Five ways to improve machine maintenance with remote monitoring

Learn how mechanical and electrical contractors are turning to technologies such as mobile and the Internet of Things (IoT) to automate machine maintenance and provide care throughout the lifecycle of the equipment.

06/27/2016


The IoT holds huge possibilities for engineers, equipment manufacturers, and mechanical and electrical contractors, as it impacts each piece of the service management process. Courtesy: MSI DataWhen it comes to building maintenance and facility services engineers, certain key trends are emerging as vital for business success in 2016.

1. Service offerings will become key differentiators for many mechanical engineering firms.

2. Mobile is a crucial tool to enable maintenance teams to get work orders completed and billed faster.

3. Remote monitoring—through sensors, cloud, and the Internet of Things (IoT) - is taking off as an industry standard.

Even though many of these technologies have been around for years, 2016 is the year they become more realistic for building maintenance and facility service businesses of all sizes. As quality, reliable service becomes a must-have for most commercial equipment customers, service providers will need to get creative about how they apply the latest technology to improve product support.

This article reveals how mechanical and electrical contractors are turning to technologies, like mobile and the IoT, to automate machine maintenance and provide care throughout the lifecycle of the equipment.

1. Understand how equipment is being used

Monitoring equipment through the industrial Internet allows manufacturers to understand their end users' needs and track how customers are actually using equipment (not just how they say they're using it).

Gain visibility into equipment details like number of hours it runs per day and the number of work cycles it uses. Know what happens when a crane gets overloaded. Does it happen on 3rd shift when no one's there? Or on 1st shift when the whole facility is running?

With detailed analysis of how equipment is being used, business leaders can make informed decisions to run more efficiently.

2. Improve operator behavior

Understanding how operators are using equipment, identifying issues to machine efficiency or project safety, and improving behavior through training is a key benefit to remote monitoring thanks to IoT sensors.

After analyzing operator behavior, businesses often discover their operators need more education. They structure operator training classes to overcome challenging areas. For example, if an operator is having a problem with frequent overloads, maybe it's a situation where they're not rigging the load correctly and the load is shifting when they're lifting it. Equipped with that knowledge, organizations can train an operator how to properly load the equipment.

3. Develop better products

With remote monitoring capabilities, manufacturers have insight into how equipment is actually being used and are able to understand how operators are using the equipment day-to-day.

Mechanical contractors can use that information to better understand equipment use and, with that information, design a better machine to help the operator work more productively.

4. Decrease crane incidents and improve safety and convenience

According to a recent crane incident study conducted by Konecranes, 59% of crane incidents were caused by operator error. The study reveals that as a direct correlation to tracking and correcting improper operator behavior, project managers can cut crane incidents by more than half.

In addition to decreasing the number of crane incidents, equipment monitoring improves safety by preventing workers from putting themselves in dangerous situations. For example, workers can gauge machine temperature from their desks instead of having to climb up on the crane and measure the temperature by the control cabinet.

5. Provide proactive maintenance before the customer even knows anything's wrong

One of the biggest financial benefits of remote monitoring is being able to use the Industrial IoT to sell more service contracts.

With connected equipment in the field, service organizations can set up parameters and trigger alerts based on specified equipment conditions. They can sell preventive maintenance contracts, and customers can hand over all machine care to the manufacturer or dealer. This sort of all-in-one service partnership offers reliable, consistent care for the customer and reliable, consistent revenue for the contractor.

Conclusion

The IoT holds huge possibilities for engineers, equipment manufacturers, and mechanical and electrical contractors, as it impacts each piece of the service management process. How will you use IIoT to take advantage of the opportunity in industrial service management?

- Joanna Rotter is the content marketing manager at MSI Data, a field service management software provider and creator of enterprise field service app, Service Pro. MSI Data is a CFE Media content partner.



Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
September 2018
2018 Engineering Leaders under 40, Women in Engineering, Six ways to reduce waste in manufacturing, and Four robot implementation challenges.
July/Aug
GAMS preview, 2018 Mid-Year Report, EAM and Safety
June 2018
2018 Lubrication Guide, Motor and maintenance management, Control system migration
August 2018
SCADA standardization, capital expenditures, data-driven drilling and execution
June 2018
Machine learning, produced water benefits, programming cavity pumps
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
August 2018
Choosing an automation controller, Lean manufacturing
September 2018
Effective process analytics; Four reasons why LTE networks are not IIoT ready

Annual Salary Survey

After two years of economic concerns, manufacturing leaders once again have homed in on the single biggest issue facing their operations:

It's the workers—or more specifically, the lack of workers.

The 2017 Plant Engineering Salary Survey looks at not just what plant managers make, but what they think. As they look across their plants today, plant managers say they don’t have the operational depth to take on the new technologies and new challenges of global manufacturing.

Read more: 2017 Salary Survey

The Maintenance and Reliability Coach's blog
Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
One Voice for Manufacturing
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Machine Safety
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
Research Analyst Blog
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Marshall on Maintenance
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
Lachance on CMMS
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Material Handling
This digital report explains how everything from conveyors and robots to automatic picking systems and digital orders have evolved to keep pace with the speed of change in the supply chain.
Electrical Safety Update
This digital report explains how plant engineers need to take greater care when it comes to electrical safety incidents on the plant floor.
IIoT: Machines, Equipment, & Asset Management
Articles in this digital report highlight technologies that enable Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies.
Randy Steele
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Randy Oliver
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
Design of Safe and Reliable Hydraulic Systems for Subsea Applications
This eGuide explains how the operation of hydraulic systems for subsea applications requires the user to consider additional aspects because of the unique conditions that apply to the setting
click me