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What is Maintenance 4.0?
Industry 4.0, also known as the fourth industrial revolution, is the current trend of automation and data interconnection in industrial technologies. It includes the Internet of Things (IIoT), Wireless Sensors, Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning and Big Data.
The great challenge this revolution 4.0 poses is finding ways to interconnect the existing processes. It consists of using technology as a connector between machines, operations, equipment and people. With these 4.0 technologies, maintenance becomes simpler and it is easier to control and monitor operations.
Without innovation, the maintenance department loses strength and responsiveness. Using sensors, IIoT, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and other intelligent systems, we can quickly identify where failures are occurring. It’s possible to find out which equipment is being affected, what are the implications of these problems in the productivity and what is the best preventive maintenance plan to minimize failures. Therefore, it is important that the company’s maintenance plan is as optimized as possible to reduce these risks and losses.
Generally, when it is necessary to collect data on the state of the machines, we turn to technicians specialized in this area. In Maintenance 4.0, with the rise of new connected technologies, these tasks can be performed by machines, which maximizes the useful life of machine components and avoids failures. With Maintenance 4.0 technologies, data meets humans and not the opposite. Maintenance processes evolve from a preventive model to a predictive one, changing the focus from prevention to forecasting.
Some of the advantages of this new digital era include monitoring the investment and return on equipment, overcoming communication boundaries and projecting the organization onto the market. Big Data, for example, is a strong ally for maintenance focused on equipment reliability. Big Data technology, alongside Artificial Intelligence (AI), allows to determine with greater precision the useful life of equipment, the risk of failure and the respective impact on the system.
Preventive maintenance is based on the “prevention is better than cure” principle. As the name implies, it prevents the occurrence of failures in assets and equipment. This type of maintenance is carried out systematically, i.e., the equipment is inspected even if there is no sign of failure. This way, any failure is avoided as much as possible to ensure the proper operation and safety of the assets.
Predictive maintenance is based on the analysis of data collected through sensors and other technologies, which allow to measure a set of previously determined parameters and predict future behaviors.
Big Data is the term for the large volume of data – both structured and unstructured – that is part of companies. Big Data can be helpful in the search for insights to optimize the decision-making process and improve business strategies.
Many companies are currently investing thousands of euros in the development of artificial intelligence mechanisms. In the maintenance area, the cobots (robots that collaborate with human colleagues), the inspection drones and the cleaning robots stand out. These mechanisms are beginning to emerge quickly and play an essential role in the daily routine of the maintenance department.
Internet of Things
The acronym IOT stands for Internet of Things. This technology refers to the ability to provide a permanent internet connection to devices or objects. With a connection, these devices become identifiable on the network and can exchange information in real time.
Cloud Computing is the provision of computing services, including servers, storage, databases, network, software, analytics and intelligence, over the internet (the cloud) to deliver faster innovations, flexible resources and scale economies.
The Valuekeep solution connects maintenance technicians, equipment and managers on a single platform that accelerates operations and ensures real-time monitoring and cost control. Since we are talking about a cloud-based software, it is possible to handle processes quickly, anywhere.