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Add More Predictability to Maintenance

July 15, 2003

It might not be enough to know what is wrong with your assets and then make adjustments as necessary. Many companies that have been using predictive- or condition-based monitoring ," typically in conjunction with a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) to track maintenance work ," are starting to realize they could get much more mileage out of a proactive approach.

From reactive to proactive

"Rather than just focusing on doing things efficiently, they're more interested in doing the right things and doing those efficiently," says Brian Maguire, vice president of Ivara Corp., referring to companies that are ready to move beyond early predictive maintenance activities. As such, what these companies now would like to have is "a technically valid list of activities to proactively maintain those assets."

According to Maguire, many companies that have implemented predictive technologies have done so using individual isolated systems such as vibration systems. They often collect data from their production processes in a data historian, but have no easy way to pull the data together. "They're struggling with a gap between the predictive and the process data and the maintenance system that would execute that work," he says, explaining that Ivara EXP, an asset reliability application, helps identify the right work and then passes data to a CMMS system such as SAP.

The Ivara system recently became the first of its kind to have an SAP-certified interface to mySAP Product Lifecycle Management, which includes asset lifecycle management capabilities. EXP collects equipment condition data from controls, sensors, data historians, predictive maintenance technologies and visual inspections; consolidates and analyzes all condition data; identifies potential failures; and recommends corrective actions.

Using single or multiple data points to analyze the data, EXP applies defined rules and calculations to get a true picture of equipment health. Users can see the results through flashing alarms and trending graphs. Ivara 3.0 also offers built-in integration to OSIsoft's Pi and any OPC-standard data collection device.

"Rather than worrying about how efficiently they maintain the asset, they can focus on doing the right work to avoid having failures on those assets," says Maguire.

Personnel can initiate the compressor-balancing process using SmartSignal Equipment Condition Monitoring software.

Monitor in real time

SmartSignal Corp., which provides predictive technology for asset management, announced in May that it has joined forces with Indus International Inc. to deliver the industry's first real-time proactive work order maintenance solution. Indus' new CBM Connector, which has been integrated with asset management systems such as SmartSignal's Equipment Condition Monitoring (eCM) software to act as a combined enterprise asset management/condition-based monitoring solution, reportedly will provide more-accurate proactive maintenance planning based on actual real-time asset conditions.

Besides offering access to real-time equipment health, Indus ActionPoint Management solutions will be able to generate work orders based on SmartSignal incidents identifying deteriorating equipment conditions. It also will allow operators to use resources and plan logistical support more efficiently.

Companies using ActionPoint Management with the new CBM Connector, which leverages the Machinery Information Management Open Systems Alliance's (MIMOSA) CRIS Schemas, and eCM can move from the reactive to the proactive maintenance mode by using planned work orders in real time. SmartSignal maintains that eCM is the first predictive application to integrate advanced diagnostic functionality with early warning information, enabling companies to determine the reason for a potential equipment failure long before failure occurs. This capability helps companies maximize asset availability and improve return on assets.

Support for MIMOSA, as well as eXtensible Markup Language, will bring several key benefits to CBM Connector users, including simpler integration and deployment and flexibility for future integration of new monitoring technologies.

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