Archive | Homepage-Right-Side


2:59 pm
August 9, 2017
Print Friendly

GE Adds More IIoT Services to their Portfolio

xgeoogoThe devil is always in the details, but a new service model from GE, called Acceleration Plans, offers to help customers grow with IIoT applications, be it with maintenance, training, or the adoption of managed service capabilities.

According to the press release from late July, Acceleration Plans offer three tiers of increasing value depending on customer needs. These tiers provide the necessary tools and guidance to make new software installation and adoption successful and help maximize return on investment.

“Only 15% of software deployments are considered very successful. Organizational readiness, support, training and data quality need to be accounted for if positive business outcomes are going to be generated,” says Chad Naeger, Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Success Officer for GE Digital.

Maintenance Technology’s Take
Manufacturers struggle with mountains of plant data is well documented, along with new platforms and processes is begging for service experts to provide an essential role for most manufacturers. More services is where GE is going — along with others. GE also offers machine health kits called Digital Machine & Equipment health starter kits to help manufacturers start small and evaluate machine monitoring strategies. For more information on these kits, visit Rapid Start Services page.

>> More details about Acceleration Plans can be found here.


7:45 pm
July 26, 2017
Print Friendly

Interview | Insights on How to Engage with IIoT

The headline could also be another way of saying, how to sell IIoT to management? A recent webinar via Maintenance Technology (via link) revealed how a Hank Ward, aGlobal Asset Management Lead at MolsonCoors approached selling a MRO data optimization project to management. In Ward’s case, he tied it into a bigger Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)integration project to justify the cost.

In this seven-minute video, it’s more of the same. Brun Mommens, IoT and M2M Solutions Lead for Delaware Consulting, talks about how to engage the IIoT process within a company and, of course, sell it to decision makers. Topics include organization design thinking sessions, IT/OT, and case studies.


7:30 pm
July 20, 2017
Print Friendly

White Paper | Digitizing Vibration-Based Condition Monitoring

1707wp_proftechnikThis white paper provides a workforce perspective on automating the process of acquiring vibration data on rotating equipment, along with engineering practices and a case study on condition monitoring with wind turbines — fastest growing profession in the U.S. is a wind turbine technician.

The white paper comes from German-based PRUFTECHNIK Inc. and here’s an excerpt of the white paper:

In this white paper we are exploring how these new technologies will empower technicians and engineers to efficiently and accurately predict and analyze wear and damages in rotating equipment and how these new technologies are boosting the effectiveness of the vibration analyst. The result is an accrued efficiency of industrial production units, marine vessels and offshore units, rendering them safer, less polluting and more profitable.

If the skill of vibration analysts could be used mainly to analyze problems rather than going through huge amounts of data or walking through the factory to collect data, then this would decuple the efficiency of the analyst and – along the way – remove the often boring part of the job. Automating the data acquisition, generating exception reports, recognizing aberrant conditions and even identifying or eliminating plausible causes for an aberrant vibration signal will certainly point the analyst in the right direction.

Download the White Paper Here >>


4:41 pm
July 7, 2017
Print Friendly

Oil Supermajor Identifies Efficiencies via IIoT

oil and gas platform

In the June issue, I highlighted how remote monitoring is taking hold in the oil and gas industry, namely shale applications, and just recently Norway’s Statoil released their 2020 digitalization plan. The supermajor energy company, known for offshore oil drilling, is forecasting $1.2 to 2.35 million of new R&D for digital technologies, as well as the implementation of them.

The company mentioned seven areas of interest about the 2020 roadmap and one is the digitalization of work processes and increasing efficiency “by minimizing the need for manual, repetitive tasks.” The push for more condition monitoring in offshore applications is happening as service providers, such as Emerson Automation Solutions provide remote, turnkey solutions.

The other areas care advanced data analytics and machine learning that means more sensor for pumps and motors. The third is robotics drilling and remote control operations in the future.

Elisabeth B. Kvalheim, Statoil’s chief technology officer, says,“Automated drilling is one of the areas where we have come furthest with digitalization, but work is ongoing in several areas. We have only seen the beginning of the innovation opportunities offered by digitalization. Just think of the possibilities if artificial intelligence can analyze all our seismic data.”

