IIoT and CMMS – The Next Generation of Maintenance

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has been gaining a lot of traction as of late, with many claiming it will usher in a new era of data consumption. Wikipedia defines it as an “internetworking of physical devices, vehicles, buildings, and other items – embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity that enable these objects to collect and exchange data”.

But how does this equate to providing any kind of benefits for your maintenance plan? In order to answer this, we need to look back on how CMMS worked in the past and how it currently works today. In the past, CMMS was performed using paper forms. These paper forms got the job done but were also inherently flawed. Paper documents can be damaged or lost and are not easily shared in a timely manner.

When computerized maintenance software came around, it resolved a lot of the inefficiency problems that plagued the maintenance process. Critical information like work request details can be viewed on a mobile device by a service maintenance worker from the field. Common work orders or purchase requests can be saved as templates and generated with a single mouse click in the future.

Not only that but more data is easily accessible and now managers and supervisors have access to powerful reporting tools, allowing them to forecast and analyze maintenance performance in ways that were previously impossible. This next step in maintenance evolution drastically changed how organizations were able to maximize the effectiveness of their maintenance budgets.

Today, the industry has begun to re-examine how CMMS is used and how it can be used in conjunction with the IIoT movement. Machinery utilizing embedded sensors can monitor and track a multitude of metrics, notifying you in real-time of any issues that begin to develop. Going beyond data collection, pairing CMMS with an IIoT solution can offer huge benefits in how you approach your maintenance operations.

Specifically, the IIoT will enable a much higher adoption rate of predictive and conditions-based maintenance thanks to its huge increase in actionable data. We call this actionable data because it’s information that is consistent, reliable, and can be used to make specific decisions about when and where to perform maintenance. Undoubtedly, this new level of insight will greatly impact maintenance costs and resource allocations because organizations will now be able to refine their maintenance schedules with even greater accuracy.  With this, IIoT reduces human interaction, which greatly reduces error.

Forecasting and estimating your maintenance needs can only get you so far in your efficiency goals. Yes, you can get pretty close, but you’ll never be able to match the accuracy of monitoring real-time information on your assets. Information like temperatures, current usage, vibrations, and much more all hold valuable insights into how good or bad a piece of equipment is performing and being able to interpret these cues can yield substantial improvements.

So as CMMS becomes more and more connected with the IIoT, businesses will find more and more reason to adopt it and the business cases will be too strong to ignore and this very connected structure will eventually be the standard in maintenance management programs.

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