Increasing return on assets (ROA) has long been a priority for manufacturing and service industries. Now, new technologies built on the industrial internet of things (IIoT) are making it easier than ever to monitor and improve asset efficiency. The connectivity and insight afforded by the IIoT offers huge potential and is already being widely used to decrease unplanned downtime, reduce operational costs, improve safety and compliance, and enhance productivity.
In industrial terms, assets refer to the machinery, equipment, vehicles and tools involved in the production process. Smart assets are simply connected assets which – using the IIoT– share real-time data about their status, health and performance. That data gives businesses unprecedented insights into every part of their operations, giving way to more informed business decisions.
Solid business decisions are based on hard facts and evidence. The data collected by smart assets can be collated and analyzed at the touch of a button and used to inform decisions at both operational and strategic levels. The potential for human error in data collection is almost entirely removed.
The wealth of data provided by smart assets offers an incredible insight into how assets are being utilized: identify gaps in production, where bottlenecks occur and the pain points where mistakes are most common. Using that knowledge to refine production processes can bring huge productivity gains, while improvements can be continuously monitored in real time.
Smart assets provide real-time visibility into the health of equipment. Combined with advanced analytics, it’s possible to predict and prevent problems before they occur – to avoid an interruption in production. This can lead to a halving of unscheduled downtime.
If your customers’ productivity relies on your products, minimizing the frequency and length of downtime is key to successful ongoing relationships. Smart assets give you the ability to spot problems remotely, sometimes before they even happen. You can identify what went wrong and ensure technicians attend with the right parts and knowledge of what needs to happen – all before your customer even reports an issue.
Traditional asset management relies on a planned schedule of maintenance which doesn’t take account of actual equipment usage. It leads to more unplanned downtime and eventually limits the lifespan of equipment. Smarter asset management is based on real-time information to offer a more intelligent forecast of maintenance needs, which not only prevents breakdowns but increases asset lifespan.
Maintenance data can be collated at the touch of a button, providing immediate evidence of compliance surrounding health, safety and environmental regulations. Monitoring and recording maintenance activities is an essential part of compliance – whether on your own site or that of customers.
Read almost anything on industrial business success these days and the IIoT gets a mention – and with good reason. It is already driving measurable, transformative innovation and improvement in a range of manufacturing and service industries. Smart assets are at the very heart of any IIoT-driven business improvement. They offer potential for better decision-making, greater productivity, better business relationships, lower costs and reduced risk, empowering businesses to behave smarter and more efficiently.