“If your Assets could talk, what would you like them to say?”
We often ask this question before embarking on Industrial IoT journey with our customers. Manufactures of mission-critical, heavy industrial assets such as compressors, pumps, centrifuges and generators often wish they could not only predict failure and reduce costly downtime but also find out how their product is being used and whether it is utilised to its fullest potential.
The easiest and fastest way to make your asset ‘talk’, is to connect to it and create Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), enabling it to communicate data across the wide spectrum of your industrial equipment.
Collected information is then analysed in an Asset Monitoring System or an application which predicts when your asset will be ready for service or is going to break down. Gained visibility allows you to be proactive when maintaining your asset, hence “Proactive Maintenance”.
Our customers who deployed Proactive Maintenance benefited from improved customer experience, optimised business processes, differentiated product and new revenue streams.
Here are some of our customers’ user cases for Proactive Maintenance of Industrial and Mission Critical Equipment and Heavy Machinery:
Dropping the Cost of Leak Test Machines Maintenance
One of the UK’s leading Leak Test Solutions companies leveraged data from connected products and systems to increase service revenue and profit with improved first time fix rates and customer satisfaction.
The organisation supplies around 1,000 machines used for fine degree leak detection to customers around the globe. They decided to use Internet of Things technology to offer a new premium level of support service by connecting the machines to allow remote monitoring and predictive maintenance capabilities. Their new capability will reduce the repair costs of leak testing equipment.
The significant cost-savings are anticipated to be driven by reducing the number of engineer visits required to service the leak testing machines. The company will also be able to develop new revenue through offering a more n enhanced service.
Tracking and Monitoring of Mobile Generators
A leading specialist in temporary power solutions tracks and monitors ca. 500 generators in its hire fleet with options from 30kVA to 2000kVA units which are fitted with professional telematics devices and 100 vehicles fitted with Aplicom A9 devices and integrated with existing Tachograph technology.
The system provides the company with live data on the locations of all of its generator hire vehicles and the key status of every generator in the hire fleet. The location, running status and fuel levels of each generator rental unit is displayed in real time. All the information is monitored around the clock and by establishing pre-emptive alarms and warnings so that the company provides a proactive approach to any problem that may occur. This is invaluable in meeting ever growing customer demands and strict Service Level Agreements.
By connecting their assets, the company are able to fully understand and prevent any potential issues before they impact on customers, allowing them to provide an even better service.
Valve and Damper Automation
A global market leader in valve and damper automation for the oil, gas, power, water and waste treatment industries, has implemented an IoT platform for the remote monitoring and control of its machinery in the field. Their equipment is connected through Microsoft’s Azure IoT Hub where real-time data is captured, aggregated, and sent to the customer through an application built on the IoT platform, ThingWorx.
ThingWorx, combined with the Azure IoT Hub service, provides faster time to a production-ready solution, shorter iterate and refine cycles, access to a rich trove of engineering data, and flexibility. The company can also capitalize on the many benefits of Microsoft Azure, including security, scale, and global reach.
The implementation uses embedded diagnostics to enable remote access and service of the equipment. Bi-directional file transfer enables the company to increase product and asset uptime and reduce on-site service calls. Identifying usage and failure modes in real-time enables engineers to improve product design. The company plans to offer new services, such as predictive maintenance, to further improve customer uptime.
The company differentiated its product and service offering and improved risk management. This will enable their customers to remotely monitor product performance and provide valuable digital insights, enhancing overall operational performance, and ultimately improving the customer experience. The plans for the next step include the integration of Microsoft Dynamics to further field service capabilities.
Connected Gas Turbines
Centrax manufacture and supply gas turbine-powered generation packages in the 3.9 MW to 66 MW power range for all industries including oil & gas and energy markets. Centrax were able to benefit from Predictive Maintenance by connecting nearly 200 High Value Assets deployed in the field at any one time.
This enabled Centrax to link billing to an auditable record of Engine usage improving revenue and cash flow forecasting. They reduced disruption to customers by scheduling based on their customers’ need. Real usage data are used in product design and development and all engineers have access to the same data remotely and can share learnings improving diagnostic times
The Bottom Line
There is an enormous business opportunity for Proactive Maintenance of Industrial and Mission Critical Equipment and Heavy Machinery. Just like our customers, you can deliver real business value:
Improved Customer Experience: By leveraging data from connected products and systems our customers were able to increase service revenue and profit by improving service, support and usability. For example, improving the first time fix rate by proactively monitoring a product, identify issues, and fix it before it breaks which can improve the customer experience and lead to improved customer satisfaction.
Optimised Business Processes: This is all about efficiency and taking cost or time out of an organisation. Combine real-time data with existing systems to increase efficiency, reduce Product Development Costs and improve quality. For example, if there is data about a product’s condition, it can reduce the time it takes a technician to troubleshoot or reduce the number of visits required to repair, i.e. improve first time fix rate.
Differentiate Offerings: Increase pace of product and service innovation. If the hardware is a commodity or under heavy competitive pressure, the software and applications that come along with the product can help differentiate, i.e. be able to charge more for the offering.
New Revenue Streams: Unlock new business models and realise new value-add opportunities. For example, pay per use billing or product as a service or selling the data to new customers or entirely new industries.