The ability to tell in advance whether an instrument or analyzer is experiencing faults or is on the verge of failing is invaluable, especially in applications where accurate measurement is critical, either for quality, cost or safety purposes.
There are three maintenance strategies that instrumentation users could use – run to fail, preventive maintenance and predictive maintenance. Of these, predictive maintenance offers the advantage of knowing ahead of time when problems are likely to occur, allowing process owners to plan and prepare parts and maintenance to ensure disruption is avoided by keeping instruments at peak performance. It is one of several digital service solutions from ABB that provide support for our customers when and how they need it, from commisssioning solutions, through to training and troubleshooting.
With its power to identify when maintenance is needed, predictive maintenance is increasingly essential. Where at one time a maintenance engineer’s expertise could define a problem and when it will occur, now advanced data analysis provides detailed feedback on instrument health.
With its remote access, predictive maintenance is part of the growing move towards autonomous systems, such as self-driving cars and the lights off factory – the device is monitored and any problem will be detected within or around the device automatically. As well as identifying the problem itself, predictive maintenance technology can also highlight the root cause of the problem and calculate the timeframe within which it is likely to escalate, enabling informed decisions to be made on when and how to fix it.
When it comes to fixing a problem, the information provided by predictive maintenance can help to ensure that a correct spare part is dispatched automatically, and the customer is informed how to do the fix. Alternatively, an ABB service engineer, who is provided with the part can go to the site and performs the task.
ABB has already put many of the pieces into place to provide maintenance and service support, including ServIS, a system for storage and management of installed base information. This is connected to the contract management system, as well as to the ABB field service system to deploy an engineer to the job. This in turn is connected to an AR application, connected to the field service application to provide information about what the job is and how to carry it out.