“I think the biggest benefit of being able to monitor near real time machine health and performance is we consistently see our customers experiencing a significant reduction in unscheduled downtime.” – Reliability Development Manager, ATS
Manufacturers across a variety of industries are learning to leverage insights from machine condition data to prioritize corrective maintenance efforts and optimize preventive maintenance plans, while at the same time developing the capability to move to a predictive maintenance model. By monitoring the condition of equipment manufacturers are able to track and reduce mean time to failure and mean time to repair. With these insights and performance data, one can develop an improved maintenance strategy geared to lowering the cost of manufacturing and increasing production capacity.
A risk-based approach to operations and maintenance
At ATS Automation we have the benefit of working with numerous companies across a variety of industry spaces as we provide in-depth after-sales services for the capital equipment we design and build. From our experience and observations, a common characteristic of what we call high performance operators (manufacturers consistently operating at a high level of Overall Equipment Effectiveness), is that they understand the critical role each piece of equipment plays in the value stream. In other words, they have successfully performed a criticality analysis. With this understanding of the risk profile for each equipment type, the maintenance personnel and reliability engineers have leveraged this insight to develop specific maintenance plans that are geared to the risk profile of the equipment. These maintenance plans typically include a combination of run to replace, operator care, time based preventive maintenance and predictive or condition-based maintenance. We see the appropriate blending of these strategies as one key success factor these high-performance operators have been able to achieve.
How do you become a ‘high performance operator’?
Another success factor ‘high performance operators’ have in common is the ability to analyze key elements of manufacturing and maintenance data. The manufacturing/maintenance data produced on an organization’s shop floor hold the valuable insights and information that are required by the maintenance teams to establish and optimize maintenance and operations procedures that ensure high levels of availability and performance of the equipment. This data typically includes machine performance data, production results (including quality), and work history describing what changes were made to the equipment and when.
ATS Automation’s Industry 4.0 smart manufacturing system, Illuminate™ Manufacturing Intelligence, enables manufacturers to collect and analyze the manufacturing data that is required to guide operations and maintenance teams on how to prioritize work and optimize both predictive and preventive maintenance strategies. Illuminate monitors the performance of each production line component and allows maintenance teams to make data driven decisions.
One example of how Illuminate can support maintenance teams is its ability to leverage historical asset data stored in its database and track conditions such as the limit on how many cycles (or another type of interval) an asset can undergo before maintenance activities need to be performed. The preventive maintenance dashboard displays where each of your assets (and their sub-components) are in terms of how many cycles can be completed before they need some type of maintenance to be performed. Illuminate™ Preventive Maintenance provides a scheduling feature that gives manufacturers the ability to properly plan downtime and organize maintenance priorities (enhanced if predictive maintenance is present). Illuminate™ Preventive Maintenance can display the necessary steps and instructions for maintenance technicians performing the pre-determined maintenance tasks. These tasks are organized into a checklist that can be marked off as tasks are completed.
Illuminate™ Predictive Maintenance provides users with manufacturing asset health scores by leveraging real-time data such as torque, vibrations, cycle time, and other production factors. Illuminate™ Predictive maintenance can notify operators when assets are starting to perform poorly, enabling maintenance technicians to proactively perform maintenance before failure.
High performance operators have the ability to optimize maintenance strategies by leveraging powerful analytics from key data sources and working knowledge of equipment design and operation. By optimizing maintenance strategies, companies have been able to run at high levels of Overall Equipment Effectiveness and availability, thereby lowering their total cost of manufacturing.
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