Plant & Works Engineering
PdM can no longer be ignored
Published:  03 May, 2018

Industry 4.0 and The Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), presents huge opportunities for British manufacturing over the next decade, and the recent biennial co-location of events at the NEC, including Plant & Asset Management, Smart Industry Expo, Air-Tech, Fluid Power & Systems, Drives & Controls, and MACH left visitors in no doubt that the 'smartening' process of industry and manufacturing is going to change the face of global industry forever.

The idea relies on sophisticated software and machines that communicate with each other to optimise production. However in the UK there continues to be an enormous information vacuum, and it was this void which the recent events’ seminar programmes unsurprisingly focused on.

The various programmes throughout the duration of the co-location of events between the 10th -12th April at the NEC, Birmingham, highlighted global initiatives and the technological paradigm shift associated with the Industrial Internet of Things, and showed that there is a growing opportunity for industry to take advantage of the creativity and entrepreneurial nature of UK companies.

Ultimately the seminars highlighted that the uptake of smart technologies in the industrial sector will be central to our future, by improving our national productivity, creating higher value jobs, and arming our workforce with the digital skills required in the decades ahead. But the seminars also refreshingly highlighted the critical relevance of maintenance, an often understated topic in the digitalization conversation.

They emphasised that predictive maintenance (PdM) is an Industrial Internet of Things technology that is steadily growing in importance as a driver of value in modern manufacturing. And with predictive maintenance, sensors tap into the interconnectedness nature of IIoT in order to continuously capture in-service machinery condition data and combine it with data from other systems, such as ERP and CRM software. In this way, predictive maintenance detects the early warning signs of outages and triggers the necessary preventive measures.

To those who attended the recent seminars in Birmingham, the overriding message that people left with was that PdM is not only a cost-saving improvement on conventional maintenance strategies, but also a pivotal part of the Industry 4.0 landscape that cannot be ignored.