Author: Tronserve admin
Wednesday 4th August 2021 10:29 AM
The Tech Teaching Old Assets New Tricks
In today’s competitive industrial markets, big businesses face massive cost pressures and as a result are trying to do more with fewer resources.
This is placing a huge emphasis on technology as companies try to figure out how to get more production capacity out of assets that have been in place for a long time and that have a remaining useful life. The question for businesses is, ‘is there a technology that can be applied to the old asset to expose a new competitive advantage?’
At the same time, we’re seeing a generational shift occur globally. Baby boomers are retiring and millennials are joining the workforce. Success means blending the institutional knowledge that the retiring generation carries with them with a new generation of workers born in the digital age. The next generation of workers expect a modern, scalable and easy to use solution with the technology they now take for granted – high-speed internet access, mobile devices, touch screens and virtual reality.
This combination of an evolving workforce and proliferation of technologies such as predictive maintenance, cloud, big data and mobility is bringing asset performance management 4.0 (APM) to the forefront of business. APM 4.0 leverages Industry 4.0 and industrial IoT principles and technologies to increase operational insight for users across the decision-making chain.
This enables an open environment that bridges the IT/OT gap and empowers people, processes and equipment to communicate and collaborate beyond traditional boundaries.
The concept is more than hype; it is providing real benefits to companies today. For instance, after implementing APM, customers have been known to achieve benefits that include a $17M+ saving in a single predictive analytics catch. This is in addition to further metrics that include a 20% increase in asset availability, a 25% reduction in unplanned downtime and 30% improvement in asset utilization. So, what does 2020 have in store for the evolution of APM?
The main trend we’re seeing is democratizing access to different information silos. Detailed and interactive digital twins of major plants and offshore rigs bring a major buzz and excitement to those involved. But what we're doing is taking all the different repositories of information and putting them into a customer-defined data model that gives everybody within the organization a single source of truth.
The Gartner hype cycle around IoT created a lot of talk. We've now come through the trough of disillusionment and the C-level leaders of industrial businesses are starting to identify APM 4.0 as an accelerating technology for digital transformation.
Technologies like predictive analytics and mobile work processes can all roll up to a broader digital transformation strategy. But it's important not to discount the human element of the equation as well. The concept of the connected worker remains pivotal. How do we augment our most important resource, people, with digital technology to help them do their job safer, more accurately and with more reliability?
More and more silos of information are connected and being processed and analysed. We can already predict equipment failures but what we're actually doing now is spotting deviations and known good behaviour, using machine learning and AI and catching those anomalies much sooner than a human would. Perhaps even anomalies the human brain is incapable of discerning.
Businesses get more value out of the asset investments that they have already made. That's an underlying theme that a lot of people are missing. How digital technology can be used to fuel sustainability is a huge challenge and whatever stage a business is at, there's always going to be a point where organisations can do more than they're already doing by leveraging digital technology.
APM 4.0 is the key to this cycle of continuous improvement and making existing investments generate higher returns.