Near Zero Unplanned Downtime with Enhanced Condition Monitoring Using IIoT

By Ralph Rio

Category:
Industry Trends

End-users presented convincing case stories at the ARC Industry Forum in Orlando, Florida in 2017 on how Industrial IoT (IIoT) and condition monitoring provided improvements in performance. 

Condition Monitoring for Near Zero Unplanned Downtime

Wagner Emerick, Product Support Director, Sotreq, presented “Zero Downtime with Enhancing Information.”  This company, a distributor for Caterpillar that covers 75 percent of Brazil, has extensive experience with remote asset monitoring. This now includes 11,700 condition monitoring agreements, over 6,300 assets connected via satellite, and three condition monitoring centers. 

In the past, the distributor had more than 10 different applications that were not fully integrated.  This made it difficult for the company’s 18 condition monitoring analysts to share information.  Response times at 48 to 96 hours was an issue.  The fragmented approach with different databases and applications led to lost information.  It needed another approach to improve response times and generate new business.

Now, the condition monitoring analysts feed the systems with condition monitoring rules and standard jobs, so when a fault is found, the system identifies the replacement parts and sends a quote to SAP to support the broader business processes for selling services and parts, purchasing, inventory management, and executing maintenance.  The SotreqLink solution has three main layers for data storage, data processing, and integration.  Four interfaces are provided for customers, management, service and support, and sales teams.

Condition-Monitoring-Caterpillar.JPG
        Condition Monitoring using IIoT and Integrated with Business Systems

 

Benefits of Condition Monitoring with IIoT

Specific business improvements cited by Mr. Emerick included:

  • 30 percent reduction in Sotreq’s headcount for condition monitoring

  • Response time improved from 72 to 2 hours

  • Increased accuracy (first-time repair rate)

  • Applied machine learning to oil analysis and increased the accuracy of results from 15 percent to 75 percent.  Also, sped-up turnaround time for the analysis from an average of 60 hours to just 24 hours

  • In addition to preventing unplanned downtime, SotreqLink also improves the user’s operating costs

Lessons Learned:

This large software development application included both equipment condition monitoring and integration with SAP.  Choosing a partner with skills in both areas – automation systems for the equipment and ERP – was a key for success.

Sotreq has 30 years’ experience in condition monitoring that needed to be transferred to the partner in a way that fits the application.  Detailed documentation of the business process including the scenario, roadmap and steps for a multi-generation project was another key for success.

Sotreq implemented SAP and this SotreqLink in the same year.  This stretched and stressed resources leaving issues that were resolved later.  A better understanding of the size of these projects would have led to a more appropriate implementation timetable.

Video of the presentation containing slides and audio can be found here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUzXcBqVLto

To learn what your peer organizations are doing in this area and participate in the discussion about digital transformation, condition monitoring, and other IIoT-enabled solutions for industry, infrastructure, and smart cities, ARC invites you to join us at our upcoming ARC Industry Forum in Orlando, Florida, Feb. 11-15, 2018.

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