The choice to continue using outdated legacy technologies and processes for maintenance activities can lead to a host of debilitating pain points. From increased unplanned downtime to longer production outages, greater labor inefficiency to less equipment reliability, and shorter asset life to additional safety risks, the list of challenges is daunting. Moreover, these outdated approaches often result in higher maintenance costs. However, a compelling alternative promises to address these pain points while delivering significant returns on investment — the adoption of connected worker solutions and mobile devices.
The Pain Points of Outdated Maintenance Operations
More Unplanned Downtime: One of the most glaring issues with outdated maintenance practices is the prevalence of unplanned downtime. Equipment breakdowns and failures occur without warning, leading to costly production interruptions.
Longer Production Outages: When maintenance activities are reactive rather than proactive, production outages tend to be longer and more disruptive. The longer a production line is down, the greater the financial losses.
Greater Labor Inefficiency: Outdated processes often require manual record-keeping, extensive paperwork, and time-consuming data entry. This inefficiency wastes valuable labor hours and increases the risk of human error.
Less Equipment Reliability: Legacy systems need more capability to monitor equipment health in real time. As a result, equipment reliability suffers, leading to more frequent breakdowns and repairs.
Shorter Asset Life: Inadequate maintenance practices can significantly reduce the lifespan of valuable assets, forcing premature replacements and incurring substantial capital expenses.
Additional Safety Risks: Aging equipment and inefficient maintenance practices pose additional safety risks to workers. Ensuring worker safety should always be a top priority in any industrial setting.
Higher Maintenance Costs: Reactive maintenance often leads to higher overall maintenance costs. Emergency repairs and expedited parts procurement can be expensive.
The Benefits of Connected Worker Solutions and Mobile Devices
Manage Worker Time More Effectively: Connected worker solutions streamline maintenance workflows by providing workers with access to real-time information, work orders, and equipment history. This improves task prioritization and time management.
Reduce Unplanned Downtime: Mobile devices equipped with predictive maintenance tools and sensors allow for early detection of equipment issues. This enables maintenance teams to address problems before they cause unplanned downtime.
Increase Overall Equipment Effectiveness: Proactive maintenance and condition-based monitoring result in increased equipment reliability and improved Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE). Higher OEE translates to more productive and profitable operations.
Reduce Maintenance Costs: Connected worker solutions enable more efficient use of labor and resources. Costs are significantly reduced by preventing unexpected breakdowns and optimizing maintenance schedules.
Make Smarter Decisions: Real-time data and analytics accessible through mobile devices empower maintenance teams to make data-driven decisions. This leads to better asset management and improved operational efficiency.
Greater Safety and Security: Connected worker solutions enhance worker safety by providing access to safety protocols, real-time monitoring, and emergency response features. They also enhance security through authentication and encryption measures.
The ROI of Modernization
The investment in connected worker solutions and mobile devices may initially seem substantial. However, the long-term return on investment is undeniable. Consider the following:
Cost Savings: Reduced unplanned downtime, lower maintenance costs, and increased equipment reliability contribute to substantial cost savings over time.
Increased Productivity: Improved equipment reliability and overall equipment effectiveness translate to increased productivity and higher output, directly impacting the bottom line.
Worker Efficiency: More effective use of time and resources leads to labor cost savings and improved operational efficiency.
Extended Asset Life: Proactive maintenance practices result in longer asset lifespans, reducing the need for costly replacements.
Safety and Compliance: Enhanced safety measures protect workers and prevent costly accidents and potential legal liabilities.
The pain points associated with outdated maintenance operations in industrial and process plants are numerous and costly. However, the adoption of connected worker solutions and mobile devices offers a compelling solution. Modernization delivers a substantial return on investment by managing worker time more effectively, reducing unplanned downtime, increasing equipment reliability, lowering maintenance costs, making smarter decisions, and enhancing safety and security. In today’s competitive landscape, the choice is clear: strategic investments in modern maintenance operations are not just an option but a necessity for sustained success and profitability.