Outsource Maintenance to the OEM with Industrial IoT

By Ralph Rio,

The prime reason most industrial plants still have internal, on-site maintenance staffs is to reduce repair times and unplanned downtime, which negatively impact revenue, customer satisfaction, cost, and other key business metrics. In most plants today, contracting with the equipment manufacturer for maintenance usually results in unacceptably long periods of downtime for critical equipment while waiting for a technician to arrive – particularly with the typical two passes required for inspection and repair.

However, emerging Industrial IoT (IIoT)-enabled condition monitoring and predictive maintenance approaches allow manufacturers to re-consider outsourcing to the OEM. Faced with the current skills shortage and other constraints, many will find OEM supplier-provided services appealing.

Outsource Maintenance to OEM?

An ARC Advisory Group survey indicated that the primary driver for IIoT adoption involved the need to reduce both downtime and mean time to repair (MTTR). Poor asset reliability and downtime negatively impact a variety of key metrics for manufacturing including revenue with lower capacity, customer satisfaction due to missed on-time shipments, quality, yield, and inventory turns with increased buffers to mitigate risk of equipment failure.

Common “Two-Pass” Repair Has Unacceptable Downtime

When an OEM or third-party service provider performs maintenance, a “two pass repair” is often needed – one visit for inspection to identify the needed parts and skills, and a second to actually perform the repair. This could easily turn into over a week of downtime for critical equipment, which is nearly always unacceptable. To be able to respond quickly to equipment issues, many manufacturers instead choose to have their own on-site, general-purpose maintenance staffs.


Predictive Maintenance with IIoT and Analytics

Now, with remote asset health monitoring using IIoT and well-crafted analytics, OEM’s can obtain advance warning of a failure and provide services for near-zero unplanned downtime. The OEM has an intimate understanding of the operating performance of the equipment it designed and built, enabling it to develop algorithms for successful early detection of issues – sometimes up to six months prior to failures.

With this advance warning, the OEM can either alert the end user or schedule repair with its own field service technician. In the latter case, the OEM technician’s deep understanding of equipment performance and repair knowledge typically translate into a higher first-time fix rate and longer mean time between failure (MTBF) compared to work by on-site, general-purpose technicians. IIoT-enabled remote monitoring and analytics make outsourcing maintenance to the OEM a practical business choice for manufacturers.

Reprinted with permission,original blog was posted here

About ARC Advisory Group (
Founded in 1986, ARC Advisory Group is a Boston based leading technology
research and advisory firm for industry and infrastructure.

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