5 Stages of Equipment Life

Throughout your equipment’s life cycle there are points where IoT can really make a difference. In order to fully maximize your ROI, understanding when to add value with IoT is vital.

1.Specification

Often, failures occur when equipment isn’t the correct type for the application or is used incorrectly. Do your research and figure out exactly what you need ahead of time to aid in preventing failures down the line. Even after equipment is installed, IoT can be used to assess if the equipment was correctly specified. 

2.Installation

The life of equipment largely depends on how it is installed and assembled. If mistakes are made when installing, or if it is configured incorrectly, you will experience issues and potentially decrease the equipment life expectancy. To help avoid this, make sure your team or external service group is very experienced with your particular equipment. 

IoT can come in handy in this step. You can add sensors to the equipment, and watch the data in live mode to make sure everything is operating properly. If some measurements are coming back at abnormal operational levels, then your technician can take a look at what may be going wrong and solve the issue- before the machine is officially running in production. Check out our Simplicity IoT solution here.

3.Typical Operations

The equipment is up and running. Performance may appear to be fine, but there could be underlying issues and small rising indications of failures that are difficult to perceive. Unless you are monitoring the equipment 24/7, you will miss important signals about your equipment health. 

Using IoT to continuously monitor when equipment is performing at normal levels is the best way to keep the equipment operating efficiently. By having sensors on the equipment and checking the data regularly, you are able to catch slight abnormalities and monitor issues before they cause major problems.

Another thing you can do is set up alerts so you are notified when the equipment’s operating conditions fall out of specified parameters. By creating thresholds, you can alarm for if the normal levels fall between 10 and 20, anything outside of that range to trigger an alarm and will notify you to check on the equipment. 

4.Pre-failure operating conditions

The equipment is now visibly showing signs that something is not right. It may be giving off excessive amounts of heat, maybe it has slowed down in production, or maybe it is shutting on and off. Whatever the issue, downtime needs to be scheduled.

You can use IoT to diagnose what the problem is. If you already have sensors installed and alerts configured, you will receive an alert and can pull out the data to look at the trends and understand what is going on and when it happened. By having all historic equipment operating data at your fingertips, you will be able to find when and how it started. Some IoT technologies have the ability to look at data locally with a faster response time to understand how changes affect the equipment.

5.Post-failure operating conditions

The machine has shut down and is causing downtime. This now requires lots of maintenance cost and downtime. Identifying the error source here is crucial to reduce the changes of the same failure happening again in the future. 

IoT can help drastically, if you were monitoring the equipment already, you can dig into the data to see which components have begun to spiral downhill. There will be indicators of when the failure started to occur that once you identify it, you are on your way to getting the equipment back up and running.

Another useful thing you can do with IoT in this stage is you can flag the failure pattern. If a piece of equipment starts to produce data matching this pattern, the Cloud will now flag it for your review. This will drastically reduce common failures, and will help increase productivity and efficiency, among other benefits.