In the last few years, with manufacturing evolving, I feel that ‘predictive maintenance’ and ‘remote maintenance’ of assets will be one of the major application areas in the ‘must for survival’ category. We want assets to have almost 100% uptime, and that calls for minimum downtime. Predictive and remote maintenance will save the time of breakdown as well as optimise manpower requirement for maintenance of especially remotely located assets, which are vital for running the plant, like utility pumps, for example.
Making impactful investments for targeted ROI
Digital transformation is for everybody, but it’s not one-size-fits-all. For an impactful transformation, working on the low hanging fruits by using simple to install, to operate and to maintain technologies will be a good point to start with. It is always good to start with the most bottleneck prone machine and then start doing real-time data gathering of the actual operating hours, setting time, as well as few machine condition parameters, like motor temperature, hydraulic pressure. This gives us a good starting point to look at the real-time data in a simple way.
Upgrading and staying ahead
The approach to the digitalisation of technologies in the new normal conditions considering the current SOPs, social distancing norms, employee safety and most importantly, the volatile business environment should be adapting to simple technologies for automation early on and starting the journey towards using technologies as well as training the manpower to use these technologies in the real world.
Establishing data management and data governance
Data management and data governance are critical in digital transformation. To coordinate between IT and OT, teams/manpower in the company, even in bigger industries, are concerned. Cross-functioning teams are a need of the hour in this data governance.
The pros and cons of digitalisation
Investments are needed upfront. This can be managed by adopting very simple forms of IoT in the initial phases, starting to adopt the IT concepts on the shop floor in a more minor way.
There would be long-term gains in productivity, cost reduction, compatibility towards customers systems in this new digital world, etc.