Embracing Industry 4.0 in Utilities with Predictive Maintenance

Industry 4.0 is bringing massive disruption into Utility sectors, leveraging new technologies such as IoT & data analytics. Predictive Maintenance has become a unique competitive differentiator to improve operational performance and strategic decision making.  A recent study by Consulting Company PWC notes that approximately 58% of Utility companies said they need a mechanism for predicting equipment failure. The benefits of implementing a Predictive Maintenance model in industry 4.0 extend far beyond simply extending asset lifespan, allowing organisations to:

  • Increase Efficiency: Predictive maintenance leverages real-time data to address failures before they occur, avoiding unplanned asset downtime and leading to greater efficiency.
  • Data-Driven Decision Making: With the provision of early warnings, operators can make safe and responsible decisions on how to best correct a utility system issue.
  • Extend Asset lifespans: Poorly maintained assets experience increased wear and tear, shortening potential lifespans. Avoid the inefficiencies associated with unnecessary equipment replacement with predictive maintenance.
  • Reduced Costs: It’s often cheaper to make repairs to equipment before it fails. Failed equipment leads to unplanned outages and significant costs.
  • Avoid unplanned downtime: Increase customer satisfaction by identifying problems in advance using analytics. Consumers want to know about potential outages to allow for planning
  • Capture ‘Tribal Knowledge’: Reduce data silos and transform knowledge into processes through predictive maintenance. Ensure that maintenance decisions and processes are repeatable, so experienced insights can be inherited by all staff.
  • Become safety compliant. Predictive maintenance helps Utilities better mitigate safety risks, allowing for greater degrees of asset transparency.

Utility organisations may not have the right processes to support predictive maintenance, requiring the improvement of business processes and IT infrastructure. While presently, most Utilities follow a person-centric approach, the time has come to adopt a data-driven culture to reinforce viability in Industry 4.0. Utility companies can develop capabilities in five key areas to propel Predictive Maintenance maturity.

  1. Processes: Implement processes that will drive predictive maintenance.
  2. Data: Make sure data required for these processes is available.
  3. IT Infrastructure: Install the IT infrastructure needed to support these processes.
  4. Performance Measurement: Monitor asset performance and check against objectives.
  5. Organisation: Ensure organisational structures needed to support an improvement in Predictive Maintenance are in place.

Predictive Maintenance with GeoPal

By developing industry-specific solutions powered by IoT and GeoPal’s Mobile Workforce App, we have managed not only to transform our clients’ workforce productivity and asset availability but have also contributed to help them achieve consistent levels of service excellence. GeoPal is an IoT enabled Cloud Service and Mobile App that transforms Asset Management and Field Service Organisations from a reactive, break-fix service model to a predictive model.

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