According to Statoil, automated drilling has the potential to drill wells up to 15-20% faster by 2020.

The interesting backdrop to all of this is Statoil is the only supermajor in the industry that is going full-bore with offshore drilling operations, as the others look to leverage digitalization efficiencies in traditional oil fields, transport, and shale wells.

“Digitalisation can help improve the safety and security of our operations, both by means of data that provide us with a better decision-making basis, and through reduced exposure in risky operations,” says Eldar Sætre, Statoil’s chief executive officer.

Rapid change in operations is the reality in today’s oil and gas landscape.




For more IIoT coverage in maintenance and operations, click here! 


12:02 am
June 15, 2017
Print Friendly

Automated Predictive Maintenance Approach Listens to the Past

Fig. 1. The cavitation that caused this piston pump to fail catastrophically, to the point of melting the piston shoes, could have been detected weeks in advance through sound predictive maintenance.

The cavitation that caused this piston pump to fail catastrophically, to the point of melting the piston shoes, could have been detected weeks in advance through sound predictive maintenance.

The promise of automated predictive maintenance practices or condition monitoring seems like falling off a log by some solution providers, but the challenge is difficult with legacy systems and workflows. Also, most legacy plants are dealing with hybrid practices: part paper-based procedures and digital data coming from productions systems.

For manufacturers in modernization efforts, mountains of data is a real problem and especially when end users begin to implement automated predictive maintenance practices. Yeah, we have data but how do we act on it?

A new post by Annon Shenfield at IIoT World discusses the ability to fine-tune your automated predictive maintenance approach by recognizing the right “leading signals” and discusses the transition away from manual routines.

However, with automated PdM, a part of the intimate relationship between the technician and machine is broken, which makes understanding anomalies detected remotely very difficult.

Shenfield, the CEO of 3D Signals, discusses how sound can still be one of these go-to leading signals in automated Pd’M routine.

Sound as a leading signal for automated PdM enables detection and classification of a wide range of mechanical phenomena, often sooner than other sensing methods. This is due to the simple fact that moving parts – whether solid, liquid or gas – produce a unique sound pattern, and when something in that movement changes, even slightly, the sound produced changes too.

Read Aaron Shenfield’s Post Here >>




For more IIoT coverage in maintenance and operations, click here! 


2:07 am
June 1, 2017
Print Friendly

ITT Pro Services i-ALERT Ai Platform Makes Any Machine Smart

Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 8.56.19 PMITT PRO Services (Seneca Falls, NY) has announced the launch of the i-ALERT Ai  (asset intelligence) platform. Leveraging the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), this web interface allows users to manage and monitor all of their i-ALERT2-enabled rotating equipment and sensors in one place, from anywhere in the world.

How It Works
According to ITT, the Ai platform is the latest service to be introduced since the May 2015 launch of the company’s i-ALERT2 Bluetooth Smart-enabled machine health monitor.

Available on a subscription basis, the i-ALERT Ai platform requires no downloading of software or dedicated hardware to run. With it, users can view trend data, machine notes, technical data, and vibration spectrum data collected by way of the i-ALERT2 application (app), all visualized in a simple timeline.

The new offering complements the i-ALERT2 route customization feature (introduced in 2016) that is said to cut collection of machine performance data by as much as 50%. After setting up designated routes with the i-ALERT2 mobile app, technicians are automatically guided to various assets and advised on the types of data to collect. Once a route is completed, the app automatically generates a report and emails it to the user.

