How Data-Driven Reliability Improvements Can Streamline Maintenance And Cut Costs

by | May 28, 2024 | Asset Management, Reliability | 0 comments

Advanced monitoring solutions provide real-time information and actionable insights that empower predictive maintenance strategies that lead to reduced downtime and help prevent quality issues.

 

 

For manufacturers, the ultimate aim is to have no unexpected machinery failures and ensure production equipment is always available. They also want to prevent underperforming machines from impacting product quality. As I explained in a Controls, Drives & Automation article, `Advanced Solutions Simplify Condition Monitoring’, to achieve these outcomes, companies are digitally transforming their operations and applying advanced monitoring solutions to enable greater access and visibility to machinery and equipment health data.

The article starts by looking at solutions for monitoring the health of valves used to control compressed air in pneumatic systems. Previously, these valves would be run to failure, creating the possibility of downtime and interruptions to production. However, as I describe in the article:

…diagnostic functionality provided by advanced fieldbus valve system technology now enables valve performance to be continuously monitored, so that developing problems can be identified earlier. If the system detects that the travel time of a valve is increasing, this may indicate valve wear.

Vibration monitoring and analysis have been used for many years for online condition monitoring of critical rotating machinery. Significant vibration analysis expertise has been required to understand the data and identify issues and root causes. As I explain in the article, the reliance on experts has been removed by modern software solutions that analyse the data, alert maintenance teams to issues, outline causes and even suggest necessary repairs.

…the latest asset management software also makes it easy for users, by providing a single location where all the various condition monitoring data come together to identify `troublemakers’ quickly and efficiently. The software collates data from a wide range of monitoring technologies and then predictive maintenance techniques and analysis tools provide accurate assessment of the health of each machine.

Wireless vibration monitors can be installed on the equipment being monitored. Data is transmitted to an asset management system, where prescriptive analytics provide accurate diagnostics to maintenance teams.

Wireless and edge technologies, less expensive sensors and advanced software are helping to overcome cost barriers and resource restraints. Manufacturers are able to deploy condition monitoring technology on a much broader range of equipment. The article explains that condition monitoring data is also being moved into the cloud to allow stakeholders to view the information and make informed decisions.

…edge computing technology helps to provide greater visualisation at the factory floor level…built-in web service software interfaces mean access to asset health is simple via any browser-enabled device. Cloud-based infrastructure simplifies the sharing of information and provides the opportunity for wider collaboration.

Intelligent field devices, such as measurement instrumentation and digital valve controllers, have become crucial to the smooth running of a plant. These present a wealth of diagnostic data that can be utilised to drive improvements. But more devices being monitored means more data being collected that needs to be processed and analysed. As I explain in the article, with hundreds of control valves in a typical process plant, tracking the condition of each manually is time-consuming. It also requires a lot of expertise to ascertain valve health and follow-up action. A solution is at hand:

…Emerson’s Plantweb InSight Valve Health software tool simplifies this monitoring task by providing plant personnel with a fleetwide valve health index along with recommended maintenance actions and recommended timeframes to act. This allows users to prioritise repair and maintenance activities. 

The ability to monitor the health of more equipment, machines and devices is helping increase availability and productivity, but has created the challenge of managing the increasing amount and types of data required to analyse and support decisions. As I put it in the article:

…having access to more data is important, but if all an organisation does is dump it into a centralised repository, then positive outcomes are unlikely.

Overcoming this issue is at the heart of Emerson’s Boundless Automation™ vision, which focuses on implementing next-generation technologies to seamlessly connect intelligent devices and sensors to the edge and into the cloud to drive innovation across all aspects of plant operations. One of those technologies is Emerson’s AMS Device Manager Data Server, which supports a broad range of communication protocols to prevent data silos and ensure access to device information. I explain in the article that by utilising this solution:

…consolidated data can be shared with other software applications beyond the process control system, such as the plant historian, visualisation and dashboard application and advanced analytics software. Analysis of this data can provide more insights and help identify trends, such as the most common alerts or issues with specific device types.

Myself and other Emerson reliability experts will be available to discuss your own condition monitoring application at Maintec/Manufacturing & Engineering Week 2024, 5-6 June, NEC, Birmingham, UK, Hall 4, Stand E50. Or if you are unable to attend that event, visit here to learn more about how Emerson’s asset performance management solutions enhance the availability and performance of equipment.

 

 

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  • Liz Hill
    Sales Manager - Reliability Solutions
    Strategic Pursuit Manager

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.

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