Understanding the Business Impact of Poor Equipment Monitoring

Posted by Rebecca Skubish on Feb 2, 2021 12:17:18 PM

In a perfect world, we could all have cutting-edge, “smart” machinery, all of which would be connected for perfectly streamlined processes. In reality, the most cost-effective solution is often to keep legacy machinery in service. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t update the way we use and maintain these machines. 

Modifying your approach begins with thorough equipment monitoring. How else can you know if a piece of equipment is running optimally or even what optimal performance looks like?

Below are some of the most common pitfalls you could stumble into if you neglect your equipment monitoring processes.

Downtime is costly, especially when it isn’t planned.

Downtime can’t be avoided, but scheduled maintenance is always preferable to surprise outages. In the event of unplanned downtime, production halts, sure, but the worst part is that you might not have the necessary parts or skilled resources available, at the moment you need them. Every minute you’re down is a minute that you aren’t producing or effectively using your resources.

By prioritizing equipment monitoring, you’ll be able to track the performance of a specific piece of equipment, identify maintenance needs in advance, and schedule downtime when it will affect your output the least.

It’s impossible to optimize time and resources. 

“Continuous Improvement” is the golden rule of manufacturing. We can always be doing something better, faster, and with less waste. But in order to strive for improvements, you need to know what you’re working with.

Through equipment monitoring, you can establish baselines and track variations from there. Once you’ve identified these variations, you can investigate and hopefully eliminate the root cause. This is an invaluable troubleshooting tool.

A lack of company-wide best practices.

Without the ability to closely monitor the performance of your machinery, cross-device comparisons are out of the question, not to mention cross-location collaboration.

If you have geographically disparate locations that are using the same equipment, they should be talking to each other. Improvements and mistakes at one location can (and should) inform how others are using and maintaining the same machinery.

Without concrete best practices, your workforce might feel like they’re aiming at a moving target, and leadership may struggle to hold responsible parties accountable for failing to meet expectations.

You have simple, cost-effective options.

The manufacturing industry has traditionally assumed that costly and complex modifications are the only way to extract important data from legacy machinery. This mindset is one of the greatest roadblocks companies face when attempting to tackle poor equipment monitoring.

Luckily, there are simpler and more effective options out there. Our Atoms are easily installed devices that track temperature, vibration, impact, and more to provide you with simple, straightforward information on the performance of your equipment. And the best part? Real-time, actionable data is accessible right in the app on your phone.

Request a demo to see how Atoms can give your legacy machinery a new life.

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Topics: Utilities, Digital Transformation, Machinery

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