Predictive Maintenance and How it Helps Industry

Predictive Maintenance uses many different advanced technologies to prevent costly shutdown and costly reactive maintenance of machines. It is used in manufacturing as well as in other venues.

Predictive maintenance works by:

Lowering the time that the equipment maintenance takes

Lowering the cost of necessary parts and supplies that are required to accomplish the maintenance

Lowering the hours that are lost for maintenance by preventing reactive maintenance.

Predictive maintenance has as its goal the prediction—of course—of when a failure in equipment or mobility or anything else—may take place. Secondary to this, it aims to prevent the failure by allowing the maintenance that must be done to take place well before the equipment failure takes place. The ideal situation is that predictive maintenance keeps the frequency of maintenance work as low as possible to keep the costs as reasonable as possible. In addition, its goal is to prevent reactive maintenance but to keep costs low by maintaining an even level –and a low cost measure of preventive maintenance.

Yes, it all sounds just a bit confusing. To make a long story short, preventive maintenance is too costly. Reactive maintenance costs too much and takes too long. Predictive maintenance takes into account past failures, when they took place, why they took place and prevents them from happening without costing an arm and a leg.

How Does It Work?

Predicting a failure can take multiple forms. The methodology must be effective at the prediction of failure and it must also permit time to allow for the maintenance necessary. Some methods include the analysis of vibrations, analyzing oil, thermal imagery, and even observation of the equipment. Condition based maintenance and using the right methodology is imperative and creating a maintenance strategy is imperative as well.

This is not to say that there is no down side to predictive maintenance. In fact the main down side is the cost of the equipment that is necessary for monitoring your facility. Condition monitoring and maintenance monitoring are quite expensive and may be cost prohibitive for smaller facilities. In addition, the specialty training or experience technical personnel that are required to operate the equipment may also be difficult to find and costly to hire.

The up side is that in comparison to being shut down for preventive maintenance or to being offline for reactive maintenance, the cost of predictive maintenance may seem a very small burden.

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Fourth Industrial Revolution

cc by SA 4.0 image of industrial revolutions

Image by Christoph Roser at


What is Industry 4.0?

Industry 4.0 or, as it is also known the fourth industrial revolution is the trend that is currently coming into play of automating the manufacturing processes and the use of IoT and other technologies to make industrial processes more readily accomplished. It is working hand in hand with things like the internet of things, cloud computing and cyber-physical computing.

Using Industry 4.0, we create what are called smart processes and smart computing.

According to Wikipedia, “Within the modular structured smart factories, cyber-physical systems monitor physical processes, create a virtual copy of the physical world and make decentralized decisions. Over the Internet of Things, cyber-physical systems communicate and cooperate with each other and with humans in real time, and via the Internet of Services, both internal and cross-organizational services are offered and used by participants of the value chain.”

The term Industry 4.0 or fourth industrial revolution began in the German government with a project that they had created that was markedly high tech. It promoted computerized manufacturing and provided the reasons for that manufacturing to take place as well as how industry 4.0 would play out with other areas of manufacturing such as logistics and supply.

Industry 4.0 provides for changes in the way in which we work. It makes our work smarter and faster and in most cases will save a great deal of money for the factories and businesses which embrace it. For those that do not embrace the fourth industrial revolution, they will be hard pressed to keep up to those who have introduced smarter factories. Better manufacturing, better use of space and better safety results are just a few of the things that Industry 4.0 provides.

For those who embrace Industry 4.0 the results can be faster, better, more profitable results from their business. What’s not to love about that.

How the Internet of Things Will Transform the World of Manufacturing Automation

Manufacturing AutomationThe smart phone on your belt is dramatically different from the flip phones of a decade ago. Technology continues to move at incredible speeds and we are truly living in a golden age. But the where we are headed is unlike where we’ve been. In the future, the internet of things will be a reality in every sector. Smart systems will be released with sensors and robotics that simplify and automate manufacturing. The system will operate through wired and wireless networks and an infrastructure will help us to accomplish more during the course of a day.

This begins with physical objects having sensors and actuators being placed in them. These individual parts will send and receive information in order to complete specific tasks. They will depend on real time data and this information will affect the big picture. In fact, each device on the assembly line will connect to a central system that will orchestrate and synchronize the entire system to ensure things run smoothly and as effectively as possible.

In order for smart manufacturing to work, there needs to be systems in place that work with the smart manufacturing vision. Sensors must be placed in technology and a host system installed. This will help with logistics, order placement, procurement and other essential functions that impact the overall system.

So who does this? While your IT department could technically handle the task, it would be time consuming and cost you hundreds of man hours to develop. A better choice is to consider a vendor who can help with the effort. These individuals will help to create a functional system which is tightly integrated and allows you to effectively manage your manufacturing operations. With new industry standards being released for manufacturing all the time, it is certain the internet of things will play a pivotal role in the future of manufacturing automation.

An example of it is already seen in the food and beverage industry. Machines currently communicate sensitive information like temperature, humidity and the condition of the containers. Companies can also track shipments with identifying codes and determine where they originated from in the company and where these items were shipped to in the world. If there is a case of contamination, they can also quickly contact locations who received items that might be tainted.

When the internet of things becomes dominate on these manufacturing lines, there will be more power. There will be a central master computer that will run the entire operation. It will have an intelligent way to analyze, address concerns and to remain independent at all times, all while continuing to meet the demands of production.

There is no denying the internet of things will play an important role in the future of production. Good will be released faster and profits will spike for a company. That makes it important to embrace today and incorporate in the current structure of your business. Doing that will help you to be part of the future and to remain a visionary in the industry.

Sight Machine Suggest Manufacturing Automation is a Future We Need to Embrace

Image of IoT machinery - Sight MachineSight Machine executives believe that the internet of things is the future of things. With it, companies will have the power to analyze data more effectively and it could change the face of the business world. The company currently uses cloud computing combined with machine learning and analytics to determine security threats.

When you look at their company, you quickly discover their vision is different. They are committed to showing companies how to use machines to embrace the future. They teach about machine learning and give insight into the early versions of the internet of things and explain the progression that is being made towards advancements. Their goal, is to help companies create their products more effectively and then take their products and make them better.

How does that happen? The answer is simple. The internet of things allows a company to gain more insight into the process. With the data they compile, the can boost quality levels. In many cases, automating areas to run more effectively and even examine the parts of a machine and closely monitor them for repairs as needed or modifications.

The result is an effective use of machines and the ability to improve the manufacturing process. Sight Machine has discovered in most cases, manufacturing plants are behind in technology. They aren’t using computing, networking and other essential technology to improve their output and to boost their profits.

With their revolutionary approach, they are able to help simplify the process. They use a silo approach that collects the data, distributes it and then discards it when it is no longer needed. They can then integrate the data and input the information into analytical tools. With the information they can improve the quality of outputted products and reduce the operating costs for a company. All it takes is adding in some numerically controlled manufacturing machines designed with business intelligence and analytics in mind.

This is the future of business and Sight Machine is definitely helping companies embrace the Internet of Things. With technology doing more than ever before, real time data can be sent to connected machines. When a problem arises, the company can inspect it and reduce the cost of flaws. Imagine having a distribution line where jars of pickles are produced. If something becomes clogged, an alert goes out to maintenance and each of the production departments in seconds. The machine stops and there isn’t damage and loss caused by the malfunction. While the alert allows the production machine to be repaired quickly and restored in a shorter period of time.

The internet of things is the future. Companies who are looking to embrace it will want to work with businesses like Sight Machine and discover how they can take things to the next level. After all, the chances of a company being around in a decade is slim if they aren’t embracing technology in their day to day operations.