Capabilities, Benefits
The i-ALERT Ai platform incorporates a number of noteworthy features that provide a variety capabilities and benefits, including, among others:

  • Asset Intelligence: Users can monitor the health of any rotating machine, i.e., pumps, motors, fans, mixers, gearboxes, and more. The technology tracks 3-axis vibration, temperature, kurtosis, and machine run-time. Data is logged every hour or on an alarm event.
  • Ease of Use: The free mobile app and simple interface put machine monitoring capabilities in the hands of any user.
  • Time Saving:: The app can quickly scan multiple machines at once and cover more equipment with fewer resources, freeing time for analysis and troubleshooting.
  • User Safety: A Bluetooth Smart wireless connection allows monitoring from safe distances.
  • Early Detection: Users can view real-time and historical data, diagnostic information and machine records. This provides them with the data necessary to make informed decisions.
  • Problem Solving: The platform makes advanced vibration diagnostic tools available to anyone who can use a smartphone or tablet.

For more information, including to view several short videos about using the i-ALERT Ai platform, CLICK HERE.


12:02 am
June 1, 2017
Print Friendly

IIoT Platform Lifting Automotive OEM to Better Uptime

Sometimes it’s hard to realize with so many articles on advanced sensing or new platforms that IIoT initiatives have been with us for some time. Automotive OEMs are well known for their platforms and ability to scale new technology. The automotive industry drove IIoT projects in the early part of this decade as factory utilization and low-interest rates pushed this advanced technology approach forward. (Ford had a credit line of $7 billion with the U.S government…nice deal).

A recent post from the Robotics Industries Assn.’s page describes a recent initiative by GM to decrease downtime with their robotic processes. The company, worldwide, employs over 35,000 robots at its plants and 95% are FANUC.

General Motors is putting IoT and the building blocks of Industry 4.0 to work – today. The automaker’s robot supplier and strategic partner, FANUC America Corporation, is helping GM build a strong foundation for smart manufacturing. GM, FANUC, and networking giant Cisco together developed the Zero Down Time (ZDT) solution. ZDT uses a cloud-based software platform to analyze data collected from robots across GM’s factories in order to detect potential problems that could lead to production downtime.


The takeaway from the article is that this Big Data component is a proprietary solution with FANUC robots, which differs greatly with current IIoT solutions.

A little about the rollout:

GM started slowly, connecting a couple thousand robots over the first year or two. But by fall 2016, GM had over 6,000 robots connected to the ZTD platform, and just six months later over 8,500. Right now, the solution is focused on FANUC robots and FANUC robot-controlled processes. There’s no intention to connect robots made by other manufacturers.

Read the Full Article Here >>

For more IIoT coverage in maintenance and operations, click here! 


2:06 pm
May 30, 2017
Print Friendly

Reliable Plant 2017 Makes Successful Stop in Columbus

Jason Sowards
Editor in Chief, Machinery Lubrication magazine, Noria newsletters

The 18th annual Reliable Plant Conference & Exhibition recently welcomed nearly 1,600 industry experts, leaders and decision-makers from around the world to the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio, for three days of learning and finding solutions to plant problems. The premier event for lubrication, oil analysis, and reliability professionals drew delegates from 40 U.S. states and 28 countries, including groups of individuals from top organizations such as Cargill, Chevron, Citgo, Entergy, Honda, Ingredion, Lafarge Holcim, Michelin, and Whirlpool.

2017 Reliable Plant attendees visit with exhibitors to acquire best practices.

2017 Reliable Plant attendees visit with exhibitors to acquire best practices.

“We really enjoy coming to this conference,” said J.R. Nield of J.R. Simplot. “It gives me the opportunity to bring my frontline guys to get them some education and some good training so that they can get their feet on the ground with oil analysis, proper techniques, and the things we do onsite to save us money. There are numerous classes on different days and always something to learn no matter what level you are.”

Case Studies, Learning Sessions

Nearly 100 learning sessions on a variety of topics were available for attendees to choose from, including how reliability drives the bottom line, getting the most out of your maintenance efforts, best ways to predict and monitor system availability, and a complete guide to root-cause analysis.

Case-study presentations were given by a number of prominent end users, such as Nissan’s Mark Beatty, who detailed how the Nissan North America plant in Smyrna, TN, continued its journey to lubrication excellence after winning the John R. Battle Award from the International Council for Machinery Lubrication (ICML). Attendees learned how the plant was able to sustain its lubrication program, obtain management and employee buy-in, reduce downtime, and save money, as well as how these same steps could be used to achieve results in any organization.

