There's so much focus on big data streaming from remote mine sites into off site central hubs to enable allocated analysts to identify trends, outliers and potential lost production events. This data is generated from on board or SCADA connected sensors streaming data to analysis software monitoring values to trigger points.
Our ability to see, in real time, these values has helped asset managers make more effective and accurate decisions to use or not use an asset based on the conditions from these feeds.
But there is still one area that is being overlooked. One area that has changed little over the last 30-40 years when PM Servicing starting to evolve. Evolving from "fix it when it broke" philosophy to let's have a look at this more often and maybe stop it from breaking in the first place. These periodic inspections began to become more formalised and planned. Service/Inspection sheets developed or copied from one site and shared across many with a simple logo change.
Serviceman were employed to change the oil and filters and inspect for defects which began to see equipment started to become more productive with less breakdowns or long downtime periods changing major components out, adhoc. Oil samples are being taken, analysed off site and reported back to show what the oil is telling us about the component condition. Vibration analysis or strategically located sensors positioned to monitor temperature, pressure or cycles. As the site became more in-tune and aligned towards the benefits and successes of preventative maintenance practices, massive improvements began to benefit production output and reduced maintenance costs.
Today, many sites are very experienced and mature in Preventative and Proactive Maintenance strategies but in field information is still being collected on paper-based service sheets. Filed in large filing cabinets or archived in sea containers in case someone wanted to look at them when a failure has occurred. Defects are typically written on a pocket note pad or maybe on the actual service sheet, maybe. These defects are supposed to be added to the site CMMS, if they get time after the service before the end of the shift or worst, end of the swing. So often it's not done, it's left to someone else, who never turns up.
How often have you had a breakdown or major failure occur and you go back to the service sheet and there's nothing about any defect that should have been recorded or that there is a note that there is a problem but the CMMS has no record of this. It's happening still today. Any site you go too you will hear of the stories just like this. Someone knew about the problem but no action taken.
So how can this be resolved? How can we get this information, analysis it and be ahead of the failure. How can we be in tune with the assets condition from all monitoring aspects as well as these physical inspections, as we call it, Sensory Based Data.
What the guys in the field are seeing, smelling, hearing and touching is critical. What do they know and how can this be presented in near real-time as seen with Sensor Based feeds.
To achieve this, we need to have electronic data collection methods, in the field during the service/inspection process. We need to ask the technicians very specific questions and receive this information in a format that can be trended or correlated for further analysis. Defects need to be captured electronically and feed into the CMMS so that it is registered, transparent and actionable.
With this, align these pieces of information with other sources so that the full picture is presented so that more effective decisions can be made. Connect to the big data source, the sensor based feeds the web based oil sample results, data that is relevant to determining the condition of the asset. If three pieces of information is available and analysed during the decision making process then you'll have a higher success rate of making the right decision.
The missing link in much of the narrative today is the Sensory Based Data. The feedback from the field in an electronic format that can be correlated with these other data forms needs to be in place. We need to asked very specific questions based on FMECA or experience and we need to present this information in an easy to access and interpret format.
Trend values and compare trends across the fleet
This technology is available and in use now. These solutions are in play and making a difference in maintenance management and asset health understanding. Combining Sensory Based Data and Sensor Based Data must be part of the overall digitization strategy if you're wanting to achieve the results you're expecting.
Visit https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/missing-link-russell-harland/?published=t to see the LinkedIn article