Intelligent Solutions Tell You When to – and When Not to – Perform Maintenance.
You’ve driven your car 5,000 miles since your last oil change, and your owner’s manual says it’s time for another one. But are you sure your car really needs another oil change?
A commuter train operator receives multiple messages about a door that was open longer than normal. Does that car really need to be decommissioned for repair?
In any maintenance-related situation, the question to ask is, “Is this maintenance really needed and, if so, is this the best time to do it?” Intelligent maintenance solutions can answer those questions – saving time and money and improving safety.
The perils of preventive and reactive maintenance
Equipment maintenance typically takes place either preventively, whether it’s needed or not, or reactively, when something breaks down. Either approach can be costly in terms of unscheduled downtime, unneeded repairs or unhappy customers.
When maintenance is needed but the need is undetected, you can have an entirely different set of problems. Sometimes the consequences can be deadly. For example, failure to predict issues with public utility equipment is implicated in horrific disasters, such as wildfires that cause billions of dollars in damage and result in significant loss of life.
When maintenance is predictive and based on real-time conditions, these types of disasters can be avoided.
Every piece of equipment is different
Let’s go back to the example of an oil change for your car. If you drive your car in a temperate climate, it won’t need the same type of maintenance that it will need if it’s driven in extreme heat or freezing temperatures and snow. Without the technology to sense motor oil status in individual vehicles, auto manufacturers created a “one-size-fits-all” maintenance schedule. But one-size-fits-all can be costly if your car could go further between oil changes, or if it really needs oil changes more frequently and breaks down as a result.
Knowing when to perform maintenance is especially critical in an industrial environment. For example, in India, wind turbines generate the most energy during the monsoon season, so that’s a costly time to take one offline to perform maintenance. However, sensor data combined with the diagnostic capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI) can tell a plant maintenance manager which turbines will need service and when, so that maintenance can be scheduled at the optimum time.
And time is money. By using predictive maintenance technologies, one large fleet operator was able to shave 15 minutes off the time required for every repair – which saved the company tens of millions of dollars in annual maintenance costs.
When you know the true condition of a piece of equipment – whether it’s your personal vehicle, a wind turbine or a delivery truck – you can make the right decisions about when and what maintenance should be performed.
Intelligent maintenance solutions guide timely repairs
AI, sensing technology, data analytics and the internet of things (IoT) are all part of an integrated system of data-driven maintenance solutions that can save you time and money by allowing you to:
- Predict and plan for maintenance needs
- Follow up on suggested repair recommendations
- Create maintenance schedules that align with business objectives
- Optimize parts and supply inventories
- Boost overall maintenance effectiveness
- Know when to retire an asset
Intelligent maintenance solutions not only improve resource usage but also potentially save lives. Smart Transportation and Smart Energy provide some great examples. Sensors on trains can detect anomalies in everything from water levels in bathrooms to engine and brake functionality, prompting timely and necessary repairs. And drones can quickly and safely detect the condition of thousands of miles of power lines in places where humans can’t.
Maintain only when necessary
Hitachi Vantara’s intelligent maintenance solutions provide insights that are making a tangible positive difference to the manufacturing, energy and power generation, transportation, and mining industries. These solutions hold the promise of not only reducing expenses and down time, but also making our world a safer place.
Find out how intelligent maintenance solutions can dramatically reduce maintenance and repair costs in my previous blog: The Age of the Virtual Expert Has Arrived.