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5:22 pm
September 29, 2016
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GE Releases Inventory Tool Based on Predix

Today’s boiler technology is efficient, but letting maintenance ‘slide,’ as in the old days, is no longer an option.

This week, GE announced the availability of its WIP Manager, a manufacturing system that uses the Predix operating system — cloud-based — to provide better visibility into work orders.

The WIP Manager is in competition with traditional Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) in the maintenance space and offers the ability to integrate into a company’s business enterprise system for better inventory tracking.

According to the press release, the system can “track production and service processes through work orders, which are created in the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, and an operational route through the shop floor. This is all done from the customer’s manufacturing execution system (MES). Once the work order is created and the required materials are available, using WIP Manager, work center operators can begin the operations listed on the work order to build or repair the specified parts.”

>> Related Content | White Paper | Predictive Analytics for Power Plants

“Heavy industrial assembly and MRO operations can see a step increase in productivity by just knowing where the component parts are when they’re needed,” said Greg Gorbach, vice president, ARC Advisory Group.

Other highlights include the ability to track part repair from start to finish using data from work orders, analytics charts showing how many parts are queued at each work center. Scorecard charts show the view of a line of balance, where the user can select a part and display how work orders containing the part are balanced for In-Progress, Hold, and Rework for each operation.

1601Iot_logo>> For more IIoT coverage in maintenance and operations, click here! 


2:40 pm
September 27, 2016
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Nordex Turns to Drones for Wind Turbine Hybrid Maintenance Approach

Two wind turbines at work over the Harbec facility in Ontario, NY, help the operation provide 80% of its power needs.

A big trend in the manufacturing space for the last twenty years has been Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) 3rd party services, such as remote oil and gas exploration, equipment monitoring and more.

Now, you can add drone monitoring of wind turbine blades to the list.

The wind turbine manufacturer, Nordex Group,  created a partnership with Lufthansa Aerial Services (LAS) last week to start offering unmanned aircraft systems— drones — to inspect installed wind turbines and help customers with more efficient maintenance approaches — a cross between predictive and preventive.

Rotor blades on wind turbines are regularly inspected by rope teams and they look for erosion defects due to wind, weather and stress.

According to Nordex, this [new service] provides additional possibilities for continuously monitoring the status of rotor blades using the very latest technology. While not explicitly an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) application, sensors should play a big part in this development.

LAS is a new division in the Lufthansa Group and belongs to Lufthansa Consulting GmbH. The company offers the commercial operation of drones and related data management for the inspection, measurement and monitoring of infrastructures. Wind energy is one of the industrial sectors on which LAS focuses.

“Apart from the close-up inspection of rotor blades, monitoring the progress of the construction of new wind farms is another area of application,” says Dr. Andreas Jahnke, Managing Director of Lufthansa Consulting GmbH.

>> Related Content | Joe Barkai Interview: IIoT Implications for the Outcome Economy

1601Iot_logo>> For more IIoT coverage in maintenance and operations, click here! 


1:03 pm
September 23, 2016
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Fluke Acquires eMaint Enterprises

screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-7-50-07-amFluke Corp. (Everett, WA) has announced the acquisition of eMaint Enterprises LLC (Marlton, NJ), a leader in computerized maintenance management software (CMMS). Details of the transaction haven’t been disclosed.

screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-7-40-08-ameMaint’s software platform is used by more than 50,000 maintenance professionals in 55 countries and multiple markets, including food processing, manufacturing, fleet, services, and government, among others.

Fluke’s comprehensive line of handheld test tools and portable sensors are used by service and maintenance technicians, electricians, and plant engineers around the world. eMaint’s web-based, Software as a Service (SaaS) solution can be accessed on PCs, smartphones, tablets, and other browser-based devices.

According to the two companies, Fluke tools, software, and data expertise together with eMaint’s SaaS offering represents a critical convergence of maintenance solutions that ensure uptime and maximize return on assets for end users throughout industry.




