Top 5 Modern Maintenance Technologies For Optimizing Maintenance Work
Digital technology revolutionizes maintenance strategies across industries by providing several automation tools and simplifying workflow management. Production assets are getting more interconnected as modern maintenance technologies find their way into the plant floor, facilities, and mobile equipment. Companies are leveraging digital technologies to combat predominant maintenance challenges, control maintenance costs, and enhance the quality of maintenance work.
Several modern industrial maintenance technologies exist in the market. There is a suitable solution for every size and type of facility or production asset. These technologies can work independently or collaboratively to achieve specific maintenance objectives. Implementing these technologies improves operational safety, enhances data management, and simplifies routine activities like maintenance scheduling, inventory management, and work allocation.
Modern maintenance technologies are distributed through mobile devices, dedicated networks, and specialized computers. Maintenance technicians require extensive equipment maintenance skills and sufficient digital knowledge to exploit these technologies. They should understand how to program these devices, record, submit and retrieve data from the systems, and ways to connect different digital tools in the facility.
Let us explore how modern technologies impact maintenance work.
Mobile CMMS for workflow improvement
Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) enables companies to automate maintenance activities. The technology contains several tools required for workflow management. CMMS programs allow maintenance managers to create robust schedules and generate reminders when maintenance is due.
Mobile CMMS systems allow technicians to record maintenance work remotely. It reduces unnecessary movement on the shop floor or facility and minimizes paperwork. All maintenance data is centralized, and individuals with system access privileges can access it. Technicians can analyze previous maintenance interventions before addressing an existing defect or breakdown. CMMS systems also contain manufacturer manuals, safety information, and standard operating procedures to guarantee standardized work — irrespective of who maintains assets.
Maintenance managers use CMMS systems to allocate work to technicians at different locations in the facility. Managers can monitor progress based on maintenance logs, images, and videos provided by maintenance teams. They can also approve work tickets, spare parts, and tool purchases.
Visual inspection tools for remote monitoring and inspection
Maintenance optimizes the availability of production assets and contributes to company profitability. Companies implement proactive maintenance measures, including routine inspection and remote monitoring, to identify and rectify defects before causing breakdowns or costly equipment damages. Nowadays, several visual inspection tools exist in the market.
Most facilities use thermal imaging devices to check for surface irregularities, worn-out insulations, and electrical faults. Other companies use advanced thermal imaging systems that consist of thermal sensors connected through the Internet of Things (IoT). Borescopes and video scopes are used to inspect inaccessible areas.
Technicians battle tight maintenance schedules and must inspect facilities within the prescribed timelines. Companies continue investing in drones and robots that inspect facilities and collect relevant maintenance data, enabling them to check the quality of assets in hazardous and hard-to-access locations across the facility. Technicians then use data from these devices to devise scheduled maintenance plans and estimate resources required to complete corrective or preventive measures.
Condition-monitoring sensors for enhanced predictive maintenance
One way for companies to control maintenance costs is to prevent equipment breakdowns from happening. These companies are shifting from corrective maintenance to predictive maintenance strategies. The latter depends on interconnected condition-monitoring sensors. These sensors monitor the actual performances of assets in real-time.
Condition-monitoring sensors work closely with artificial intelligence models and algorithms to predict asset failures based on actual performance data. A slump in equipment performance may signal an underlying defect. The algorithm will estimate when asset failure is likely to happen. Technicians rely on this data to perform targeted, accurate, and timely maintenance interventions before assets fail.
Installing condition-monitoring sensors on critical production assets enables companies to avert costly asset failures and enhance the accuracy of maintenance activities.
Augmented reality and virtual reality for remote maintenance and training
Maintenance personnel requires continuous upskilling to match emerging industry trends and navigate complex maintenance situations. It includes troubleshooting digitally-enabled equipment, analyzing sensor data, and summarizing lengthy maintenance records. The training window equips technicians with the advanced technical skills required to manage modern maintenance technologies.
Training several technicians requires proper planning and often a heavy budget. Companies use augmented reality and virtual reality to provide technical training to employees. These technologies simulate different maintenance problems and provide a step-by-step process to resolve these issues. The technologies describe how complex systems work, helping technicians configure, operate, and maintain production assets.
Cloud technology for enhanced data management and analytics
Modern maintenance revolves around data . Technicians require uninterrupted access to asset performance, equipment maintenance, and production data. Technicians deal with a vast amount of data, which can be overwhelming to manage.
Companies use cloud technology to enhance data management and foster team collaboration. Technicians deliberate on several issues over mobile devices and analyze data with the tap of a finger. Cloud technology simplifies data management and increases engagement between maintenance teams, company management, and vendors.
Modern technologies are vital for optimizing maintenance work by simplifying and automating routine activities. The possibilities of these technologies are endless, and companies are continuously customizing them depending on their maintenance needs, available budgets, and the competencies of maintenance personnel.
Choose a technology that aligns with the company’s business goals and promises maximum return on investment. Ensure you have the right team to implement technologies.
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