In their session, John Sexton and Douglas Bowker of BASF discussed how to use key performance indicators (KPIs) to manage and improve a reliability program. They also offered real-world examples of a reliability dashboard and took the audience step by step through each part to show how it was developed, how it is used, and what value it can add.

Weyerhaeuser’s Christopher Brokopp presented an intriguing case study on how to change a lubrication culture. The importance of proper lubrication fundamentals and the right lubricant quantities were addressed, along with advice for using technologies such as ultrasound and vibration.

Paul Kimble and Jeremy Jeffers from the General Motors metal-stamping plant in Marion, IN, described how their facility was able to develop an online vibration program to monitor its stamping presses, which has resulted in detecting numerous anomalies and saving hundreds of hours of downtime. Attendees heard how the plant went from trying to collect vibration data once a month with a handheld data collector to collecting data every hour, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year while monitoring more than 1,000 points.

Michael Macsisak explained how Nestle Purina was able to successfully implement predictive maintenance (PdM) at its plant in Allentown, PA, including how the organization developed its PdM program and kept it moving forward, which PdM tools were the most effective, and how PdM helped the plant add to its bottom line.

Ford Motor Company’s Gordon Van Dusen and William Harmych revealed how Ford performs root-cause analysis for its equipment failures using a team approach. A step-by-step process of conducting a root-cause analysis and the importance of communicating your findings were shared, as well as advice for selecting the right team to perform the analysis, identifying the root cause rather than the symptom, and the advantages of integrating the analysis into a maintenance data system.

“I attended every session I could, and they were all good,” said Elvis Reid, maintenance supervisor at the Saint-Gobain Abrasives plant in Brownsville, TX. “It was all new information to me. The most beneficial part for me was just learning about how to clean hydraulic oil and how important it is. We are going to start analyzing our hydraulic oil in our presses and cleaning the oil, and I think I now have enough information to get the ball rolling. I got a lot of contacts.”

More than 120 companies were featured on the Reliable Plant 2017 exhibit floor.

More than 120 companies were featured on the Reliable Plant 2017 exhibit floor.

New Technologies, Products, Solutions

The exhibit hall featured 120 industry-leading companies and organizations showcasing a broad range of services and solutions. Many innovative products were unveiled at the event, including new offerings from Luneta, Y2K Fluid Power, Pall Corp., Whitmore, TestOil, Generation Systems, SPM Instruments, and MP Filtri.

“The exhibit hall brings to light the newest and most updated equipment, processes, and applications,” said Michelin’s Steve Watkins. “For our plant and our reliability team, we actually take a lot of the information from all the vendors and bring it all together. That then gives us an opportunity to make a very wise decision on how we maintain our equipment.”

Reliable Plant attendees also were granted access to the exhibit floor of the Precision Machining Technology Show (PMTS). This international gathering of manufacturing professionals included more than 280 exhibitors displaying equipment, products, and services to more than 6,000 attendees.

Opening General Session and Keynote

In the opening general session, veteran NASA astronaut Dr. Tom Jones gave a stellar keynote address on teamwork and leadership lessons from the astronaut corps. Having spent more than 11 years with NASA, flying on four space-shuttle missions, and working and living in space for 53 days, Dr. Jones recounted the good and the bad from NASA’s half-century-long experience in human spaceflight, from the terrible loss of the Apollo 1 crew and the triumph of the first moon landing less than three years later to the daring repair of the Hubble telescope and the preventable losses of two space-shuttle orbiters and crews.

“Excellent teamwork with no acceptance of substandard operations, preparation, or execution was the concept upon which NASA built itself and all of its successes over the last 50-60 years,” Jones told attendees. “I’ve been able to see the product of that teamwork through my own missions into space. If you are going to be a leader in space and execute the right stuff, you have to trust and respect your team, show confidence that your team will perform, motivate your team toward a common goal, and encourage teamwork. If you’re a lone operator in space, you are going to be either dead or a failure. You’ve got to be a member of the team.”

Attendees even had the opportunity to meet Dr. Jones and have him autograph two of his space and aviation books in the exhibit hall immediately following the keynote address.

