The ushering of complex mechanical machinery in industrial domains started in the late 1700s when people started believing that human effort alone does not bring healthy productivity. Mechanical technologies substantially altered the industrial world, striking a drastic change in the business strategies of industrial establishments. Mechanical systems did not take long to become the integral anatomy that scaffolds the growth and sustenance of an industrial place; it remains a fact when looking at any industrial sector like apparel, food and beverage, metal, marine, chemical, consumer goods etc.
However, like most infrastructure and fixed assets, mechanical assets require careful attendance and evaluation to ensure it does not fail in critical industrial events. This is why most mechanical asset managers are now relying on digital technologies to perform end-to-end asset tasks with data-driven insights on mechanical assets’ risk, cost and performance. This article investigates the most serviceable technologies that can be utilised by mechanical asset managers to ensure the steady performance, resilience and sustenance of mechanical assets.
Failure-proof Mechanical Systems and Technology
All types of buildings -administration, industrial, operations, institutions and residential edifices- are stuffed with intricate mechanical systems. Mechanical systems are used to provide a range of mandatory user factors that ensures a facility is safe, healthy and favouring the purposes of the premises, like,
- CCTV surveillance systems
- Computer outlet
- Heating and cooling systems
- Hot water systems
- Hydronic systems
- In-building telecommunication networks
- Industrial operation
- Lighting and ventilation systems
- Security alarm and smoke detecting systems
- Washrooms and shower facilities
- Thermal energy storage systems
- Chilled beam systems
A minute failure in any of such systems can lead to unsafe, unresourceful and risky environments. This is why many mechanical asset managers of colossal systems (like HVAC systems, underground car parks, highway tunnels etc.) find the utilisation of new-age technologies crucial to saving organisational money, time and effort while ensuring the safety of the users and environments. Here are four technologies that allow mechanical asset managers to prevent the medical system from failing unprecedentedly.
4D Digital Twin Systems
4D digital twin systems allow mechanical asset managers to create virtual models that mirror the appearance of mechanical assets and add comprehensive perspectives on the performance, remaining life cycles, impending failures, risks and serviceability of assets digitally. These virtual counterparts are advanced with simulation technology to help mechanical asset managers to configure parameters and learn how the mechanical asset will respond to environmental changes or how it will change after a specific period of time. The 4D digital twin platforms can be implemented by feeding all information about the assets and asset-related parameters in real-time; it is the ultimate management visibility for mechanical asset managers because there is no question that will remain unanswered if the 4D digital twin is implemented right.
AI-driven Predictive and Prescriptive Models
AI algorithms and ML models are the key to smart mechanical asset maintenance. These technologies help the end-users to create digital models, curves, graphs and charts that represent data-driven insights about mechanical assets. They will automatically detect KPIs and help asset managers presuppose the future of the asset risks, costs and performances that will guide them in making smarter decisions.
The predictive models have the propensity to predict the serviceable lifetime of mechanical assets, the conditions of assets during precise future events, the rate of degradation of assets, the budgetary requirements, future service availability, and a range of other informational perspectives. Prescriptive analytical models can help the users understand what the most suitable decisions they can make based on such predictions are; this reduces expert reliance and enables a self-reliant approach toward mechanical asset management.
GIS technology offers a bird’s eye view over underground or overground mechanical assets spread across a vast footprint- maybe across an industrial facility, city, state or even a country. This technology is mainly used to detect mechanical asset failures in traffic systems, utility infrastructure and road and highway systems. Nevertheless, they can be implemented to represent any type of mechanical asset system. GIS maps tag critical assets by correlating the extreme conditions to their respective geolocations and colour coding them on a map, and This helps the emergency response teams, vulnerability assessment teams, and other asset decision-makers to quickly respond to asset conundrums in a fast, resourceful and cost-friendly manner.
IIoT technology allows mechanical asset managers to track down asset conditions, performance, and predictions on a granular scale by integrating data sources into one holistic system. This technology interconnects data streams flowing from ubiquitous data-rich sources in any IT ecosystems like websites, databases, applications, cloud drives, SaaS, CMMS models etc. It helps the mechanical asset managers to boost asset uptimes, improve OEE levels and optimise asset management efforts with real-time data manipulation. The IIoT technology acts as the neural system that powers all the other digital technologies to track asset conditions, monitor their health, map out asset life cycles, automate asset workflow and predict each asset or asset system’s maintenance requirements. It is the key to maintaining your mechanical counterparts in industry 4.0.
What Lies in The Future for Mechanical Maintenance?
Forward-thinking mechanical asset utilisers are far more intrigued by the adoption of technology, therefore, the future of mechanical maintenance depends on healthy learning cohorts, value-aligned mechanical asset management efforts, asset sustainability-driven business processes and the use of next-generation digital tools. The ability of an asset-dependent organisation to maintain its mechanical assets reflects the sustenance and resilience of the company in its future. We are walking into industry 4.0- where everyone involved in organisational growth, operational performance and risk mitigation are interconnected via a CMMS on their smartphones, with data-driven insights amplifying the potential of decision-makers to get rid of misleading estimations and start making impactful decisions. As fascinating as it sounds, it will be overwhelming for traditional mechanical asset managers to keep using preventive maintenance measures in the future; so, are they ready to evolve with new-age digital technologies?