How to optimise the maintenance of your industrial devices with IoT technology

More than half of the electronic devices manufactured in the world are already IoT, i.e. they are capable of communicating data over computer networks. The possibilities facilitated by IoT applications allow to go further in industrial maintenance; going from preventive maintenance to predictive and even prescriptive maintenance.

Smart Manufacturing

Traditionally, maintenance of industrial equipment has been an economically inefficient area : maintenance costs are estimated to be between 15% and 40% of total production. However, the alternative is worse: running an industrial system until it fails costs up to 10 times more than a maintenance programme.

IoT applications come to save companies from this inefficiency. Through them, it is possible to implement a programme of predictive maintenance that helps to save between 8% and 12% compared to preventive maintenance strategies and 40% more compared to corrective maintenance, according to OnUpKeep.

We look at the different options in industrial maintenance and why IoT-based solutions enable the industrial environment to reduce maintenance costs significantly.

Industrial maintenance in the digital age

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the set of technologies that connects physical equipment to the Internet. Sensors, actuators and other so-called IoT devices collect information about what is happening in the physical world and then process it digitally. In other words, IoT devices make it possible to capture data from equipment, compile it and process it for better maintenance of industrial equipment.

Thus, data collected by IoT devices can be translated into information about possible wear and tear of a system or potential anomalies or accidents. In addition, some IoT solutions facilitate the modification of parameters or reconfiguration. of devices remotely.

Thanks to the IoT, industrial maintenance can go one step further, from corrective maintenance to preventive and even predictive maintenance.

  • Corrective maintenance: this is the maintenance performed in the traditional way, before the emergence of IoT applications. Simply put, in this case, faults in a system are corrected after the failure occurs.

As a novelty, IoT systems allow to act and correct faults remotely on the equipment.

  • Preventive maintenance: In this case, a planned maintenance schedule is decided on the basis of parameters and statistics.

These reviews are determined according to the needs of the company in general, although IoT applications also allow to specify the schedule according to the actual use that has been given to a piece of equipment.

  • Predictive maintenance: this is maintenance that is only possible using IoT technology. IoT devices, or IoT nodes, are able to analyse s, infer the likelihood of equipment failure, scheduling maintenance before failure occurs.

In other words, IoT makes it possible, based on parameter measurements and advanced algorithms, to predict when equipment is likely to break down, bringing forward maintenance actions. Some of the parameters to be measured include vibration analysis, visual inspections for cracks or wear, ultrasound analysis, thermography, X-rays, temperature measurements , pressure monitoring, among many others.

More about: Predictive maintenance, how IoT reduces industrial maintenance costs

In addition, IoT solutions facilitate remote actions. As an example, during the measurement of the amount of energy needed for a power grid (energy demand), it is possible to regulate the transformers of a substation, thus avoiding overvoltages that cause failures. In this way, many IoT-based applications are aimed at improving operations and maintenance by moving from corrective (costly in economic terms) to preventive (with a large margin of failure) maintenance. to the new paradigm of predictive maintenance.

On predictive maintenance

The key to IoT-based predictive maintenance is that it can detect a problem before it occurs. This, in turn, translates into a number of direct benefits for businesses:

1. Facilitates cost reduction. Companies eliminate unexpected production interruptions due to equipment failure, while also reducing the likelihood of irreparable failures that require the purchase of new equipment. Predictive maintenance is estimated to promote savings of 30-40% according to OnUpKeep.

In addition, automation through IoT technology optimises the working hours of human teams, which until now have been highly inefficient (it is estimated that a maintenance worker spends only 24.5% of his or her time on productive tasks).

2. Increases the lifetime of equipment. IoT devices encourage surgical maintenance, which gets to the root of the problem before it occurs. It also avoids buying equipment unnecessarily or replacing components that are still functional and only require repair.

3. Improved productivity. The data collected by IoT applications provide access to knowledge for the improvement of production processes in the company.

4. Facilitates non-invasive and remote maintenance, so that in many cases it is not necessary to interrupt the activity.

5. Minimises potential accidents and hazards to personnel resulting from malfunctioning of industrial equipment.

What does Barbara IoT bring to predictive maintenance?

Barbara IoT technology is aimed at facilitating the implementation of these predictive maintenance models. Barbara IoT enables not only the capture of data from sensors, actuators and other industrial elements of any type, but also facilitates the execution of edge computing algorithms,allowing the implementation of much more complex predictive models and automated decision making.

Recommended reading: The importance of Edge Computing in Industrial IoT

If you have been interested in this article and you are interested in implementing a predictive maintenance project , please contact us.