Why is it so Difficult to Get IoT Data Into Your CMMS/EAM to Aide with Performance/Reliability Improvement and Condition-based Maintenance?
Scott Stukel, CMRP, Director of Asset Management and Reliability at Total Resource Management
When I was a Mechanical Engineering student in the mid-1990s I wrote my bachelor’s thesis on predictive maintenance for high speed aluminum can making production. I knew that what we were doing was a real game changer and could help asset & facility intense organizations evolve into the proactive and condition-based maintenance realm. The innovation that was available at the time allowed us to connect our Wonderware SCADA systems and our production equipment virtually so we could monitor and control our processes across the country from one location via computer network. We were able to identify changing equipment conditions, allowing us to make better decisions on throughput, quality, and maintenance. At the time, most CMMS/EAM products were client-server and proprietary technology, making it difficult to integrate with, but we still managed through database level data sharing and manual processes to streamline meter-based PMs and condition-based corrective action.
Fast forward 25 years, yes 25 years! It is alarming how few maintenance intensive organizations have yet to do even something as basic as what we did a quarter of a century ago. Few have made the connection from their SCADA systems to their CMMS/EAM, or even are routinely using SCADA data outside their operations organization, to improve maintenance, reliability, and address assets based on condition and performance versus time and after they fail. Why haven’t we evolved more? Why aren’t those same data points that show up on the operations console being fed to our maintenance systems?
Most assets of today are equipped with some level of electronic condition and performance monitoring. There are sensors all around us that tell operations what is going on and when something needs to be addressed. The data is there and available. However, we haven’t fully bridged the link from that equipment & operations information to our maintenance & reliability people who could greatly benefit from it. Why not?
I have been asking this question of industry for some time, and have received many perspectives on connecting SCADA/IoT with CMMS/EAM systems, a few of which include:
- Our SCADA systems are controlled by operations, it is very difficult for maintenance to get them to allow us access to the information.
- Getting the systems to talk requires a custom interface and our IT people are too busy or don’t have the experience to build one.
- Our CMMS/EAM system implementation wasn’t effective and/or isn’t capable of integrating with SCADA/IoT.
- We are too busy with fighting fires to focus on that.
Regardless of the reasons why you’re not doing it yet, the technology and know how is available today to enable meter-based preventive maintenance, alerts/alarms that trigger maintenance action, and condition-based maintenance & performance monitoring. There are IoT bridges available now to connect those systems and a wealth of knowledge in industry and with your peers to leverage to help you get there. Take the next step into the 1990’s, um I mean 2020’s.
I’d love to hear any thoughts or comments you have on this topic and what you’re doing to get there.
Please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any comments or would like to discuss this more.