Industry Is Going Digital, and Field Service Leads the Way...

May 02, 2018 • FeaturesAsset Performance ManagementFuture of FIeld ServiceIIOTdigitalisationGE DigitalIndustrial InternetIoTScott bergservicemax

Scott Berg, CEO at ServiceMax, from GE Digital explains why for those organisations getting the results that matter, the Industrial Internet of Things alone isn’t enough to transform their service offering...

Complex machines power the world’s largest industries, from offshore rigs to networks of medical devices, to massive wind turbines.

Over the last decade, we’ve seen everything from treadmills to coffee makers digitized in pursuit of smarter, better and faster machines to get better results. Industrial companies are adopting digital strategies and require a distinct understanding of connected machinery to do so successfully. It’s no surprise that these machines require thoughtful, technical and predictive maintenance.

Companies now more than ever are in the business of keeping machines running to ensure that the absolute most value is derived from each piece of equipmentCompanies now more than ever are in the business of keeping machines running to ensure that the absolute most value is derived from each piece of equipment. Our customers report, on average, a 19% increase in productivity since implementing Predix ServiceMax. That basically means that we can add an extra day to the technician’s week without working overtime.

ServiceMax from GE Digital is helping the world’s largest companies on their digital journey, starting with service delivery. What is fundamental to our understanding of Field Service Management (FSM) is the scale at which we provide service. We are meeting our customers at a global, enterprise level. As the industry adopts the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) we think about service in a big way and help companies on their digital journey.

We are 100% invested in making sure our customers are getting absolutely all the value they can from the equipment they have and how it’s being used.

Why IIoT won’t be enough to transform service

IIoT-enabled devices and data insights alone are not enough to paint a clear picture of service in the future. Talk of IIoT is everywhere, from budgets to yearly planning, to newspaper headlines. At the end of the day, data informs a procedural change within only one part of a machine at one point in time. Decisions are made on a limited set of inputs, whether that be wear and tear of a specific part, or work order history.

You might say that using IIoT alone is tunnel vision.

Meaningful service is going beyond IIoT, and Asset Performance Management (APM) is the catalyst: it opens up data to more contextual inputs from the broader ecosystem. APM harnesses the behaviour of the machine and goes beyond a simple exercise in efficiency.

It’s important to understand the key is not solely APM, FSM or IIoT. Rather, it’s all three working together to create a holistic solution.It’s important to understand the key is not solely APM, FSM or IIoT. Rather, it’s all three working together to create a holistic solution.

APM monitors the behaviour of the machine, and the FSM platform brings it all together to inform how, when, and why we choose to service or replace a machine. It monitors machine health directly after a repair, and cycles that information into future repairs, to close the loop of service.

The powerful combination of APM and FSM provides a complete view of a product and establishes lifecycle management strategies. The result is a service product management solution that has up-leveled a traditional connected device strategy, incorporating a business’s bottom line. This has saved our customers millions of dollars.

Digital industry brings dynamic results 

Field service in the industrial era is more than a one-time project. Done well, it is an industrialists guide to a digital future, providing vital insights and outcomes for customers. The new era of field service will be marked by connectivity and share a fundamental goal of zero downtime for critical equipment.

There will be industrial behemoths and then there will be digital industrial behemoths.

Field service is evolving into a system that doesn’t forgetField service is evolving into a system that doesn’t forget: an APM-integrated platform incorporates past data to make decisions about parts, technicians, and compliance in the present. And then the magic happens: the system integrates several data factors based on the outcomes of similar work orders and controls for a business perspective: how much time and money can we afford to spend here? That data is translated to actionable insights for technicians on the ground, meaning they are not working towards a static goal of ‘machine repair.’ Instead, technicians are working towards a dynamic outcome: machine uptime.

We are reaching a point where FSM is simultaneously smarter than us yet utterly useless without the most vital component of service: humans. Technicians close the loop between data and predictions by recording the actions they take.

They have the training, the expertise, and the context for each work order with a FSM platform at their fingertips. And the result is that not only is complex machinery functioning smoothly, but FSM is providing the savvy digital industrialist an avenue to a more prosperous day on the job tomorrow.

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