Smart Connected Assets Continue to Increase Presence in the Plant

Posted by Jason Kasper on Wed, Sep 07, 2016 @ 10:32 AM

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Asset Performance Management (APM) has been an early benefactor of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Organizations are harnessing existing data footprints to uncover insights and redefine work processes and organization structures to increase uptime and provide improved services back to their internal customer – operations.

As the data is digested, the next level of understanding comes when they begin to ask questions, such as:

  • What else can I uncover
  • What questions can I answer that I could not before?
  • What questions am I not asking that I should be?


This is an opportunity for assets to become Smart & Connected.

We are seeing the investments in Smart Connected Assets accelerate this year. We are also beginning to gain insight into the value of becoming Smart & Connected. This blog discusses the state of Smart Connected Assets in the plant and the value being created by early adopters.

Legacy Assets Become Smart & Connected

Legacy Assets – assets that have been installed, managed, and maintained for years, have decades of historical information. This information resides in various places, data, workforce knowledge, and the assets themselves.

In order to extract more out of legacy assets, companies are embarking on the Digital Transformation journey by deploying more smart sensor technology. Some assets require a few more sensors to complement existing data sources. Another option is adding software to unlock or expose this data for use.

Organizations are taking a careful approach by installing sensors to a small percentage of assets this year. This chart also indicates smaller pilots (sensing the small percentage of assets, 50 or less) are successful since there are plans to invest in sensing more than 50% assets next year. We expect this trend to continue, as organizations are finding quick wins in the pilot phase and want to quickly increase investment to scale the value of Smart Connected Assets.Smart_Connected_Assets_legacy_equipment.png

Investments Accelerate with New Smart Connected Assets

As an assets life comes to an end, an opportunity will arise for organizations to look at Smart Connected Assets. Our data indicated that increasingly, organizations are accelerating their investments in assets that are already Smart & Connected. These industrials companies are taking a similar pilot approach to new assets as they continue to invest in legacy assets.

The “aim small, miss small” approach allows organizations to accelerate the learning curve and rework the plans around people, processes, and technology. From the chart below, it is clear organizations in 2015 that took this approach found success, 2016 reveals more and more organizations will be investing in new Smart Connected Assets and increase the number of assets that are Smart & Connected.Smart_Connected_Assets_New_Percentage.png

The State of Asset Performance Management Data and Smart Connected Assets

Leveraging data from legacy and new assets is still in the beginning stages; the good news is we are hearing a continuous stream of customer stories and what the opportunity for them represent. A key insight that we are at the beginning stages is the fact that a near-majority of industrial companies, 47%, have not deployed Smart Connected Assets and therefore are not getting the APM related data they so richly provide. Another split is the remaining 43% that do have assets that are generating APM data; a majority, 22%, will not allow suppliers to access it. This is a missed opportunity in the relationship with suppliers.

The is a tremendous value potential of sharing data; it has benefits in not only improving uptime but impacting the entire lifecycle of the assets, including future product designs and proactive fixes to address warranty issues, directly from the manufacturer.Smart_Connected_Assets_APM_services.png

Early Adopters Are Beginning to Reap the Benefits

Smart_Connected_Assets_real_time_visibility.pngForward-thinking companies that have taken advantage of the full Smart Connected Assets opportunity that exists today, they are achieving benefits in reliability on operational performance. One of the closest relationships to understand the impact Smart Connected Assets are having on operations is using Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE).

OEE is a product of availability, productivity, and quality. Asset reliability can impact all three of those factors and organizations with higher reliability will show higher OEE. The chart below indicates that organizations that have real-time visibility into APM data vs. those that do not show a substantially higher OEE performance than those that do not, with a median OEE of 75 vs. 67.

How to Digitally Transform Your Business with Smart Connected Assets

Tags: Asset Performance Management, Smart Connected Assets, IIoT