Leverage Big Data to Improve Asset Reliability and Reduce Maintenance Outages

By Bil Khan posted 05-23-2012 09:12


The impact of equipment failures and plant outages on a company’s bottom line can be more devastating than one might imagine. Initially, because production capabilities are reduced or even shut down, the company’s top-line revenue plummets; and then the costs to produce additional product units go up as well.

Additionally, equipment and plant-related problems can lead to even bigger issues: heightened risk of environmental damages, increased legal and compliance costs, greater risk to maintenance workers’ safety, and brand deterioration. A company’s only defense is to ensure higher equipment reliability and a clear record of all maintenance activities, so they can proactively take action to prevent unplanned downtime that could affect their bottom line.

Plant maintenance and equipment failure analysis stretches across departments, divisions, regions, and even different organizations. You need to include all appropriate stakeholders, both within and outside of the organization, in collaborative processes that make it easy to track any information gathered along the way.

Collecting, storing, and retrieving all this data is critical to resolving an unplanned equipment failure. For example, vibration analysis, nondestructive testing results, and digital images should all be stored with the equipment data. This way, maintenance planners can more easily analyze relevant information to determine what improvements the regularly scheduled maintenance needs and improve maintenance frequency.

  • Having plant maintenance hierarchy and associated content – such as images of failed components – available from a single interface can cause the epiphany moment that makes you change the required lubrication frequency of a machine, thus extending the component’s run life
  • Accessing historical vibration analysis results allows you to replace a bearing before it fails, ensuring a shorter, planned outage rather than a lengthy, unplanned repair that might also cause collateral damage

A big-data strategy that integrates all relevant content with your plant operations means you can:

  • Enhance internal and external collaboration around plant maintenance
  • Improve equipment reliability
  • Reduce outages and costs due to a simplified process for collecting, storing, and retrieving maintenance information
  • Improve failure analysis and reporting
  • Increase regulatory compliance and reduce legal exposure through better records management, traceability, and auditability

#information governance #Collaboration #ECM #BigData #EnterpriseContentManagement #PlantMaintenance #InformationGovernance #ElectronicRecordsManagement #EnterpriseAssetManagement
1 comment


06-12-2012 12:22

I recently put a case for Big Data with the same case mentioned above. After some research we came across some proprietary software which again takes input from various sensors and sources and provides realtime monitoring and reports based on log data. Later we were able to successfully integrate this with SAP Plant Maintenance module using the SAP Process Integration tool of Netweaver. Moral of story, my whole big data project and idea to implement Hadoop/BigInsights/sorts never happened as an alternative gave a pro solution. I have noticed similar things in other domains except web2.0 startups where logs analysis tools are not present. Is there any other unique use case?