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January 7, 2022

How IIoT is Changing Condition Monitoring As We Know It

By claresnape

Hands holding tablet on blurred automation machine as background

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is a hot topic, and it will continue to get more and more buzz as it’s benefits on condition monitoring become more apparent through practice. IIoT is projected to become a multi-billion dollar value producer in the industrial field by 2025, and it is not hard to see why. From saving unnecessary overtime hours and preventing unneeded machine maintenance, to prolonging the life of a machine and catching critical errors before they snowball, the implementation of IIoT into condition monitoring can save time, money, and machinery. 

IIoT in condition monitoring

IIoT can be implemented into condition monitoring in a variety of ways including collecting data, analyzing the data, and detecting critical components of the machine so they can be repaired immediately. Each year, more and more tools enter the market that use automated software to detect alarm levels in set parameters, as well as analyze and diagnose problems. It is important to note that these findings should always be confirmed by an experienced vibration analyst, technician, or engineer. By having tools constantly monitoring your most critical machinery, you can respond to errors in real-time, see patterns that are emerging much quicker than if you were manually monitoring the machine periodically or even frequently, and make better use of technician’s time.

Benefits of IIoT in condition monitoring

The Implementation of IIoT has many benefits for the condition monitoring field. Some of the benefits include time savings, financial savings, and an increase in plant safety and productivity. By implementing IIoT, plants are able to identify critical errors earlier and make repairs immediately, preventing further damage to the machine. Scheduled maintenance can also be eliminated because if your machine is being constantly monitored you will know exactly when maintenance is needed and won’t need to rely on a calendar. This will save technicians time and it will save money because resources such as grease will only be used when needed, not when a calendar dictates.

Drawbacks of IIoT in condition monitoring

While there are plenty of positives to IIoT, no solution is free from some drawbacks. Constant condition monitoring requires high-tech equipment, bringing with it a margin of error one must take into account. While unlikely when properly cared for, monitoring equipment can go down meaning data is not recorded or collected until the problem is resolved. Another drawback for some may also be buy-in. While the industry is adopting IIoT, it can take some time to get everyone on board and trained. The financial and time investments of implementing IIoT are significant, but they will likely make themselves back quickly once you have incorporated it into your condition monitoring strategy.

Where do we go from here?

First, you need to make sense if incorporating IIoT into your condition monitoring strategy makes sense for your plant. Ask yourself if:

  • The time and financial savings will make the initial investment worthwhile. 
  • You have critical machinery that would benefit from constant condition monitoring. 
  • Time or resources have been used to perform unnecessary maintenance on machinery OR if critical errors left unnoticed for a period of time created the need for much more significant repairs.

If you have determined that incorporating IIoT into your condition monitoring strategy makes sense, take a look at the options that are available. You will also need to review your machinery and prioritize based on the importance of the machine (consider it’s impact on your supply chain, is it difficult or dangerous to access, does it seem to need frequent repairs), Once you have done this, begin to implement constant condition monitoring into your predictive maintenance strategy!  

Want to learn more about IIoT in condition monitoring? Read our blog on Industry 4.0!

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