Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Management plays a strategic role in shaping business outcomes for companies like yours, belonging to asset-intensive industries such as Manufacturing, Aviation & Oil Refining. Given the huge investments in equipment, you can ill afford a breakdown of core infrastructure, as this can translate into significant reduction in Return On Investment (ROI).
Typically, maintenance costs account for more than 20% of operating expenses, and 4% to 7% of gross revenues. Moreover, the cost of idle time, with regard to hi-tech machines including Numeric Control (NC) and Computer Numeric Control (CNC) machines and robots, can be substantially higher than that associated with other equipment. And, if you are a company with just-in-time (JIT) production systems and low inventories, lengthy downtimes can imply poor performance and service uncertainty, ultimately leading to reduced market share.
Rethinking O&M with IIoT
With the advent of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), firms can now redefine their O&M practices to boost operating margins. By connecting your operators, engineers, managers as well as physical assets to the Internet, you can create a connected, data-rich enterprise for real-time operational visibility. The first step here, lies in making industrial assets across the value chain “intelligent”, by embedding machines with advanced sensors that can capture underlying data round-the-clock. This massive volume of information can then be transferred to and stored on the Cloud, and mined through Big Data and Analytics tools for gleaning meaningful insights that can drive informed decision making.
The upshot is a gradual shift from reactive, break-fix maintenance to one underpinned by preventive and predictive processes that rely on monitoring of “smart” devices for effective, remote asset diagnosis. Beyond delivering significant cost efficiencies, such an approach can enable companies to configure entirely new, service-oriented business models, thereby driving greater customer satisfaction and sustained competitive advantage.
The IIoT advantage
Be it greenfield or brownfield IIoT Implementations, you can start collecting large volumes of relevant equipment data from pan-enterprise assets, and reaping the benefits right away. For instance, if the performance level of a particular equipment component begins to drop, the asset will automatically relay the data to the central monitoring system. Maintenance managers can instantly access this information, and initiate swift remedial measures, thereby eliminating the risk of equipment failure.
Connected assets stream timely intelligence on critical “events” to smart edge devices such as routers or Wide Area Network (WAN) access devices. This way, local resources are able to access granular insights, and act in an autonomous manner without depending on enterprise systems. Field-level decision making, thus gets a real boost in the process.
Let’s take a look at some emerging applications of IIoT in O&M activities across asset-intensive industries:
Oil tank management: Located near energy fields, oil tanks require regular monitoring and maintenance to ensure adequate storage capacity. Containers fitted with sensors and computing capabilities can automatically trigger an alert to the maintenance department when oil volume reaches a predefined level. Technicians can accordingly reach the spot in time for requisite servicing.
Production monitoring: Bakers and other food manufacturers are harnessing browser-based software to build mobile-device interfaces for asset monitoring. Production personnel can log in to related apps and portals, via their smartphone or tablet, to effectively track frozen product runs, in line with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
Power plant monitoring: Multinational operators of photovoltaic (PV) power plants have begun leveraging the network of interconnected devices across their infrastructure, to foster remote equipment monitoring. The concerned personnel, spread across various geographies, can make quick maintenance-related assessments, without being tied down by physical distance and time zone differences.
Pump management: Water utilities are deploying sensor-enabled water pumps to effectively measure vibration, voltage, current, temperature, pressure, and flow rate. Aggregating data generated from these sensors can pave the way for establishment of a single intelligent gateway that can send event triggers and alarms, thus averting emergency situations.
Key benefits of embracing IIoT
- Increased productivity and profitability
- Optimized human resource utilization via automation
- Reduced downtime, improved asset availability, and better safety
- Increased asset visibility and control
- Reduced CAPEX, OPEX, and Total Cost Of Ownership (TCO)
Boost ROI with L&T Infotech
OPERA, L&T Infotech’s cloud-based IIoT solution, is based on a standardized framework designed for multiple industries including Oil & Gas, Power & Renewables, Water, and Engineering & Construction. OPERA creates a central view of operations on the GE Predix Platform to monitor plant performance, and perform advanced analytics. It provides business level, role-based enterprise dashboards for key stakeholders to make data-driven decisions.
Our subscription-based offering includes a broad range of features like asset health monitoring, production optimization through KPI tracking, plant surveillance, production forecasting through predictive alerts, and environment, health and safety (EHS) monitoring. The flexible, cost-effective and scalable solution has helped our customers create additional revenue streams, and boost operational efficiency.
More from N Venkat Sarma
The adoption of AI has invigorated businesses to look at new-age problems with a new perspective…
The SaaS wave is coming. It has been building for a number of years and at this point, the…