Written by: Linn Björklund
Tired of guesstimating when you need to perform maintenance for your assets? The Internet of Things, or IoT, connects non-traditional computing devices to the internet and transfers their data over a network without human interaction. Use this data to create optimal maintenance routines for any piece of equipment in your facility.
Telematics data is a useful way to improve the efficiency of the maintenance of your assets. By combining real-time data with actionable insights, you keep your assets in optimal condition for production. You also reduce unplanned downtime and minimise repair costs. The question is; how do you best utilise your data to create actions around what maintenance needs to be done?
Speak with data, manage with facts
Many facilities use calendar-based maintenance routines, but what if you could actually build routines and maintenance actions based on real-time data from your assets?
For example, you can set up maintenance routines and actions for a certain asset that activate after a specific amount of active running time or production. Or you can set triggers that activate when a sensor goes outside a certain range that you have defined – such as vibration or temperature. That way, you always initiate maintenance at the right time – leading to improved availability and reduced maintenance costs for your assets.
What are the benefits of data-driven maintenance?
1. Maintenance based on usage, not just set intervals
The most fundamental benefit of IoT and data-driven maintenance is the fact that your routines are carried out exactly when they need to be – not too early nor too late. This leads to reduced unplanned downtime and minimised repair costs for your assets. It also enables better proactive maintenance.
2. Digital documentation and traceability
IoT improves the traceability of your assets. Each piece of equipment will have a complete logbook of previous values, meaning that you gain an overview of that specific asset’s maintenance history. This will in turn increase accountability amongst your staff and improve the timing of future checks. Digital documentation also comes in handy when e.g. creating reports for your management team or dealing with warranty claims.
3. The advantage of being in control
IoT data provides you with better control of your maintenance. Start by setting condition-based triggers for each piece of equipment, such as a range input. If a value goes outside that range, the system automatically creates a deviation or triggers a checklist that tells you precisely what needs to be done.
4. A place for everything, and everything in its place
A site often consists of several different machines from many different manufacturers – each with its own control system. The idea behind IoT is to integrate all of these into one platform. Modern IoT solutions support the integration of most control systems, allowing you to gather all your data in one place.
What to look for in a system for IoT
First of all, take a look at your facility’s existing data points and assess what new data points you want. It’s beneficial if your supplier has an easy way to integrate this data to an open API or fixed IoT integrations.
The system you pick mainly needs to support automatically triggered actions – like creating tasks and checklists – based on conditions such as range inputs, operating time, or alarms. Also, ensure that the system supplier can integrate your specific machinery into their platform. And don’t forget to check out the manufacturer’s own IoT – do they have integration or type of data you can utilise in your maintenance work?