The Fully Realized Internet of Reliability

Jeremy Drury, IoT Diagnostics


With an established baseline for how sensing devices can connect you to the data of your assets and operations, it’s now time to cast the vision on the true potential of the fully connected Internet of Reliability.

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Hey there, reliability team. Welcome back. We are officially on episode 3 of Noria's brand-new web series called "The Internet of Reliability." I'm your host, Jeremy Drury of IoT Diagnostics, and we're here to be your guide on how to get your reliability operations connected and ready for Industry 4.0.

Now the last time we were together, we got real deep, real fast on having an asset and how to get it connected with an IoT type of device. I hope that was really helpful for you, and I'm glad you've tuned in again to take this even further.

Before we start getting even deeper into very critical functional pieces of this, I want to pivot just a little bit, because one thing I don't think I've done enough for you yet is really get your buy-in on what a fully realized Internet of Reliability operations could look like with your plants. So, that's what we're going to focus on today.

The Life of a Non-Connected Reliability Engineer

The last time that we were together we walked through what this would look like with a cold asset and how to actually make that asset come to life with the data that can actually come out of it. These actionable insights that can get pushed back to you when you have sensors pulling out extra information is being redistributed to you or others at this point. Now, as a part of that conversation, I'm going to transition into what I'm going to talk to you about today.

So, we were talking about historically — or maybe even currently — how we're servicing or at least monitoring and maintaining our pumps. We're touching, we're listening, we're feeling buckets, hoses and stopwatches. I will tell you the things that some of you can do with screwdrivers to diagnose problems is incredible. You know you are some of the most experienced experts when it comes to your operations, which is why you're in those reliability roles that you're in. Here's the downfall of that.

I'm sure every one of you viewers at some point, maybe even today, have felt overly taxed or completely stressed out. And maybe some of you are having a hard time even watching one of these less-than-10-minute episodes in one sitting because you're getting pulled in a million different directions. We've been on the shop floor enough to know exactly what a day in your life looks like, and I do not envy you. I'm proud of all of you for all the work that you do, but here's what this looks like.

You have all this subject-matter expertise. You are the SMEs at your organizations, and you are pulled in a lot of different directions. Every time an asset goes down or a process starts to break down, you're pulled in. It's a very reactive place to be. So, even though you may know these assets and processes and your approaches to reliability better than everybody else, you can only take that so far because you're one person. And that's the life of a non-connected reliability engineer, reliability manager, director or whatever your title may be.

The Life of a Connected Reliability Engineer

Let's flash back to this scenario now, and let's call you a connected reliability engineer. We talked about this a little bit on a prior episode, but going back to this example, let's say, for this hydraulic pump, you now have data gathered here and being redistributed somewhere. OK, so now not only are you partnering with this device and this data to match your subject-matter expertise with this additional data to make better inferences, this allows you to be more of a remote asset.

Remember when I talked about how this is configured to IoT-type devices like this and configured to each asset individually on their own? Well, you may have assets like this spread out across your entire global organization or a regional organization at different times. When you have validating data working together with your subject-matter expertise and you are solving problems based on the data and new information that's coming in, you now have boxed-in solutions that you can then start to echo and reverberate across the other pumps or whatever assets across the rest of your organization.

Instead of always being onsite by the asset, by the process, you now have more impact remotely. You can actually spend more time solving problems that you then can distribute out to other people across your organization in order to help them out. Then, you have the way that you diagnose that problem with the data to back it up, working with an IoT type of partner in order to get that information back out to other people across the organization. That's just one step forward.

You went from being a standalone, siloed reliability engineer to now a connected reliability engineer. Your hands have gotten a lot wider into this process. Your subject-matter expertise has gotten a lot wider across this process. That's one step in the right direction. Let's take that even further.

Distributing Data to Partners

Again, we talk about this idea of having data actually get outside of your building. Remember when I was talking about having data like this go up to the cloud and get redistributed? Well, the reason that I'm such an advocate for that is even though machine-to-machine communication can help each remote site uniquely, it's when the data actually leaves the building securely that you can start having a lot of fun with your trusted partners and watch as that builds out to not only other facilities inside your organization but then actually infiltrates into other people whose No. 1 role is to help service your organization.

I know all of you have to deal with supplier partners and other types of maintenance partners. Imagine if they had the same preliminary type of operating data that you did in order to help solve the problems onsite. Well, if they can also come around and have more intimate details about the operating data of your assets, then they may be able to service you better as well. They may be able to show up faster with a solution maybe just ahead of time, instead of just in time. They can help you swap out these assets a lot faster than you may have been able to. Frankly, they don't become as much of a distraction to you because they're not calling you to see what's going on or see what's going wrong. They're already there helping you solve it, and perhaps you could even get to a point where they're solving it without you even needing to be a part of it. So, suddenly that opens up a lot more time in order for you to focus on bigger projects and programs at hand.

Anonymized Operating Data

Now I want to clarify. You hear me keep saying "operating data," and that's the benefit of this I'm talking about. You should always have anonymized operating data coming out of assets like this. You shouldn't ever really get to any part of anything that identifies you personally or your company personally. That's where this starts to work. It's that anonymized operating data that allows even these third parties to come in and help supply you and solve your problems.

Involving OEMs

So, now you've got an even more connected environment. I'll take it one final step and say imagine if even your OEMs can get involved in this. You know that if your OEMs of this pump or other types of products or assets in your plant have an understanding of operating data, they're going to be able to use that to know how to build better products for you in the future based on how you're currently operating today. Whatever that may be, whatever type of asset coming in, it's going to have more information behind how it needs to be more reliable for your everyday practices.

Saving Time with a More Connected Environment

So, here in just less than 10 minutes, I've shown you how to get from isolated, siloed reliability operations to a fully realized Internet of Reliability connected environment. And the reason being is it’s time savings. You do not have an overly stressed out reliability operations. The more people who have strategic influence to help you out, the more connected your environment will be. And again, I go back and echo that you can make more pivots, you can get assets in and out of your operations on your time, not on the asset’s time. The more connections that you have, the more that the team works together. And you're not just one subject-matter expert anymore, but it's a holistic subject-matter expertise that's infiltrating right into your reliability operations. So, I hope that sells you, because it should.

That's all we'll talk about today. Join me again on the next episode. I'm Jeremy Drury, your host of Noria's new series, "The Internet of Reliability." We can't wait to see your reliability operations connected. Thanks.

About the Author

Jeremy Drury is the vice president of IoT Diagnostics. He is focused on connecting prediction to production with the industrial internet of things. As a veteran of the manufacturing industry, Jeremy has spearheaded product development initiatives and go-to-market strategies in more than 80 cou...