In industry, maintenance is a very important subject. Like the motorist, companies fear a fatal breakdown, one that immobilizes their equipment. The technicians must then find the fault, order the corresponding part or parts and repair as quickly as possible. It is as much a source of stress for the company that operates the machines like the one that repairs them.
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IoT and Big Data: New Era Of Remote Controlling
Thanks to its many advantages, telemonitoring has gained popularity in the industry with both plant managers and service companies. With the advent of the Internet of Things, this technology is entering the era of remote control. Connected services not only make it possible to view the status of equipment in real-time but also to reduce downtime, repair time, reduce costs and the risks associated with a malfunction.
PTC, the publisher of the ThingWorx IoT platform has published a white paper on remote monitoring. This document details the four reasons why telemonitoring is the best approach for better service. Greg Eva, IoT Business Development Manager at PTC, explained the challenges of remote monitoring in the connected industry.
What Is Remote Monitoring In The Connected Industry?
Remote monitoring was born with increasingly intelligent and communicating equipment. Concretely, this allows them to be monitored remotely. Thus, we get to know their functioning, we receive diagnostic reports, notifications during problems. These features are particularly interesting in the field of IoT and service. Remote monitoring can notify a failure in real-time. The repair company is even able to react before users are aware of the problem.
In addition, we can predict or even predict future failures thanks to the information reported by different types of sensors. We then have a continuous vision of a set of assets that can be spread over a given geographic region. Finally, it makes it easier to compare a group of assets with other groups and thus know which machines are the most efficient and optimize, improve those that are lagging behind.
How Important Are The Relationship Between IoT & Remote Monitoring?
In itself, remote monitoring is not a recent technology. Historically it was used on equipment of large sizes, very complex and very expensive. There have been issues of maintenance costs and logistics for a long time. Spare parts did not arrive until several months after the breakdown and expert repairers had to systematically take international flights to repair these machines on the other side of the world.
With IoT, we use the same type of technologies at much lower costs. The reduction in the cost of sensors, communication with Sigfox or LoRa, on-board computers and infrastructures facilitates the emergence of this type of solution. Let us add that the Internet of Things is a technological whole that promotes convergence.
As such, we can directly interface an IoT monitoring solution to other systems such as ERP. This is extremely important in order to make the link between the availability of assets and the order book.
Who Do You Think Needs Remote Monitoring Services?
Previously, remote control involved companies that deployed high-cost assets. Today, there is more talk of reducing the downtime of machinery and equipment. So any company that encounters problems of unavailability of equipment due to a breakdown or other phenomena has an interest in installing an IoT remote monitoring solution.
Companies that are not in this case also endow themselves with this type of solution. Through data readings, they better understand the operation of the machines, which allows optimization of the production phases.
For their part, service companies that offer a remote control solution can improve customer service, better understand these needs and offer additional services with high added value while evolving their business model.
Finally, service companies that must respect maintenance contracts have every interest in implementing a solution of this type. Remote monitoring makes it possible in particular to comply as best as possible with the instructions given by their customers and thus avoid paying heavy penalties. Risk management is thus refined.
What Are The Prerequisites For Setting Up A Remote Control Solution?
Our IoT remote monitoring solutions are tailor-made according to customer needs. We have a lot of customers who started with simple remote connectivity which allows them to manually connect to a machine in order to troubleshoot a remote client. This simple solution speeds up repair time and dramatically lowers travel costs. Our customers may spend 30 minutes at the bedside instead of spending 20 hours counting travel time.
As time goes by, customers will add monitoring points, collect additional data and thus improve remote control. This phenomenon is progressive: it depends on the maturity of the client. There are other customers who do not have connected machines, but who have very advanced service management solutions.
We can interface with it to create orders and automatically call a technician when a machine breaks down. We can treat simple requests as more complicated. The important thing is that it is flexible enough to be adapted to the needs of the client.
The sooner this type of remote monitoring system is installed, the sooner the savings can be seen. So, it is very attractive to start small to grow the solution as needed. Finally, for each problem that requires intervention, this allows us to better understand the needs of the service company and for them to better understand their customers.