I am not a Wall Street wizard who regularly follows public
companies looking for the best investments.
If you are like me, we wonder where to invest our money? The conventional wisdom seems to be investing
in products and services that you find yourself using. If you like it, and you see others liking it,
then it is probably a good investment. I
followed this advice a couple of weeks ago, when I found myself drawn to a
coffee chain that I had not particularly noticed. After a few months of including this stop on
my route to work a couple of days a week, I observed that it was more crowded
inside, and there were long lines at the drive-thru. Some mornings I had to bypass it because the
wait would cause me to be late to work. Then
it dawned on me – I’m not the only one who has developed an affinity for this
place, so the business must be doing something right. I bought some stock. It is up $2.43 in the 2 weeks since I
purchased it. While admittedly not a
rapid ascension to the top, it is at least up in value.
So what in the world does this have to do with maintenance? The answer is common sense. Things that usually
make sense tend to be reasonable things to do.
The trends towards predictive maintenance and asset performance
management (APM) make sense, particularly in the age of IIoT (Industrial
Internet of Things.) It simply makes
sense to use accurate data that easily gathered about any machine to inform and
manage its status. We’re already seeing
the Internet of Things in our homes. We
have security cameras around our home for protection. Our cars alert us when an oil change is
needed. Our lights and thermostats are
linked to our smartphones so we can make adjustments to conserve energy. So why not apply the same concept in
commercial facilities? Why wouldn’t we
let a motor tell us when it’s running hot?
Why wouldn’t we let a pump tell us that it is experiencing excessive vibrations? Why wouldn’t we let an oven tell us that its
internal temperatures have been varying outside of normal tolerances over the
last hour? Let’s not forget the human factor.
Why wouldn’t we enable an operator to easily alert maintenance in the CMMS/EAM
system that they notice an anomaly in an asset?
These things make sense in equipment maintenance, and the
technology to reveal and take advantage of this previously unused information
is becoming more accessible and thus ubiquitous in manufacturing. And it just makes sense to get started with using these
technologies now. You don’t have to tackle
the entire plant floor at once. Begin
with just one line. Learn how to put
your common sense to work to achieve real business value in your maintenance
operations. The same maintenance
strategies don’t have to be applied to all of your assets. You need a toolkit of various strategies to
be applied appropriately. Look at where
IIoT fits into that toolkit, and how it can be applied to the appropriate asset
issues. It makes sense to empower your
maintenance organization with a complete set of technology tools that they can
apply to the right situations. It makes
sense to invest where others are also finding good coffee drinks ….I mean finding
good maintenance management solutions.