Top Trends Reshaping Industrial Maintenance

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Technology improves people’s lives by bringing us closer to information, entertainment, and each other. It is in our phones, cars, homes and jobs. Today many workplaces can’t exist without the internet and innovative technologies. This is why, being aware of the maintenance trends that improve process scalability, quality and effectiveness help adapt to often changing environments. 

Recent months were associated with the COVID-19 pandemic which was very challenging for many industries. To regenerate after a crisis, businesses have to be open to innovative technology. It is especially helpful in large industries such as energy, oil and gas, manufacturing and aerospace. 

According to the 2020 McKinsey Survey, to be competitive in this new commercial and economic environment, leaders have to be adaptable in the way of changing tactics and strategies and be open to using new technologies. The same survey predicts that respondents are three times more likely to claim that at least 80% of their consumer interactions are digital now than they were before the crisis.

Technology in manufacturing

Many companies supported by technological capabilities improve their businesses. This can be seen in the range of equipment maintenance processes, which are increasingly aided by IT, cloud computing, Big Data, and the Internet of Things (IoT). 

Lately, the IT and OT networks have vastly transformed industrial processes. The IT (Information Technology) and OT (Operational Technology) gradually change industrial organisations into digital enterprises based on reliable data exchange.

One of the biggest influences on trends is Industry 4.0 (Fourth Industrial Revolution). Even before the pandemic Industry 4.0 technologies were transforming manufacturers’ way of operating, now it matters how leaders are efficient in using technologies.

With the advent of Industry 4.0 for manufacturing, companies are able to leverage new technologies in order to monitor and gain deeper insight into their operations in real time, turning a typical manufacturing facility into a smart factory.

Deloitte, Predictive maintenance and the smart factory

1. Increase use of virtual technology

The requirement for social distance, as well as continued focus on worker health and safety, will remain yet for some time. To help in communication and improving work, virtual technology should be a more widely used method of performing maintenance diagnostics and troubleshooting.

Sensors, artificial intelligence (AI) and other technology allow staff for accurate, real-time maintenance processes from anywhere. The ability of a computer system allow to identify trends and draws logical inferences that can assist manufacturers in making data-driven decisions.

Industry 4.0 Two Engineers Standing and Talking in Factory Workshop with Augmented Reality 3D Model Concept of Giant Turbine Engine. Graphics Visualization. High Angle Shot. VFX Special Visual Effects

2. Additive manufacturing 

The primary goal of maintenance is to ensure that all production-related gear and equipment are always running at maximum efficiency. Industries often reach for additive manufacturing, synonymous with 3D printing, which is becoming increasingly popular in both industrial and consumer settings. Using 3D printers helps create parts for various uses.

3D technology is predicted to be a highly disruptive force within the global manufacturing industry. The global additive manufacturing market is expected to shift from prototyping to mass production of parts and accessories. By 2030, it is predicted that additive manufacturing technologies will enable companies to produce finished products on a large scale.

Published in 2021 by Statista Research Department, Additive manufacturing projected global market growth 2020-2026

3. Internet of Things (IoT)

Internet of Things (IoT) helps manufacturers in connecting and monitoring the various components of their operations, allowing them to get real-time knowledge. Manufacturers may use this data to adjust, optimise, and improve any aspect of their production process.

IoT is moving the sector forward by using smart sensors and cloud connectivity powered by the internet. Companies are using IoT capabilities to improve safety, save money, streamline manufacturing, and even create new products.

The IoT will bring to life the opportunity to analyse an increasing variety of statistics, and could revolutionise the targeted marketing of products and services.

Rob Clarke, Investigating the internet of things

4. Data collection and analytics

Facilities are constantly expanding their data store, allowing for more precise modelling, effective forecasting, and novel data use and analysis. A lot of data comes from sensors, they are outputs of devices that detect and respond to input from a physical element. Wireless sensor networks help monitor and control conditions at various places, e.g. temperature, pressure, wind speed and direction, vibrant intensity, etc. Sensor data is becoming an increasingly important part of the Internet of Things (IoT) environment.

Leaders have to be innovative and prepare for changes to find benefits for their organisations. Predictive maintenance technology can help a manufacturing company prevent problems from occurring in the first place, save money on maintenance and downtime while also prolonging the life of its equipment.

Distrelec offers a wide range of sensor technology products from industry-leading manufacturers. The available items are, among others, moisture, pressure, current, and temperature sensors, as well as IC, light, motion, and proximity sensors.

Industrial technology concept. Communication network. INDUSTRY 4.0. Factory automation.

5. Maintenance as a Service (MaaS)

Enterprise maintenance is set to be disrupted by Maintenance as a Service (MaaS). Cloud computing has made substantial inroads into every sector of the business. This confirms one of the early cloud computing aphorisms: “The cloud is the computer”.

The capacity to collect and handle vast amounts of data on the cloud can improve maintenance capabilities and services. These services are becoming more common for specialised machinery or equipment and:

  • provide detailed statistics and reports on the machine’s operation
  • predict a product’s lifetime
  • provide context-aware services maintenance information, such as videos, instructions, VR visualisations and interactive support
  • configure IT and business information systems in the plant-based on analytics

How to prepare for changes in Industrial Maintenance?

Nowadays, technology takes a big part in many industries and helps speed up the process of working. However, not all manufacturers are efficient with new technologies. To prepare your manufacturing company for changes and reshape with trends, engineers and leaders have to be open to technological capabilities. They have to make their employees ready for changes and the process of introduction and adaptation with technology.

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