What are the Best IIoT Projects to Start With?

Preventative Maintenance
Facility Management
Asset Managment

The difference between computer-aided facility management (CAFM) software and computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) software has to do with scope and focus. CAFM software helps facilities

The best Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) projects to start with are small ones that meet a specific business need. Once you experience some success, you can increase the size and scope. Here are three areas where vendors and manufacturers have found an excellent return on investment: quality control within your facility, equipment monitoring for predictive maintenance, and GPS tracking and asset tagging for location. Many more areas hold potential as well. As a result, Bain & Company, a global management consultancy firm, predicts that these three areas, in particular, will grow rapidly in the near future.

These key areas are expected to make the largest contribution to the growth of IIoT, which Bain predicts will have a total market value of $200 billion by 2021.

Quality Control in Your Facility

Although sensors have been part of industrial facilities for years, the recent developments in analytics software, as well as drop-in sensor prices, have made quality control an easy starting point for using IIoT technology to make huge strides.

Here’s an example. Minute puffs of air place semiconductor chips on circuit boards. These machines take into account the surrounding temperature and humidity to perform their duties; however, these environmental factors can change when a maintenance technician is nearby. Because the machines operate on very tight tolerances, the slightest environmental change can affect the quality of the semiconductor placement. Humidity and temperature sensors send real-time readings to software, and IIoT intelligence makes equipment adjustments to improve quality.

Equipment Monitoring for Predictive Maintenance

Asset-intensive industries such as construction, manufacturing, and logistics are particularly interested in improving equipment monitoring so they can apply more predictive maintenance tasks to their daily work. Companies in these industries want to balance out their overworked and under-utilized equipment, know where all their assets are located, understand the lifetime value of equipment, and see how they can catch risk factors before they result in downtime.

IIoT solutions allow maintenance managers to automate mundane tasks such as rule-based decisions or regulatory data collection and shift their work to decision-based tasks.

GPS Tracking and Asset Tagging

Remote monitoring is the final area to focus on in terms of IIoT project implementation. If you are still sending out technicians to record remote equipment data, you’re missing a great automation opportunity. Inexpensive sensors are now available to automatically send your remote data to your CMMS regularly, providing you with more reliable information at a fraction of the cost. Today’s IIoT systems can allow seamless integration from the data collection point through mobile devices and into your overall CMMS

managers automating various aspects of facility management, including real estate usage. CMMS, on the other hand, is usually part of a CAFM package and its capabilities go much deeper into managing maintenance operations.

While there are many similarities between the two, it’s important to select the software that best meets your unique needs. Here are the ideal use cases for both:

CAFM Use Cases

Facilities managers who need a bigger picture of what’s happening within their entire properties may want to use CAFM software. This tool helps managers find patterns and analyze different aspects of their facilities so they can make smarter business decisions.

For example, CAFM software can record maintenance and repair information so you can see how your budget is being allocated. This may help you identify areas for cost control. In addition, CAFM can help you understand the condition of your critical assets, see work order and repair history, and keep track of warranties.

Finally, CAFM contains a contractor database that can be used to more efficiently hire outside resources when required. This component includes important data such as contractor location, certifications, and contact information, as well as the ability to generate work order invoices and collect feedback on contractor performance in one location.

CMMS Use Cases

CMMS software gives maintenance managers and maintenance technicians a more detailed look into the maintenance operations of a facility. This type of software allows you to keep track of work costs and orders, machine history, and labor records on critical equipment. Not only do maintenance managers have access to this information so they can make higher-level business decisions, but all maintenance technicians can also tap into this data to complete individual work orders more effectively.

One of CMMS software’s strengths is its ability to automatically generate preventive maintenance work orders on a predetermined schedule. Effectively, this allows both on-site and contractors can know exactly what their next workday will look like.

In addition, the data collected and organized through a CMMS system can help facilities managers meet regulatory and compliance requirements more easily.

Facilities managers can work with the executive business team to determine whether CAFM, CMMS, or an integrated system would best serve your company’s needs effectively.

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