Also during the opening general session, ICML presented the John R. Battle Award for lubrication excellence to Simmons Feed Ingredients along with the Augustus H. Gill Award for excellence in oil analysis to Newcrest Mining. Simmons was represented by several team members from the company’s facility in Southwest City, MO, including maintenance manager Tim Newman. Later in the week, Newman joined with Noria’s Seth Schroeder for a presentation on how the plant was able to reduce equipment breakdowns by more than 50 percent and achieve an annual cost savings of nearly $1 million once a greater emphasis was placed on lubrication.

Newcrest Mining’s Greg Romer was on hand to accept the Gill award and gave an interesting presentation detailing his organization’s award-winning approach to lubrication-program management, including key targets and goals, the benefits of lubrication training, and using oil-analysis metrics.

New for 2017

Four new certificate programs were added to Reliable Plant 2017, allowing attendees to increase their knowledge in condition monitoring, reliability engineering, hydraulics, and maintenance planning and scheduling.

Noria’s Jerry Putt launched the reliability-engineering program with his pre-conference workshop on designing and procuring equipment to increase reliability. This informative workshop provided suggestions for designers and procurement professionals to achieve higher potential reliability and give their maintenance team a better opportunity to consistently realize optimum equipment capability.

The hydraulics certificate program began with a workshop from Chris Dellinger of GPM Hydraulic Consulting, who outlined five things you need to know to become an effective hydraulic troubleshooter. Dellinger described how to read and use a hydraulic schematic, proper pressure setting procedures, how to adjust a machine and troubleshoot individual components without removing them from the machine, as well as the correct reliability checks to make on the heart of the machine—the hydraulic power unit (HPU).

Doc Palmer of Richard Palmer & Associates Inc. opened the maintenance planning and scheduling certificate program with his workshop on how to achieve maintenance planning excellence. The author of McGraw-Hill’s Maintenance Planning and Scheduling Handbook, Palmer not only covered theories and principles but the nuts and bolts of how planning and scheduling work to help those in attendance implement a new planning organization or dramatically improve an existing one.

The condition-monitoring certificate program drew the most interest and was led by Allied Reliability’s Walter Barringer, who described in his pre-conference workshop how to integrate multiple condition-monitoring technologies for maximum reliability. This presentation explained how each of the four primary technologies works, when and where to apply each technology, which technologies to start with first in a new condition-monitoring program, and how to choose equipment for inclusion in the program.

After the pre-conference workshops, certificate-program participants were required to attend four key sessions over the next two days and then were honored at an exclusive champagne reception, where they received a commemorative plaque, a certificate of completion, and a collection of books from the Noria bookstore.

Noria's Loren Green presents a mini-workshop on "How to Keep Lubricants Cool, Clean, and Dry."

Noria’s Loren Green presents a mini-workshop on “How to Keep Lubricants Cool, Clean, and Dry.”

Also new in 2017 were the six hands-on mini-workshops. These presentations gave attendees the chance to see firsthand some of the most important tools, procedures, and equipment used in the field of lubrication and lubricant analysis. Noria’s Wes Cash and Loren Green demonstrated the steps for performing an effective patch test, taking a representative oil sample, reading an oil analysis report, maintaining a proper lubrication system, and keeping lubricants clean, cool, and dry. Rich Wurzbach of MRG Labs also revealed how to determine if two greases are compatible and offered examples of grease-compatibility testing.

A second keynote address was provided by Noria CEO Jim Fitch on why inspection 2.0 is your best strategy for detecting machine faults. Fitch explained how Inspection 2.0 seeks to penetrate and extract information from what’s been referred to as machine sign language, as well as how to translate this sign language into prescribed activities and instructions that stabilize reliability.

“Mission-intensive Inspection 2.0 is by far your most effective machinery condition monitoring strategy,” Fitch stated. “It’s hard for a machine to fail without the lubricant knowing about it first.”

Noria's Wes Cash leads a panel discussion involving four industry experts.

Noria’s Wes Cash leads a panel discussion involving four industry experts.

