How to Reduce Machine Downtime in 2021
Manufacturers all across the world are focused on trying to reduce machine downtime. Why? Because it is one of the biggest obstacles to overcome in the manufacturing industry, and expensive to deal with. From the machine itself to the product that is not being produced, this valuable time can get expensive very fast. This makes it clear that you need to do anything you can, and have a strong emphasis on your efforts to reduce machine downtime.
What is the best solution?
As we have addressed, this is a huge problem. There are many ways to approach the issue, with one being the best, most efficient option that just makes sense. IIoT systems are the answer. Technology is advancing, automation is the future. Not just within the manufacturing industry, but in the entire world for every single thing we do in our daily lives. There is no way around it, that is the direction the world is going. If you want to stay in the game, you have to adapt.
“You can either ride the wave of change, or you will find yourself beneath it.” This is a quote I like to keep in mind. Picture yourself on a surfboard in the ocean, you are just sitting there relaxing, enjoying the view. A huge wave comes into view and is approaching. You can either keep sitting there and be consumed by the wave, completely submerged. Or, you can start paddling and put in the effort to catch the wave, ride it, and stay on top. The same principle applies to nearly every situation one might encounter today.
Companies that are thriving today are taking advantage of the technology that is available. What worked 20 years ago, is vastly different from what can lead to a successful business today. The “I’ve been doing this for 35 years and I’m still here today” mentality will not work anymore.
This is not just a new piece of equipment, people are calling this the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0). IIoT systems are not just for huge companies like General Electric. Remember when a 50” TV would cost you $3k 15 years ago? And now you can get yourself a brand new one for $200. Technology, in general, has become substantially cheaper, and more available.
How does IIoT Reduce machine downtime?
IIoT systems allow you to see everything that is going on inside of your machines. A set of sensors get placed onto the machines or we can connect directly into the machine and pull data out. We then connect the sensors or machine to a gateway edge device to filter and transform the data and then send it on to an IIoT platform. Then, tablets or TVs (which are cheap now as I mentioned in an illustration earlier, smooth right?) will display numerous dashboards showing an abundance of information from the IIoT platform. You can track the availability of products, increase productivity and performance, determine the real cause of problems, and of course, reduce machine downtime. The best part? You get all of this information in real-time!
No more spending time with machines off, inspecting them, doing routine, preventative maintenance to ensure nothing is wrong. This is all wasted time, very expensive wasted time! To do this manually, you have to stop production (wasted time), pay for someone to inspect the equipment (wasted time), and that is if there is absolutely nothing wrong with the equipment. If there does happen to be something that requires attention, that adds another level of problems that need to be diagnosed and fixed (wasted time). Our common goal here is to reduce machine downtime, not unnecessarily add to it.
It is expensive, and it is a headache to fix all of these problems. Even just diagnosing the issue, finding out why a machine stopped working is a long process that can be avoided. With all of the data gathered and alerts from an IIoT system, you will know exactly what is going on and have a chance to avoid the problem completely before it even happens. Now you’re moving into doing Condition-Based Monitoring and also Predictive Maintenance. You will also gather insights from the data, and know exactly why this issue occurred. That way you can know your machines better, make better-educated decisions, and have the time to shift your focus onto other aspects of your company. Using these tools correctly will reduce machine downtime substantially, and result in more time, and money in other areas, without the headache.
IIoT systems are the key to a lasting business in today’s manufacturing world. Automation is changing the way the world does business across the globe. Again, this is not just a new idea or piece of equipment, this is the fourth industrial revolution. Changes are taking place across the board. Learn more about your machines, gather data, insights, reduce downtime. Use this information to make easier, more educated, clear, and confident decisions. Ride the wave, don’t get caught beneath.
Feel free to contact us at Ectobox anytime. We are more than happy to answer your questions and help you along the way to reduce machine downtime and take your business to the next level.