Plant & Works Engineering
‘Future of Maintenance’ Whitepaper launched
Published:  03 January, 2017

Maintec 2017 (Birmingham, NEC March 21-23) will include a range of educational seminars, which is being supported by the publication of new research that addresses how The Internet of Things (IoT) is set to change the way that maintenance engineers go about their roles. The research is presented in the form of a whitepaper - The Future of Maintenance Engineering: How the Industrial Internet of Things Will Deliver Smarter Factories with Reduced Downtime and Lower Repair Costs.

The whitepaper – currently in its first draft, with updates to follow – gives examples of forward-thinking companies that are employing IoT technologies to improve the way they service products. For example, Rolls-Royce embeds its aircraft engines with sensors so that performance data can be collected in flight, enabling maintenance engineers to mobilise to make repairs as soon as the plane has landed. Industrial group ThyssenKrupp installs its lifts with a suite of sensors that send real-time data to the cloud, enabling engineers to calculate the remaining life of key components. Even pest control firm Rentokil is using IoT-based technology to connect rodent traps so that its technicians can plan their service checks in a more efficient and time-saving manner.

The whitepaper also looks at how maintenance engineers are starting to use advanced IoT-enabled technologies such as augmented reality to improve the way they repair faulty equipment. Companies such as Vuforia are supplying software that can transform tablets into augmented reality devices, displaying data such as flow rates or vibration levels over physical assets. Such technology could also be applied to wearable devices such as augmented reality glasses, where maintenance engineers are presented with key graphics and data in their line of sight.