7:24 pm
September 20, 2016
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Steel Producer Adopts GE’s SmartSignal for Predictive Maintenance Boost

The emphasis on carbon footprint and how equipment is designed, operated, and disposed/recycled have moved operations from the cradle-to-grave-style approach of the past to today’s more environmentally sensitive and efficient C2C asset-management approach.

After a successful predictive analytics initiative, Gerdau, a Brazilian steel manufacturer, announces a large-scale rollout of GE’s software and services across 11 of its steel plants in Brazil. The producer of long steel will use GE’s SmartSignal, historians, services and remote monitoring for more than 600 assets.

The remote monitoring will be done by the GE’s Industrial Performance and Reliability Center, based in Illinois.

“Gerdau is incorporating greater agility and autonomy in operational decisions via digitization. We are focused on creating value and and our partnership with GE will definitely provide important support for this challenge,” says Andre B. Gerdau Johannpeter, CEO of Gerdau.

>> Related Content | Quick Return-on-Investment for IIoT Pilot Projects

The initial pilot for SmartSignal and remote monitoring included 50 assets and the company was able to “realize two catches of potential asset issues that could be addressed via early planned maintenance without impact to the business,” according to Gerdau. The savings from these early preventative action was the cost of the pilot.

“Businesses like Gerdau are thinking about cloud, Big Data, mobile, platforms and even talent differently, says Bill Ruh, ceo of GE Digital division. “Digitization and a focus on outcomes, facilitated by analytics, is a solution.”
1601Iot_logo>> For more IIoT coverage in maintenance and operations, click here! 


4:28 pm
September 16, 2016
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Quick Return-on-Investment for IIoT Pilot Projects

This slide depicts the infrastructure needed for one of the case studies.(Source: Mitsubishi Electric)

This slide depicts the infrastructure needed for one of the case studies.(Source: Mitsubishi Electric)

As I’m putting together the upcoming Industrial Internet of Things column for October, it’s hard to deny the return-on-investment (ROI) numbers being released at industry conferences and user conferences. At a recent ARC Advisory conference in India, three new applications — from Mitsubishi and Schaeffler — demonstrated the robust ROI for three different industry examples: Continuous Process, hybrid and a discrete production line.

Here’s a quick rundown of these projects and below is a link to the presentation at ARC in India:

These applications include a sensing system, a device and entire production line being connected to a cloud-based system. The waste water case study presented details the return on investment (ROI) and overall costs for a new condition monitoring systems for gearboxes on a line of pumps at this Germany utility.

The results are staggering. Four months after installation of the CMS, the company identified a €3,300 savings for gearwheel defects that were detected. Also, the process avoided a gearbox overhaul and loss of service.

In the paper mill CMS application, the Mitsubishi HiTec Paper wanted to add 26 smartcheck vibration sensors to better monitor a cooling system for its four-story coated thermo-sensitive paper system. After installing the vibration sensor at cost of €25,500, the paper manufacturer reported a €10,500 ROI due to the avoidance of three failures, service-loss and machine damage.

>> Download the Mitsubishi Electric & Schaeffler Group Presentation 

1601Iot_logo>> For more IIoT coverage in maintenance and operations, click here! 


5:24 pm
September 15, 2016
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New IIoT Survey Reveals Management’s Readiness for Deployment

Ludeca_RS5-SensorsA recent study from Genpact Research Institute (via Data Informed) reveals that funding for IIoT manufacturing initiatives is well underway and that by the end of 2016, two-thirds of manufacturers expect to use connected technology. What’s more interesting is that half of the manufacturers in the survey said, “they are using IIoT sensors and related technology for at least a year now.”

Our list of multiple case studies highlighted on MT and rings true with the recent survey. Money is being spent as this survey nugget shows:

Over half (54 percent) of manufacturing companies report that they have budgeted for IIoT capital investments and more than half of them have also increased their investments over the previous budget cycle. However, a large majority of respondents remain indecisive, with stagnant or no investments.

>> For more details on the survey, click here

Recent Post | Case Study: Operations and Maintenance Budget Isn’t Increasing, Sound Familiar?

