The manufacturing industry often utilizes expensive and specialized machines to perform operations for production. These machines require both preventative maintenance and on the spot maintenance, which is not possible without a straightforward method of evaluating the serviceability of a machine.
One of the best methods of assessing and maintaining a large facility is machine monitoring. Apart from helping you know how the device operates in real-time, machine monitoring allows for immediate action to improve a machine’s efficiency.
What Is Machine Monitoring?
Machine monitoring is a process that involves the extraction, storage, and display of machine data in an industrial context. A machine monitoring system is a reliable, scalable system that turns manufacturing data into valuable real-time insights, providing better visibility and highlighting targeted improvements.
You can use machine monitoring to make significant improvements and maximize your company’s efficiency and profitability. It works by installing a machine monitoring system consisting of hardware and software tools for processing raw information coming from machines when in use.
A typical monitoring system includes the following:
- Industrial sensors
- Monitoring and analysis software
- Touchscreen interfaces
- IIoT platforms
- Frontline operations platform
Machine monitoring systems are used on a variety of industrial machines, including electric motors, pumps, compressors, heat exchangers, piping and steam boilers, and additional machinery.
Machine Monitoring Best Practices
Machine monitoring is easier to implement than you might think. Most modern systems come with plug-and-play software that requires an internet connection. Once you find the right machine monitoring system provider, here are the simple steps you should take:
Assess Your Current Needs and Capabilities
Start by assessing the number of machines you currently use on your shop floor, output diversity, production schedules, whether analog or digital, and operators’ importance.
You also need to check the kind of protocols the machine uses and whether the protocols are deprecated or proprietary. Finally, check your infrastructure and security requirements to make sure your standards are up-to-date.
Establish Your Machine’s Working Condition
Before you implement a machine monitoring system, you need to establish its current working condition. Some of the data points to assess may include the production capacity during uptime and downtime. For example, you could discover that your current uptime was only 60% when you thought it to be 80%.
Account for the Operator
Since machines do not operate in isolation, it is essential to consider the impact of the operator’s work on a machine’s performance. You could require your machine operators to enter reasons for downtime, process completions, and log errors at the source.
Applications can record the operator on duty, the machine program running at a particular time, and the operational hours of a machine.
Design Applications Unique to Your Operations
Once you have collected enough human and machine data, you can design unique applications to track production volume and quality throughout the value system. You can then scale the program to additional machines or the entire manufacturing plant.
Machine monitoring is essential in collecting and analyzing real-time data on your machine’s operation and condition. It can help catch and resolve machine faults quickly, improving productivity and efficiency.
To learn more about machine monitoring and how it can improve your manufacturing business, contact us today.