Following the second keynote was a unique panel discussion on making the journey to reliability. Among the industry experts participating in the discussion included General Motors’ Kevin Grider, Kimberly-Clark’s Jeffrey Ng, Schwan’s Food Company’s Joe Anderson, and Cargill’s Ted Melencheck.

The non-denominational prayer breakfast sponsored by SDMyers on Wednesday morning was highlighted by a keynote address from Ohio State University wrestling coach Tom Ryan, who gave his inspiring testimony while attendees enjoyed a hot buffet breakfast.

“Character is the foundational piece for sustained success,” Ryan explained. “You can see it all across the country and all around the world. When character is lacking, organizations fail and families break up. It’s this component of your willingness to chase the things you should and run from the things you should avoid. Talent and hard work will get us to the top, but only character and great decision-making will keep us there.”

Later on Wednesday, Reliable Plant attendees were offered a private guided tour of the Honda Heritage Center in nearby Marysville, OH, where they viewed historical, current, and future Honda products, including innovative engines, race cars, motorcycles, jets, and robotics. Guests were also treated to a special dinner and a commemorative gift.

A roundtable discussion on how to solve the most challenging plant problems enabled conference delegates to bring their toughest issues and receive coaching, problem-solving advice, and a customized plan of attack for implementing all the great ideas and solutions learned at Reliable Plant.

In addition to the four pre-conference workshops, a post-conference workshop on lubrication excellence essentials for leaders was presented. Onsite certification testing was also available from ICML and the Society of Maintenance and Reliability Professionals

Charles Riddle, from Advanced Composites, was the show-prize winner, taking home a Sea-Doo Spark watercraft.

Charles Riddle, from Advanced Composites, was the show-prize winner, taking home a Sea-Doo Spark watercraft.

Show-prize Giveaway

Reliable Plant 2017 concluded in the exhibit hall with a special drawing for the show-prize giveaway. All registered attendees who visited each of the sponsoring exhibitors’ booths were eligible to win a Sea-Doo Spark watercraft. The lucky winner was Advanced Composites’ Charles (Chuck) Riddle.

“I can’t believe it,” Riddle said after his big win. “Honestly, I thought it was my partner when it was announced that the winner was from Sidney, Ohio, and Advanced Composites. I thought he won and not me. It’s indescribable. I didn’t think I even had a chance of winning to be honest. I’ve always won small stuff, like a tool here or maybe a $50 gift card, but nothing this big. It just blows your mind.”

Although he lives near two large Ohio lakes, Riddle acknowledged that he may end up riding his new Spark along Florida’s Gulf Coast where his girlfriend resides. He’s no stranger to this type of watercraft, as he has ridden his brother’s jet ski many times in the past. His company also makes the plastics that are often used on these types of vehicles. In fact, some of the plastic on the winning watercraft may have come from his company’s facility.

“We make plastics for all the automotive industry, some four-wheelers, and jet skis,” Riddle explained. “We strew all the raw material, making the plastic pellets, and then send it to injection-molding companies where they form it into molds.”

2017 Proceedings, 2018 Registration Now Available

Even if you were unable to attend Reliable Plant 2017, you can still get the conference proceedings and benefit from the wealth of knowledge shared by speakers at the event. The new digital proceedings include the papers and presentations in PDF format from nearly every learning session. For the full 2017 conference proceedings, visit

“I’ve had a great experience at this conference,” added Weyerhaeuser’s Christopher Brokopp. “I look forward to bringing some of the information I’ve learned here back to our mill and improving our lubrication. The availability of all the different technologies that are here is just great. It’s a great opportunity to learn easy things you can do to get that low-hanging fruit and improve your programs.”

Preparations are already underway for next year’s Reliable Plant Conference & Exhibition, scheduled for April 17-19, 2018, in Indianapolis. New case studies, learning sessions, certificate programs, workshops and an exhibit hall full of the latest technologies will be showcased once again. Registration is now open for Reliable Plant 2018, so don’t miss your chance to take advantage of the bottom-line results that attending this event has to offer. Visit to register your team today.