1601Iot_logo>> For more IIoT coverage in maintenance and operations, click here! 


3:47 pm
September 14, 2016
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Schneider Electric Details Cloud-Based Process-Engineering Software Platform and Optimization Solution for Oil & Gas Sector

screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-8-24-48-pmSchneider Electric Software’s three-day Process Industries Excellence Conference is taking place in Pasadena, CA, this week. News coming out of the busy conference (which is the Lake Forest, CA-based company’s 2016 SimSci Users Group event) has included information on two major product releases.

The first announcement detailed the upcoming rollout of SimSci Online, a cloud software platform for the company’s process design, simulation, training, and optimization offerings. According to the company, with this release, SimSci Online becomes the first process design and engineering software to be delivered as a service.

The second announcement highlighted the availability of Unit Performance Suite for the Oil & Gas industry. The company says this software suite is the first in the industry to package closed-loop, real-time optimization with monitoring and workflow in a single solution for refineries.

About SimSci Online
Schneider Electric’s SimSci Online is aimed at end users that are deploying and managing multiple versions of software applications in high-demand environments, including process engineering departments and engineering firms, and the power-gen, oil and gas, chemicals, and mining, metals, and minerals (MMM) industries. For smaller operations in these sectors, annual simulation-software licensing fees can become cost prohibitive.

SimSci Online changes the game by providing access to the same high-quality simulation software as its on-premise version. All that’s required is an Internet connection. Customers are charged only for usage time. Benefits and capabilities include, among others:

  • Increased accessibility anywhere and anytime with an Internet connection.
  • Enhanced availability with no system maintenance requirements from the client side, and highly scalable to allow for additional users on demand.
  • Lower cost of ownership through elimination of IT-maintenance overhead, yet still ensuring that the latest version is always available to meet customers’ needs.

The company will initially roll out SimSci Online as a platform to support cloud-based delivery of the process design and engineering portfolio. SimSci DYNSIM, a comprehensive, dynamic process simulator that enables process yield improvement and a reduction of capital investment costs, will be the first application launched. General availability of SimSci DYNSIM Online is planned for the end of 2016, with other applications to follow in 2017.

About Unit Performance Suite
According to Schneider Electric, its Unit Performance Suite can help sites better understand current operating performance and then identify future improvement in terms of operational efficiency, all without adding specialists to their organizations.

Built on closed-loop optimization driven by SimSci ROMeo, the easily configurable Unit Performance Suite offers a number of benefits and capabilities. Among them:

  • Real-time optimization (RTO) that reduces operations costs and improves refinery margins by optimizing operating conditions based on industry-leading ROMeo software
  • Intuitive dashboards to simplify how key parameters of process operation are monitored across the enterprise and ROMeo operations to achieve greater economic benefits; greater visibility can accelerate future performance improvement
  • Automated and standardized process workflows that improve collaboration for pricing changes, maintain data quality, and optimize software performance, among other parameters, to maximize the unit optimization benefit.

To learn more about the Unit Performance Suite, CLICK HERE. 

Editor’s Note: For information on upcoming Schneider Electric Software events (including conferences and Webinars), CLICK HERE.



12:37 pm
September 8, 2016
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Mobius Institute Trains 20,000 Students

mobiuslogo-primary1_125x39-u214Mobius Institute, Bainbridge Island, WA, a provider of vibration-analysis and machine-reliability training courses and products, announced that it has trained more than 20,000 vibration analysts since it began offering courses in 2005. Mobius Institute provides training and accredited certification according to ISO 18436-1 and ISO/IEC 17024 through training centers in more than 50 countries. The institute has realized a 26% average annual growth rate in the past decade.

“Such a positive response is a result of years of hard work to create and deliver training that is second to none, and our partnerships with professional training partners and instructors in over 50 countries,” said Jason Tranter, founder and managing director. “Clearly, vibration analysts appreciate the difference that our modern animations, simulations and interactions make when trying to understand this difficult subject.”