Examining connected reliability with Ankush Malhotra, President of Fluke Reliability - Automation

Examining connected reliability with Ankush Malhotra, President of Fluke Reliability

May 16, 2023 | Communications & Networks, Industry 4.0 & sensors, Industry Focus, Sensors & Sensing Systems, Smart Factories & AI

What is Connected Reliability?

Connected Reliability is a framework that combines hardware and software systems from across the enterprise into one cloud-based maintenance ecosystem. IIoT sensors can automatically measure condition and process-related data, and teams can use handheld smart tools to conduct routes. The information flows readily to the cloud, where algorithms and advanced analysis software predict machine failures and trigger automated work orders, so maintenance managers catch problems sooner. This combination of hardware and software empowers maintenance teams with real-time communication between machinery, data systems, and people, enabling them to make enterprise-level maintenance decisions that prevent machine failures, reduce costs, improve worker safety, and maximise operational productivity and efficiency.

How can Connected Reliability be a catalyst for change in the industry?

Connected Reliability can break down operational silos and connect teams across multiple sites and regions. It can also provide insights that help teams make strategic decisions. Automation can alleviate teams from administrative tasks, giving them time to focus on analysing data rather than collecting it. This can help alleviate staffing shortages in the industrial sector by enabling companies to upskill and train their teams. Connected reliability provides an ability to connect people with one another, allowing for the sharing of expertise and the formation of collaborative teams, which can be essential for achieving optimal performance across an organisation. It encourages and facilitates teams to work together rather than in isolation.

It can also shift organisations from reactive to preventive and, eventually, predictive maintenance. The more maintenance teams that are adopting predictive maintenance practices through a connected maintenance strategy, the more education will be available across the industry, enabling everyone to reap the rewards.

What are some common problems solved by Connected Reliability?

The most common problems faced by maintenance teams is trying to solve unplanned downtime and reduce the associated costs of that. Connected reliability encourages maintenance professionals to adopt a predictive maintenance approach, based off the integrated hardware (such as sensors) and software (such as CMMS programmes). This connected approach lets teams know when a failure will arise before it does, and as a result, can be fixed before it becomes a problem. For example, a machine’s unexpected failure can cause unplanned downtime as well as jeopardising worker safety. However, if the problem can be anticipated in advance, it can be fixed before it becomes a major problem. The maintenance on that problem can also be planned outside of normal operational hours, to reduce the number of people around and the impact that the downtime will have on productivity. Simply put, Connected Reliability makes adopting and implementing innovative technologies easier by consolidating data and producing actionable insights quickly to can solve most problems maintenance teams currently face.

Does connected reliability mean a complete overhaul of a business or can it scale overtime?

It can grow over time. When we hear framework, we can associate that with a complete overhaul, and that’s not the case. There are a few customers who have taken initial steps and are recognizing value at each adoption phase. There are customers like JD Cooperage, that are shifting their strategy from reactive to predictive and seeing immense value in applying this framework. It’s a journey individual to each business. We have recently worked with Jack Daniels Cooperage, a Brown-Forman facility, where we did just that. The team used eMaint CMMS software and Fluke vibration sensors to build a predictive maintenance programme, which has expanded into other Brown-Forman facilities.

Another part of that is standardizing maintenance too, what role does connected reliability play in standardizing maintenance?

Standardizing workflows is essential to avoiding the creation of silos and preventing misinterpretation of information. Without standardized processes, information can be interpreted differently in each plant, leading to confusion and inefficiencies.

Connected reliability enables you to combine all relevant information to create a complete picture, which can be shared with the entire organization. By having everyone on the same page, it becomes easier to standardize workflows and create processes that are company-wide or span across plants and regions.

How does Connected Reliability tie into delivering on maintenance KPIs?

Connected reliability enables teams to prioritise work that moves the needle on the most important KPIs, including avoiding unplanned downtime, which is the biggest pain point for most organizations.

The more connected your reliability program is, the more efficiencies you can realise to achieve uptime values. By centralising data, you can be more efficient with your experts, allowing them to identify and resolve issues more quickly.

One of the most significant values of connected reliability is the ability to change a company’s mindset to a more proactive approach. With this approach, organisations can start eliminating the root causes of downtime rather than merely reacting quickly to issues as they arise.


DataLabel A Leading Label Manufacturer