We Live in Challenging Times
The aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic makes it abundantly clear that we are living in a VUCA-world*.
It is a definite sign of an era where change is happening faster and faster. This rapid change also translates to the world of manufacturing. Not only are there logistic challenges for the transportation of goods, but interruptions in the supply chain are also becoming commonplace, like we saw in the chip shortage in the manufacturing industries. This is a clear sign of rapidly-changing business circumstances.
There is a strong drive towards more flexibility, faster product innovations and increasingly smaller production batches. In other words, there is an increasing need for quickly-adjustable and adaptable production assets. At the same time, manufacturing companies are being forced to work very cost-efficiently. The answer lies in digitization.
Industry 4.0 is no longer a faraway concept for the factories of the future, but a fundamental pillar in staying competitive in the new normal. And guess what, Maintenance 4.0 proves to be a main driver for Asset Performance 4.0.
A new step in the same direction
Since the Nowlan and Heap report was published in 1978, we know that the majority of failures follow a random failure pattern. When contemplating the right maintenance strategy for a certain piece of equipment or function during an RCM exercise, we find that in many cases condition-based maintenance is the optimal maintenance strategy. But there is an important follow-up question in the decision diagram: is the condition inspection or monitoring technically and economically justifiable?
In the past, that question often had to be answered negatively because of high investments or labour costs that were needed to set up a condition monitoring program. Today the industrial internet of things (IIoT), affordable sensors, AI algorithms and predictive analytics offer unseen possibilities. Now it is technically and economically justifiable to implement condition-based maintenance in many more cases. In other words, the fundamental principles of maintenance continue to apply, but the decision criteria have changed dramatically. Maintenance 4.0 is a non-fundamental evolution that currently fundamentally changes how maintenance is conducted.
In recent years many organizations have made “a leap of faith” by investing in reliability, maintenance, and asset management in order to achieve optimal cost performance and asset uptime. Today again, it requires a fundamental belief in the added value of digitization in maintenance, whilst keeping the good practices from the past, to be competitive in the new normal. In current times of drastic change, asset and maintenance managers need once again to be a true leader to inspire their organization, to adopt best in class practices in asset performance 4.0.
I am convinced that you will find interesting thoughts and inspiration in this Maintworld Magazine.
Each year, for the entire month of October, the ECSM brings together EU citizens, Member States, the European Commission, EU bodies, and governmental organisations, the private sector and academia to promote healthy cybersecurity habits.
Nordic Iron Ore appoints ABB to provide automation and electrification planning for Blötberget mine in Sweden
Nordic Iron Ore has appointed ABB to scope process control and management systems for a future-proof and fully-digitalized mining operation at the Blötberget iron ore mine.