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How predictive maintenance can improve service productivity

09.05.2021

The trend of recent years is the transition of modern industries from reactive methods of dealing with breakdowns to predictive maintenance.

This approach has already proven its effectiveness in preventing emergency situations and saving on repairs. But what if we consider predictive maintenance not as a strategy to reduce costs, but as a tool for obtaining additional resources?

By equipping a company’s service department with modern monitoring and data analysis tools, you can increase the productivity of your staff. And the freed up resources can be easily redirected to the implementation of promising ideas. We will tell you how.

Organization of work of the service department according to the principles of Industry 4.0

In a service context, innovation simplifies key tasks:

  • remote data collection for assessing the condition of assets;
  • analysis of equipment operating efficiency;
  • predicting breakdowns and planning repairs;
  • inventory of the material base;
  • formation and systematization of service requests.

How it works? By choosing Industry 4.0 and Predictive Maintenance, the company’s management gets rid of the crutches of traditional methods of equipment maintenance. For example, service employees do not interfere with the operation of the production line during inspections, assemblies and parts are not removed for systematic diagnostics, consumables are replaced only when it is really needed.

And now we are talking not only about new space units, but also about “grandfather’s” machines, which are almost half a century old. Predictive maintenance will help here as well.

There are three key technologies that make predictive maintenance even more efficient. They have already proven their worth in the industry:

– IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things). The Industrial Internet of Things allows you to create a single structure for collecting and visualizing data. Tracking the operation of sensors and controllers, service employees receive objective information about the state of individual units and the entire production line;

– Big Data. Big data processing technology helps to interpret the information received and simplifies decision-making work. Relying on objective analytics, service employees can predict breakdowns with high accuracy, choose the optimal time for preventive maintenance and purchase replacement parts in advance, rather than keep them in the warehouse for years;

– Machine Vision. Computer optical analysis is used where the physical capabilities of service personnel end. Cameras and sensors register deviations in the operation of automated production lines, and the staff just needs to respond to the signal in a timely manner. The advantage of this technology is the elimination of the human factor. Machine vision does not get tired, and its eyes do not get blurry.

Practical benefits

Many entrepreneurs are frightened by the prospect of a complete reorganization of the service department and consider in advance that this is an exorbitant expense. In practice, it is possible to integrate individual modules and technologies in stages. For example, when implementing SmartEAM, the individual characteristics of the organization, the technological level of processes and other factors are always taken into account.

So forget this wories. Instead, it is better to pay attention to how you can optimize the work of the service department, regardless of its type:

Reactive service:

– reduction of expenses for overtime pay of teams for liquidation of emergency situations;

– elimination of costs for urgent delivery of spare parts;

– no need to carry out additional diagnostics.

Preventive maintenance:

– drawing up an optimal schedule for scheduled work;

– reduction of equipment downtime;

– an objective assessment of the effectiveness of assets and labor productivity.

Predictive maintenance:

– reduction of labor costs;

– saving on logistics and freeing up warehouse space;

– reduction in the number of downtime and unplanned repairs;

– increasing order fulfillment on time.

By the way, with predictive maintenance, you can receive information about the actual work done, monitor the status of units in real time, and much more. And also to use software tools where previously the services of highly qualified personnel were required.

Summing up, we recommend that you first draw up a phased plan for the introduction of innovations, calculate the budget and the economic effect of implementation, and only then judge whether it is expensive or quite affordable for the company.

How do you manage resources?

By optimizing the maintenance process and reducing the workload of the service department, you gain a valuable resource – time. High performance can be converted into real business benefits:

– the freed up time can be spent on organizing an asset audit and / or implementing projects to modernize production;

– working conditions can be improved – for example, to take care of greater safety;

– organize training for service personnel to improve their skills and master the capabilities of new software solutions;

– turn the service department into quick response repairmen who will no longer let small problems turn into disasters.

Finally, let’s say that a predictive approach to service provides advantages over enterprises of different sizes and specializations. Even with outdated equipment, implementing separate software solutions will free up staff resources and boost growth.

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