The IoT is generally considered the third evolution of the Internet. There will be more and more connected objects in our daily life as well as in economic activities, especially in the industrial field.
In terms of maintenance, this new technology makes it possible, by combining it with a latest-generation CMMS, to anticipate breakdowns and ultimately avoid them, thus meeting one of the major challenges facing the industry since the first industrial revolution.
Thanks to a predictive maintenance strategy, which the IoT makes possible, machine maintenance becomes much more efficient and considerably improves plant productivity by limiting production downtime to a strict minimum.
Preventing breakdowns, the new goal of CMMS solutions
The aim of computerized maintenance management has always been to rationalize and optimize industrial maintenance. For a long time, it has above all made it possible to improve the follow-up and traceability of interventions. Today, thanks to next-gen solutions, it is possible to plan the operations that have to be carried out.
Progress in maintenance management
Corrective maintenance consists of intervening on a machine or piece of equipment as soon as a failure or breakdown is detected and correcting it as quickly as possible. This maintenance strategy is the most basic and still the most widespread today.
In this very case, a CMMS solution is mainly used to ensure maximum traceability of interventions, in particular in order to analyze the operation and lifetime of the machines and to identify possible problems.
With the progressive improvement of software, preventive maintenance strategies have begun to be implemented in some plants, based on the analysis of the history of breakdowns and interventions.
However, the cumbersome and complex use of this software was a barrier to its adoption, especially for small and medium-sized companies and factories. The emergence of new solutions, easier to appropriate and use, has enabled the spread of preventive maintenance.
From a preventive to a predictive maintenance strategy
While it represents a technical advance for industrial activities, preventive maintenance cannot predict the breakdowns of a given machine. It is “only” based on the analysis of interventions carried out in the past on this piece of equipment, or even on all machines of the same model, in the case where a community-based CMMS is in place. It therefore relies on experience feedback and deduces the probability of failure or degradation.
Predictive maintenance is designed to predict the failure of each machine by monitoring its own operation. Indeed, this maintenance strategy stands for constantly knowing the condition of each machine and, consequently, the possible maintenance interventions required, before breakdowns even occur.
How to anticipate breakdowns thanks to the IoT and next-gen CMMS
However, implementing a predictive maintenance strategy implies having the technological tools that make it possible.
IoT for predictive maintenance strategies
The IoT (Internet of Things), is a technology that allows objects to be connected. In the field of maintenance, this connection is made through sensors installed on the machines. It is thus possible to collect a lot of data on how these machines work.
Sensors can, for example, detect abnormal vibrations, but also monitor the evolution of an equipment’s energy consumption, temperature or pressure. Connected to the Internet and therefore to a CMMS application, they provide valuable real-time information on the status of machines.
Predictive maintenance can be summarized in three steps:
- the collection of data from sensors and their transmission to the cloud;
- the analysis of these data by the CMMS software;
- the implementation of actions to prevent the machine breakdown.
Avoiding breakdowns thanks to the IoT and 4.0 CMMS
The combination of the IoT and 4.0 CMMS software enables considerable prediction capabilities to be achieved, allowing most failures to be anticipated before they occur. Based on the data transmitted by sensors located on the machines, a latest-generation solution such as Mobility Work creates maintenance models from the machine’s history and learns to detect and recognize events leading to breakdowns.
By using the Internet of Things and 4.0 CMMS software, factories are entering the era of Industry 4.0 and machine learning: computer systems are self-learning, thanks to algorithms and collected data, and become more autonomous and intelligent.
This way, artificial intelligence assists operators and maintenance managers and is of invaluable help in decision making, intervention management or in the optimization of maintenance operations planning.
The use of both, the IoT and an adapted CMMS, therefore allows companies to have a maintenance management system that is constantly improving and to always optimize their productivity.
Tools that are easy to adopt
Contrary to popular belief, the installation and deployment of the IoT and a next-gen CMMS solution is not very expensive, and these technologies are quickly exploitable. Given the considerable number of breakdowns that they prevent, their ROI is significant and rapid, whereas the costs associated with maintenance are often complicated to measure with conventional solutions.
Companies that adopt the IoT associated with a CMMS software for their maintenance operations do not only acquire a high-performance tool. They prepare for the future by having a maintenance management tool that is constantly being improved and adapted to future changes in industrial activities. Efficient in the short term and useful in the long term, the use of the IoT is therefore destined to become widespread in all plants, whatever their size.