Top 3 IoT Applications in the Maintenance Industry

As the IoT becomes a large part of our lives and in the tech sector, we must learn how to embrace it and use it wisely. The IoT is being incorporated in many areas today. The IoT is becoming quite common in the maintenance industry.

Are you ready to incorporate the IoT into your maintenance strategy? Read below to learn three applications that smart maintenance managers are utilizing across the industry.

1.) Connected Machines

Communication is much more than just written and spoken word. Take it from connected machines, which systematically work together via machine-to-machine  (M2M) communication.

Maintenance managers use M2M techniques to collect data on KPIs, such as assets, which are most likely to breakdown or the main causes of unscheduled downtime.

Coupled with IoT sensors, M2M data helps maintenance managers gain understanding into how often an asset is underperforming, or how long it’s been since the last work order was performed. Using this data, managers can map out when interruption will occur and tie this data back to their preventive schedules to improve uptime.

Examples of strategies maintenance teams can use to collect M2M data include:

  • Vibration analysis: Gauges machine vibration to identify potential failures.
  • Infrared thermography: Detects radiation to measure and analyze the heat of objects.
  • Ultrasound: Helps to hear issues that we normally cannot like a gas leak.
  • Tribology: Measures particles in fluids that prove mechanical wear.
  • Motor circuit analysis: Analyzes motor health through detection of electrical imbalances.
  • Laser alignment: Assists in the aligning of rotating machines.

2.) Improved Inventory Management

Using the IoT, maintenance managers can connect their stockrooms to track orders, incoming shipments or low stock.

For instance, the maintenance team has the ability to collect data remotely via sensors that tracks when certain inventory may be low. From there, they’re able to connect this sort of data collection to a software device to produce alerts when certain stock may be close to out.

If you depend on the power of a cloud based CMMS, connect your stockroom with your tool to automate reorders, generate inventory reports and track costs to avoid shortages and improve budget. This results in fewer emergency inventory orders and less downtime due to out-of-stock inventory to fulfill a work order.

3.) Preventive Maintenance Strategies

By now, you’ve certainly heard the benefits of a preventive maintenance schedule. But with time constraints and downtime occurring on the daily, it probably seems like an overwhelming task to implement.

The IoT is helping the maintenance industry bust out of the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality to improve operational efficiencies, reduce costly downtime and better predict equipment failures.

Managers can depend on sensors to track certain KPIs and gather the best hard data like average technician response times, average length of downtime or technician efficiency into their preventive maintenance schedule with the help of the IoT. Try embedding sensors on devices to track abnormal conditions. From there, generate alerts when unscheduled downtime is approaching to implement an easy preventive maintenance schedule.

Use a CMMS? Make sure to take a look at the reliability centered maintenance guide. Coordinate these sensors to communicate with your CMMS to auto-generate work orders or notifications that a repair is needed soon. The benefits of your connected CMMS range from less unscheduled downtime to more efficient technicians.

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