The COVID-19 crisis has changed the attitude towards equipment maintenance and repair (MRO). Some companies were forced to survive in the face of a shortage of qualified personnel, resources and capital to renew their technical fleet. This has led to an increase in the requirements for the duration of the asset’s life.
Other companies, on the other hand, are faced with a sudden increase in demand. They also had to rethink their maintenance strategy to increase production efficiency without risk.
In both cases, point digital solutions and global intelligent control systems were used to transform the service. The increased demand for technology has boosted the industry’s growth.
According to research, by the end of this year, the global maintenance market will grow by 7.6% ($ 1261.56 billion). The trend will continue for the entire recovery period after COVID-19, and by 2025 the capitalization will be $ 1,643.07 billion.
Consider the global trends in maintenance in terms of the technologies used – promising solutions that will be developed until 2030.
Industry 4.0 and IIoT – strengthening positions
Manufacturers had time to get acquainted with the advantages of digital transformation of TORO even before the pandemic. According to the survey, 17% of maintenance managers have already applied innovation in their work, and about 47% were going to do it in the next 3 years.
At the same time, the companies that managed to implement intelligent control systems in production survived the crisis more successfully. According to McKinsey, 94% of those surveyed reported that Industry 4.0 technologies helped them maintain their position, and 56% noted the key role of digital solutions in overcoming the consequences of the crisis.
The same study reflects the prospect of using Industry 4.0 technologies in the organization of maintenance over the next few years. By 2030, 70% of executives want to implement IIoT-based Predictive Maintenance in the enterprise, and 60% are interested in an automated system of maintenance planning, focused on reliability.
Another interesting trend is the gradual shift from the concept of “service management” to “asset management”. With the help of IIoT, Big data and Cloud Analytics, global IT solutions are created that cover not only maintenance, but also all end-to-end business processes related to the technical condition and performance of equipment.
In the future, such digital ecosystems will go beyond one enterprise or holding, providing information exchange between all participants in the supply chain (Supply Chain Collaboration).
This will create a Closed-Loop Improvement Process.
This asset management model affects all stakeholders and provides a number of benefits for maintenance:
– partnership between production and maintenance to identify weaknesses and jointly search for ways to improve;
– cascading goal setting from top to bottom to achieve priority KPIs;
– optimization of procurement and inventory management to increase mean time to failure.
SmartEAM solutions can be the first step towards creating a digital ecosystem and optimizing maintenance methods. We have proven with our clients that Industry 4.0 technologies scale well.
The era of augmented reality and virtual control
The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the focus to teleworking, which allows manufacturing to remain flexible. But against the backdrop of the increasing complexity of industrial equipment, a shortage of remote control and maintenance controls has emerged.
The problem is solved by technologies of augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR). With their help, you can successfully overcome three categories of problems in maintenance work at once:
– increase the availability of data by visualizing interactive instructions, reference documentation, repair logs, operational and technical indicators;
– quickly train specialists and operators, adapting service methods to the level of understanding and skills of the staff;
– create a mechanism for virtual supervision of several objects and launch a decentralized repair team for companies with global representation.
There are successful cases on the implementation of such technologies. Remote service facilities are already in use at Boeing factories.
New models of equipment maintenance
Modern technologies open up broad prospects in the field of business organization. Equipment connected to IIoT-based systems can transmit data directly to the manufacturer, automatically initiating a maintenance request.
In the future, this opens up opportunities for the provision of services in the format of Subscription-Based Industrial Maintenance and Pay-Per-Use. The first model implies the provision of maintenance by subscription, and the second scheme allows you to pay for the rental of equipment as it is used.
These scenarios will be the most popular among small companies. They will be able to create competitive manufacturing even without investing in complex products.
Technologies of tomorrow
Advanced technology – this is the name for promising IT solutions, which, due to the small number of users, are now considered “immature”. However, crisis situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic are forcing manufacturers to actively seek opportunities to bring the technologies of the future closer.
In the field of maintenance, Additive Manufacturing is considered the most daring concept with the greatest growth potential. In practice, it is implemented in the form of 3D printing, and in the future it can turn at industrial enterprises from a prototyping tool into a full-fledged method of obtaining spare parts.
On the one hand, this will optimize inventory management, especially in the case of discontinued components. On the other hand, Additive Manufacturing can be the most effective way to combat downtime, dramatically reducing repair time.
Every year, the manufacturability of additive manufacturing is growing, which makes the concept more viable and attractive. At the same time, interest in it from large clients, such as the US Department of Transportation, is growing.
This is just one example of how the industry is learning from crisis situations. And despite the fact that COVID-19 has become a turning point, technological development in the field of maintenance is unlikely to slow down in the next few years. This is confirmed by McKinsey’s expert research.
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