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Preventive Maintenance : How Data can take you to the next level

by Guillaume d'Aspremont | mar 30, 2020

Data takes your maintenance to the next level


As the owner of a factory, whatever your field is, you have probably already wondered how to optimize your machines but also how you could evolve, and therefore also optimize, your maintenance system already in place. Whether you are an IIoT convert or have not yet started your digital shift, Ewon can help you evolve.


Note that there are already several maintenance systems, each as unique as the other. Our point here is to present to you the maintenance system adapted more precisely to data collection. Because yes, the data can significantly improve the level of maintenance of your machines. But what system is in place? Can I afford to target the most sophisticated version in terms of maintenance? A little help is needed and don't worry, the most sophisticated doesn't mean the most adapted to you. Do not aim for the best possible data collection but rather aim for the type of data mining most suited to your business.


Maintenance 2-min


I just started collecting data in my factory. What is the next step?


If you have just started your journey through data collection, you are a part of the 51% of factories that have started this process. But that might not necessarily mean that you are exploiting them at their fair value. How can I do it, you would ask? We don't try to run when we don't know how to walk yet. Go ahead step by step. Implementing it in your maintenance system can take time and to help you do it, there is a first and easy step called preventive maintenance.


Preventive maintenance, a first necessary step towards the digitalization of your factory floor.


How does preventive maintenance work? You must plan a maintenance schedule, something that you have probably already done, during which the data will be analysed in order to optimize your machine. The purpose is to lessen the likelihood of future equipment breakdowns. Based on analyzed data from the equipment, a notion of preventive maintenance will help factory owner for several programs:


  • Frequency to be applied
  • Material and human resources to be implemented
  • Operating process to be favoured
  • Chronology to be respected
  • Useful prevention measures


Those are the first necessary steps for the digitalization of a factory floor because it helps develop the company in favour of further improvements made thanks to data. When maintenance is planned, each of the costs normally allowed to supervision and equipment changes can be reduced. Equipment can be shut down to coincide with production downtime. Before any stoppage of the machine, all necessary pieces, equipment, and workers can be gathered in order to minimize the time needed for repair.


This first step also serves as a convincing argument. Indeed, planning a preventive maintenance promotes the data in the eyes of the owner and of the types of optimization that it can bring. With this process embedded in your machine, keeping your production at it's best has never seemed so easy. And it'll lead you to the next step of maintenance optimization thanks to data.


I have scheduled a preventive maintenance, what are my next steps?


There are two evolutionary steps of maintenance that you can apply to your machines, but if you really need them is another topic. Here is a quick overview of the possible next steps:

  • The next step of your IIoT journey is predictive maintenance. It takes care of what is likely to happen and calls on algorithms to analyse historical data in order to predict a future outcome. The goal is to avoid problems before they happen and not be reactive when there is a machine malfunction.
  • A larger next step would be prescriptive maintenance, which deploys advanced testing models to a variety of different situations that may or may not happen and evaluate possible outcomes. Based on analytics techniques and IA, this maintenance implements specific recommendations. There is a prescription of solutions improving OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) and asset reliability.


Since all maintenance options are intended to save on several aspects of the business, on what real aspects are they different?


We can consider that the 2 kinds of maintenance are rather similar, but prescriptive maintenance goes a step further. While predictive maintenance allows you to generate less losses and increase productivity by reducing the time required for maintenance, prescriptive maintenance tries to automate the full process. With real-time monitoring, prescriptive maintenance will not only predict what will happen but also prescribe how to optimize the machine during a maintenance break. The major difference is the integration of an AI for prescriptive maintenance, allowing almost autonomy of data analysis and maintenance by optimizing the need for human intervention.


Maintenance 1-min


Should I improve my maintenance system?


As you can see, data can definitely improve your usage and maintenance of your machines, but why would you want to run before walking? On each step of your maintenance evolution, you must look to your needs and determine if the actual situation suits you and if you are willing to pursue to the next step or if it is a waste of time, money, and human resources.


Maintenance, as with all activities on the factory floor, has a long decision-making process. We think it's best to not hurry too much and instead learn as much as you can from preventive maintenance, the ideal first step. With that, you can analyze the benefits before wanting an upgrade.


The decision is yours but know that on each step of the maintenance, the Ewon Flexy IIoT Data Gateway can help you collect the data you need. Discover our product here and don't hesitate to ask for a demo!


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