From the trailing edge of ‘fix when broken’ to ‘planned maintenance’ to the cutting edge of ‘objective maintenance’.

We are all very familiar and understand the value of RCM-driven planned preventive, and condition based (CBM), maintenance activities to maximize asset availability.  However, with the evolution of the internet and advances in engineering technologies, we can now take these maintenance philosophies to the next level and embrace the burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT), enabling real time automation of maintenance actions aptly termed CBM+.  

Background of IoT

Before we go any further, let’s first start by understanding what is meant by the IoT. Looking at how the internet evolved, as we moved from the Web 1.0 phase (starting in the late 80’s) where the worldwide web was merely a network of static web pages, through Web 3.0 (in 2006) where the push was more about social connectivity (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). All these developments were still mostly focused on humans interacting with machines or other humans.

Figure 1 - Technological Pillars of Industry 4.0
Figure 1 – Technological Pillars of Industry 4.0

Finally starting around 2009, the idea of machines interacting with other machines (autonomous cars, fully automated factories, etc.) constituted the next wave: Web 4.0 with 5G and beyond which combined with other advances is now called Industry 4.0.  It is here that we place the concept of IoT – it is a world of “smart” devices – devices that can exchange data bidirectionally with other machines and IT systems utilizing big data, and AI to then have the ability to make maintenance decisions without human interaction.   

This leads to “smart” weapon systems, factories, and including anyone operating and maintaining complex assets.

Leveraging IoT

With this concept in mind, ASI partnered with PTC to leverage their ThingWorx IoT platform to develop  an integrated best of breed solution using our OptiAM® Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) suite.  Logistics Product Data (LPD) can now be used to influence the location of IoT sensors and determine threshold for maintenance actions. 

 Figure 2 - ThingWorx IoT Platform Diagram
Figure 2 – ThingWorx IoT Platform Diagram

Word Order (WO) generation is automated based on designated triggers and intervals continuously optimized using AI/ML algorithms using predicted and measured failure data, all in a seamless and near real time scenario.  Feedback is also immediately available to the logisticians to update maintenance plans and supply support adjustments.

We are excited to promote this to all DoD platforms, depots and to industry verticals like facilities, vehicle/marine fleets, process industries like breweries, etc.

Vijay Chachra is a member of Andromeda Systems Inc. (ASI). Vijay is also CLEP’s Vice-President Training.