Remote working is a benefit of digital condition based maintenance that traditional approaches cannot compete with. Not only is it more effective, but it also helps lower individuals’ carbon footprint by reducing unnecessary travel, says Frederic Thomas, Managing Director of AVT Reliability®.
When it comes to condition based maintenance (CBM), digital technology will always outperform the traditional ‘pencil and clipboard’ approach.
The combination of wireless technology and sensors is becoming more and more affordable and readily available. A web based CBM system allows data to be collected from assets safely, consistently and comprehensively, and stored securely in the cloud, where it can be accessed securely by any authorised user, from any location in the world, via a standard web browser.
This means that not one shred of information gathered goes to waste, as is so often the case with paper-based recording. Every piece of information collected can be used intelligently to identify ‘bad actors’, pre-empt potential problems and inform a proactive ongoing maintenance plan.
It also instantly closes any gap between plant and personnel. If a key member of your team is on the road, abroad for a conference, or working from home for any reason, it no longer means they must be absent from operational involvement.
Advanced web hosted CBM systems such as Machine Sentry® are able to efficiently collate a wide range of information and measurements, such as vibration, thermal imaging, oil analysis, or simply pictures from visual inspection, all on one single interface. The end user will also automatically and instantly have access to the initial fault diagnostic findings from ADATM the Automated Diagnostic Assistant.
Authorised personnel working from any location can simply log on to the system using their laptop or smart phone. Key data is automatically presented to them as an asset status summary on an easy to read dashboard. And if they want to focus on any one aspect of the plant, they can drill down to view the data on any individual asset.
Information encompassing anything from the latest monitoring readings to maintenance activity and operative comments is available within minutes of it being completed.
In a world where the marketplace is becoming increasingly global, access to the real-time condition of assets by senior decision-makers can be invaluable. Responsible business leaders are also becoming increasingly conscious of the potential for extreme or unforeseen events to wreak significant disruption on industrial operations.
Having business critical information readily available, even when working remotely, can play a crucial role in enabling operational management decisions that can make the difference between uninterrupted production and costly downtime.
Time is money and, even when everybody is on site, the cost of management time spent searching through sheaves of paper for specific information can soon mount up, particularly if that information is not efficiently recorded or stored.
Upfront costs are also low, making digital CBM technology accessible to companies of any size. Nothing more than a tablet or mobile phone is required and web based software means installation and setup does not demand any complex or costly IT input.
Cost and time savings, improved asset reliability and operational efficiency are good enough reasons to make the investment in a web based CBM system. But the ability to work remotely with instant access to vital information is an added benefit that the ‘pen and clipboard’ approach can only dream of delivering.