheduled maintenance. This meant solving a problem before it had the chance to occur or escalate, with regular scheduled services aimed at extending the lifespan of systems or equipment.

Some may say it was over zealous; regular premptive checks meant production would still grind to a halt and, while expected, this remained costly and disruptive. As such, attention turned to the need to better understand the context behind machine faults to drive a more targeted and measured response to maintenance.

Data-driven proactive maintenance

As a tool to identify the root causes of failure and apply the learning to avoid a repeat, data propelled in a new era of proactive maintenance. Machine sensors measuring factors such as temperature, pressure, flow, voltage or current, began to unlock the inner workings of equipment. This drove the emergence of Root Cause Analysis, which applied a problem-solving methodology to determine which factors represented the most effective means to predict machine failure. Meanwhile, statistical process monitoring and defect elimination strategies also came into play.

Predictive maintenance

In today’s fast and complex operating environment, where even smallest delay can see a loss of competitive advantage, we need to go a stage further. It’s why predictive maintenance has emerged as the game changer, enabling industrial companies to anticipate maintenance requirements and respond accordingly to avoid both breakdowns and maintenance delays.

Here, machine learning and streaming analytics combine, as connected real-time data brings visibility to the inner workings of processes, providing a level of insight that drives more intuitive and timely management. Equipment maintenance can now be optimised in real-time and with minimal disruption, as risks and production faults are addressed before they escalate.

Contextual operational and environmental data – captured on-site from IoT sensors – informs behavioural models, which can predict breakdowns and machine reliability, based on factors such as operating conditions and optimum detection points. Furthermore, analytic functionalities that drill into the data and visualise what is hidden, are a superior way of understanding and interpreting the information for a full picture.

As a result, the overall equipment effectiveness and uptime rises to a far more respectable 90%. Further value is added through the integration of other capabilities, such as geolocation, to identify the nearest technical support person available to attend to the issue.

Self-optimisation: The way forward

Looking to the future, we’ll see a factory floor in which IoT-enabled machines and systems can self-diagnose and make automated adjustments in response to both internal and external events, continually adapting to their environment.

Alessandro Chimera

Aside from reducing the need for manual intervention, it is clear how such capabilities also offer the agility needed to respond to the unplanned ebbs and flows of the factory, e.g. the machine that ‘knows’ to expand production as sales volume increases.

As such, both predictive maintenance and self-optimisation will represent the two largest growth areas in the Internet of Things through to 2020. Traction is set to build more substantially across healthcare, transport and logistics, as more sectors embrace the opportunity that comes from augmented operational real-time intelligence. Perhaps a downtime-free future is within our reach.

The author of this blog is Alessandro Chimera, industry consultant at TIBCO Software

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_OR @jcIoTnow

RECENT ARTICLES

Sateliot works with AWS on cloud native 5G satellite network to connect IoT devices directly to satellites

Posted on: October 4, 2022

San Diego, United States – Sateliot, a satellite telecommunications operator, is working with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to build a cloud native 5G service designed to provide customers with secure and reliable narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) connectivity over non-terrestrial network using its low earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellation. These revolutionary satellites act as cell towers from

Read more

WISeKey selected by ODIN Solutions to secure its IoT sensors and applications and enable them with WISeSAT satellite communications

Posted on: October 4, 2022

WISeKey International Holding, a security certificate authority and provider of identity solutions, announced at the Smart Agrifood Summit held in Málaga, Spain that it has been selected by ODIN Solutions, a Spanish multidisciplinary IoT integrator and sensor manufacturer, to integrate WISeKey secure technology within their IoT sensor leveraging of VaultIC Secure elements.

Read more
FEATURED IoT STORIES

The IoT Adoption Boom – Everything You Need to Know

Posted on: September 28, 2022

In an age when we seem to go through technology boom after technology boom, it’s hard to imagine one sticking out. However, IoT adoption, or the Internet of Things adoption, is leading the charge to dominate the next decade’s discussion around business IT. Below, we’ll discuss the current boom, what’s driving it, where it’s going,

Read more

9 IoT applications that will change everything

Posted on: September 1, 2021

Whether you are a future-minded CEO, tech-driven CEO or IT leader, you’ve come across the term IoT before. It’s often used alongside superlatives regarding how it will revolutionize the way you work, play, and live. But is it just another buzzword, or is it the as-promised technological holy grail? The truth is that Internet of

Read more

Which IoT Platform 2021? IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide

Posted on: August 30, 2021

There are several different parts in a complete IoT solution, all of which must work together to get the result needed, write IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide – Which IoT Platform 2021? authors Robin Duke-Woolley, the CEO and Bill Ingle, a senior analyst, at Beecham Research. Figure 1 shows these parts and, although not all

Read more

CAT-M1 vs NB-IoT – examining the real differences

Posted on: June 21, 2021

As industry players look to provide the next generation of IoT connectivity, two different standards have emerged under release 13 of 3GPP – CAT-M1 and NB-IoT.

Read more

IoT and home automation: What does the future hold?

Posted on: June 10, 2020

Once a dream, home automation using iot is slowly but steadily becoming a part of daily lives around the world. In fact, it is believed that the global market for smart home automation will reach $40 billion by 2020.

Read more

5 challenges still facing the Internet of Things

Posted on: June 3, 2020

The Internet of Things (IoT) has quickly become a huge part of how people live, communicate and do business. All around the world, web-enabled devices are turning our world into a more switched-on place to live.

Read more

What is IoT?

Posted on: July 7, 2019

What is IoT Data as a new oil IoT connectivity What is IoT video So what’s IoT? The phrase ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) is officially everywhere. It constantly shows up in my Google news feed, the weekend tech supplements are waxing lyrical about it and the volume of marketing emails I receive advertising ‘smart, connected

Read more
IoT Newsletter

Join the IoT Now online community for FREE, to receive: Exclusive offers for entry to all the IoT events that matter, round the world

Free access to a huge selection of the latest IoT analyst reports and industry whitepapers

The latest IoT news, as it breaks, to your inbox