Industrial IoT (IIoT) is being applied at industrial plants, commercial facilities, cities, and equipment OEMs. Among these types of users, this Insight focuses on how and why equipment OEMs are adopting IIoT for aftermarket services and field service management. It also provides those in the other segments reasons to include IIoT in their equipment selection criteria. The recommendations include:
- For remote monitoring services, OEMs need to manage the business processes from alert through to servicing equipment
- Include “viable IIoT services” in equipment selection criteria
- Field service management (FSM) solution providers should test and document the integration of their software with IIoT solutions that provide remote asset monitoring
Field Service Management Changes with IIoT
Why do owner/operators have a general-purpose maintenance staff onsite? The alternative is to have the OEM’s field service technicians maintain the equipment. Unfortunately, without remote monitoring, this leads to unacceptably long unplanned downtime for critical equipment. IIoT makes it practical for the owner/operator to outsource maintenance to the OEM - particularly with complex equipment. Here is why.
Reactive Field Service and Two Pass Repair
Prior to IIoT and remote asset health monitoring, maintenance of critical equipment by the OEM was impractical. When the equipment fails, the OEM or its local dealer would be called to notify them of the problem with an urgent request for a technician. If the issue is difficult, the first field service visit typically becomes an inspection to assess the problem and determine the needed skills, parts and tools. Then, during a second field service visit, the repair is actually made.
Each field service visit involves a call center, scheduling the technician, and travel to the site. With two service calls, the unplanned downtime could easily extend to two weeks. For most equipment – particularly when needed to produce goods – this is unacceptable, often resulting in production losses, missed shipments, and lost revenue. To avoid the associated reduced revenue and profits, manufacturers employ an onsite maintenance staff to obtain a faster response time.
One Pass Planned Repair with IIoT and PdM
With remote asset health monitoring services for predictive maintenance (PdM), the OEM can identify and repair the problem before unplanned downtime occurs. The proactive repair and high “first time fix rate” (FTFR) by the OEM avoids lost revenues for the manufacturer. This improves customer satisfaction at the executive level with high likelihood of repeat sales. Elevator manufactures have told ARC their FTFR rose from 65 percent to 90 percent using IIoT and PdM.
By adopting these technologies, nearly every aspect of the business process from triage to servicing equipment can be automated. Analytics can take the form of first principle engineering models, machine learning, or both to generate an alert that provides advanced warning of the failure. A modern FSM application supports both technician scheduling and route optimization. OEMs tell ARC that 30 percent or more of the repairs can be made via the web by modifying parameters remotely or with minor assistance by an onsite person.
IIoT and the business process automation make both the cost and speed of maintenance by the OEM more attractive. Consider the combination of remote monitoring, alerts prior to failure, schedule optimization, one pass repair, high FTFR, and a significant portion of repairs occurring without a service call. Meanwhile, equipment continues to become more complex and a large portion of experienced technicians are retiring. ARC expects high growth in maintenance outsourcing as this business model matures.
Based on ARC research and analysis, we recommend the following actions for owner-operators and their suppliers:
- For revenue growth, OEMs should adopt IIoT for remote monitoring and predictive maintenance services - including managing the business processes from alert through to servicing equipment, which may include dealers and third-party contractors.
- Asset owner/operators that purchase equipment should include “viable IIoT services” in their selection criteria for both plant upgrades and other equipment replacements.
- FSM solution providers should test and document the integration of their software with the IIoT solutions that OEMs are adopting for maintenance services.
Recent ARC Forum Interview:
Watch this related interview with Ralph on improving enterprise asset management and field service management with IIoT (6 minutes)
Improving Asset Performance Management and Revenue with IIoT