How to manage IoT implementations

Evaluating the current state of the organization is key to understanding where and how to start implementing an Internet of Things (IoT) solution.

07/03/2018


Maintenance maturity curve is a fluid scale that ranges from reactive to predictive maintenance. By collecting and analyzing massive amounts of asset operating data, IoT tools advance the industry towards predictive, reliability-centered maintenance. Courtesy: Motors@WorkBecause the Internet of Things (IoT) can transform some existing business processes, it is best to take a change management approach to all IoT projects big and small. Working with small projects allows practice for the larger projects that are more complex. A change management approach also helps unearth and address concerns, such as cost, privacy, and/or cybersecurity.

The preferred change-management approach has six stages:

  1. Establish the need to change
  2. Create a coalition
  3. Develop a plan
  4. Communicate, communicate, communicate
  5. Celebrate wins early and often
  6. Reinforce changes.

What's the best place to start with IoT?

Most organizations have already implemented technologies such as instrumentation, supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), and enterprise asset management (EAM) or computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) to provide near-real-time visibility of their processes and operations. What's the most cost-effective way to add IoT to this mix?

The answer depends upon two things: 1) the urgency of the need to adopt IoT; and 2) the organization's technology maturity.

The first element of change management involves identifying a problem and establishing the need to adopt a change. The bigger and more painful the problem, the need to change becomes and the more persuasive the vision for how IoT will address the problem will be.

To identify a problem statement, ask the following questions:

  • How will the IoT affect your industry?
  • What are industry peers and leaders doing?
  • How can the IoT take existing technology investments and business processes to the next level?

The first question helps identify and prepare for future threats; the second focuses on gaining or retaining competitiveness. Helpful resources include consulting firms' industry-specific analyses and IoT solution providers' case studies; and research.

The third question—how the IoT can take an organization to the next level—seeks to uncover pain points such as process inefficiencies where IoT presents an opportunity for a quick return on investment (ROI). The answer here generally relates to the organization's technology maturity.

Technology maturity

Depending on the organization's technology maturity, there may be some logical next steps for IoT adoption. These steps leverage existing technologies to implement more integrated, IoT-driven business processes. To define "technology maturity" let's take an example focusing on the maintenance and reliability side of the organization on a curve.

Where does your organization fall on this curve?

If the organization is at the low end of the curve, with few formalized business processes and basic, if any, work management technology in place, jumping straight to a predictive approach will cost a lot of money. While companies may envision a future where the business is firmly in the predictive camp, think of IoT investments like climbing a staircase: rather than leaping to the top, take a series of small, discrete, and cost-effective steps.

First, put internal work management processes in place, aided by technology, such as a CMMS or EAM; these processes and systems will help better manage work and identify problem assets. Next, as identify work processes and issues are recognized, preventive maintenance tasks can be added. These are vital steps to take to start implementing a successful IoT solution.

Nicole Dyess is the director of client solutions at Motors@Work, 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.
June 2018
2018 Lubrication Guide, Motor and maintenance management, Control system migration
May 2018
Electrical standards, robots and Lean manufacturing, and how an aluminum packaging plant is helping community growth.
April 2018
2017 Product of the Year winners, retrofitting a press, IMTS and Hannover Messe preview, natural refrigerants, testing steam traps
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
February 2018
Focus on power systems, process safety, electrical and power systems, edge computing in the oil & gas industry
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
April 2018
Implementing a DCS, stepper motors, intelligent motion control, remote monitoring of irrigation systems
February 2018
Setting internal automation standards

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.
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.
Maintenance & Safety
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
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.
click me