What are the biggest problems IIoT could solve for maintenance departments?
Among the problems facing maintenance teams, these are some of the most prevalent:
- Reducing high maintenance costs
- Keeping assets online and functional
- Inefficient workflow
- Data management
Each of these challenges can be alleviated through proper application of IIoT technology, so let’s run through each one.
Managing Costs and Keeping Equipment Online
In most facilities, maintenance can account for as much as 40% of all production costs, but it’s necessary to keep equipment up and running. IIoT technology can keep those costs down by reducing superfluous maintenance tasks.
The key here is a shift from regular preventive maintenance tasks to predictive maintenance and condition monitoring. IIoT devices, such as vibration and temperature sensors, monitor the equipment and signal when the readings pass certain thresholds.
With this use of IIoT, work orders are created when there is a need, not whenever the schedule says so. In many cases, this means certain tasks are performed less frequently, and tasks that achieve nothing are eliminated.
In addition, assets tend to have less downtime and longer lifespans. Condition monitoring allows maintenance teams to target key issues and head off expensive failures, further reducing repair costs and maximizing uptime.
Another problem is inefficient workflows. Often, maintenance techniciansspend a great deal of time on non-maintenance tasks. These might include:
- Waiting for work orders
- Travelling to work sites
- Searching for schematics
- Getting parts
- Filing reports
Mobile technologies do a great deal to reduce the time spent on these tasks. An industrial tablet with a connected CMMS app makes reporting, receiving orders, and pulling up schematics much faster, allowing for more wrench time.
Data management is an issue for most departments, and it’s no less true for maintenance teams. IIoT can automate a great deal of data collection, feeding information from sensors throughout the facility to the team’s CMMS. This data is easily organized and manipulated, and zero effort is needed in its collection.
Ultimately, IIoT helps resolve many of the problems maintenance departments face by streamlining processes and allowing their teams to be more productive.