Automation in the manufacturing space is certainly not a new concept. In fact, according Daniel Collins, senior director of IoT Edge Solutions at ADLINK, the company’s clients already have automated production lines. However, he continued, what these customers want now is to remove manual processes and bottlenecks with automated and remote machine condition monitoring.
“For example,” Collins said, “sensors that automate alerts or an action, and change over from one form of equipment to another or automating work order opening. It’s maintaining and monitoring an entire process. At the end of the day, the global economy’s evolution is driving the need for more automation, which in turn lends itself very well to remote monitoring and the centralization of that monitoring.”
There is also a desire for more valuable information related to asset performance and machine metrics. Collins shared that in the manufacturing space, there is still a heavy reliance on “voodoo science,” meaning that the only ones with a deep understanding of the machines and their health are the mechanical engineers, plant managers and maintenance staff, who spend day after day working with them.
“Ask them how they know, and they’ll say it’s because they have intimate relationships with those machines,” he continued, “but clients want to capture that knowledge, make sense of it, extrapolate from it and turn it into real science leveraging real math and data to gain insight, so they can make strategic decisions and take the right actions.”
One such insight that enterprises want to gain is not just knowing that a machine has gone down, but also why it failed in the first place, as this information can save time when trying to resolve the issue and prevent future disruptions.
“With limited staff, having the knowledge presented with the right data, rules-based approach and advanced analytics, you can address problems much more quickly and get a better understanding of the health of the machine, so you can plan maintenance — and therefore — downtime on an identified needs basis,” explained Collins.
Planning maintenance around an identified need specific to each machine is an alternative to the typical strategy around preventative maintenance plans, which are usually calendar-based, rather than need-based.
When this automated and remote monitoring approach is taken to a larger scale, a better understanding of entire fleet of assets and how they’re all running can be obtained, so that the whole facility can benefit from strategically optimized downtime and planned maintenance.
“Being able to effectively monitor many pieces from a centralized location gives the ability to diagnose problems, allows the system to present several possible diagnoses and reduces staff needed to investigate,” Collins provided.
While the need for automated condition monitoring is clear, the path to achieve it is still a bit hazy. “Some [enterprises]have been successful leveraging this strategy, but many have not been able to realize the full value,” he stated. “It’s a very difficult thing to do well.”
Due to the challenges around delivering a fully realized condition monitoring strategy, ADLINK has focused on tackling individual use cases and employing edge analytics for predictive failure.
“Our strategy is not ‘black box,’” Collins explained, “It’s about offering integrated software and hardware solutions as building blocks that are open and solve particular customer problems in the easiest way possible with minimal disruption.”
ADLINK Technology Inc. (TAIEX:6166) leads edge computing, Ah embedded, distributed and intelligent computing.e for enable nes. tly, he edge and chatthe catalyst for a world powered by artificial intelligence. ADLINK manufactures edge hardware and develops edge software for embedded, distributed and intelligent computing – from powering medical PCs in the intensive care unit to building the world’s first high-speed autonomous race car – more than 1600 customers around the world trust ADLINK for mission-critical success. ADLINK holds top-tier edge partnerships with Intel, NVIDIA, AWS and SAS, and also participates on the Intel Board of Advisors, ROS 2 Technical Steering Committee and Autoware Foundation Board. ADLINK contributes to open source, robotics, autonomous, IoT and 5G standards initiatives across 24+ consortiums, driving innovation in manufacturing, telecommunications, healthcare, energy, defense, transportation and infotainment. For over 25 years, with 1800+ ADLINKers and 200+ partners, ADLINK enables the technologies of today and tomorrow, advancing technology and society around the world. Follow ADLINK Technology on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or visit adlinktech.com.
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