Updated: Jul 23, 2020
"Industrial Maintenance as a service" (IMaaS) is an important, not to say revolutionary, step in the evolution of industrial maintenance world.
In 2020, IMaaS is still a proof of concept (like its acronym!)
"Industrial Maintenance as a service" (IMaaS) transfers the digital and / or manual management of maintenance and industrial operations from machine users to machine manufacturers (OEMs), while improving it considerably.
Brief background - "In short, maintenance can be a real challenge for some companies or really expensive for best practice."
To start, I will define "maintenance as a service" as a logical and futuristic evolution of industrial maintenance. But at present, industrial maintenance works mostly in a very divided way.
Machine manufacturers (OEMs) invent, develop, manufacture and deliver machines to their respective customers.
These customers receive, install, operate and maintain these machines.
Upon receipt, customers receive an operation and maintenance manual, most often in a printed or .pdf version (Check my previous article: "Say stop to paper OEM manuals").
With the machine being under warranty and the maintenance teams being under constant pressure, it can sometimes take a year before a technician or engineer looks at the manual.
But when it happens, this passionate technician begins to leaf through the 300 technical pages on the "new" machine. So she/he turns on her/his computer, opens Words, and finds an in-house tasks' template. The following two weeks will then be spent on perfecting these unique custom maintenance tasks (as detailed in the manufacturer recommendations).
Once this step is completed, she/he must now attach all these tasks to the complicated Computerised Maintenance Management System (CMMS).
Now, it is time for thinking and discussing the frequencies to be scheduled... "The manufacturer said that it was necessary to clean the ink rollers every day! It's too much and it's tiring, we will just clean them once a week...". And so on.
Then, there is the whole part of data collection (breakdowns, preventive ...), management of spare parts, operations , training, constant updates (manufacturer side and user side)... Too often forgotten.
In short, maintenance can be a real challenge for some companies or really expensive for best practice.
What is "Industrial Maintenance as a Service" (IMaaS)?
As mentioned earlier, "maintenance as a service" is still a proof of concept.
So what is it?
"Maintenance as a service" is an important, not say revolutionary, step in the evolution of industrial maintenance world. It transfers the digital and / or manual management of maintenance and industrial operations from machine users to machine manufacturers (OEMs), while improving it considerably.
This is partly thanks to the development of cloud platforms, industry 4.0 and communications protocols, but also to the rapid evolution of the Technology embedded in the machines. Machine manufacturers will be able to rotate their business models by offering "maintenance as a service".
What will change? Everything!
Everything related to technology is a race. The fastest will be the first beneficiaries. Again, start-ups may win!
But the choices are difficult to make, and machine manufacturers have to worry:
How to choose the technologies that will be sustainable?
How to hire the new skills required, so different from their core business?
How to migrate machine information to the Cloud or Industry 4.0?
It should be noted that some visionary manufacturers already offer "maintenance as a service" with the purchase of their new machines. Here are some examples of services to which you will have access through the purchase of new machines offering IMaaS:
All information relating to the machine (technical descriptions, equipment, videos, photos, plans and version/evolution control ...)
All maintenance tasks (corrective and preventative)
All operating modes and alarms
Identification and ordering of OEM spare parts
Machine data and connected sensors (IIOT: Industrial Internet of Things)
Enable Predictive / Prescriptive Maintenance
OEM Training, assimilative and entertaining education (survey, quiz, VR - Virtual Reality...)
OEM integrated customer service (conversational assistant, ChatBot)
OEM/third parties algorithms, machine learning and artificial intelligence (performance)
OEM reservation and service planning / annual shut
Interface (API) with tools, products and generic parts of distributors ...
OEM targeted marketing
How to enable "Industrial Maintenance as a Service" (IMaas)?
I think the best way to deploy "maintenance as a service" is to start now.
Whether you are a manufacturer (OEM), a distributor, or a machine user, try first to target and develop use cases. The risk profile of potential added value is extremely low. Just go ahead and DO IT.
Customer driven: machine users are eagerly awaiting the phenomenon.
Benefits: available to both manufacturers and machine users.
Promotion of standardisation: users of the same machines worldwide will follow the same standards of maintenance and operations.
Standard-platform needed: each manufacturer (OEM) will develop its own platform. Users operating an average of ten brands of machines will get lost in the use of software platforms.
No business model: nobody has yet developed a business model - either the cost will be included in the machine purchase or as a subscription model.
Fear and questions: what is the future for CMMS? How much work should be done? How to connect the management of machine versions from Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software? Don't worry, we said step by step ...
You get it: the future of the machinery industry is bright. But everything is yet to be written, it's up to you to be innovative, visionary, inspired, creative and ingenious. You can start now by contacting us.
I hope this article sheds some light on the subject.
Do not hesitate to leave your comments and answer the questions.
Thank you for your time.
This article is based on suggestions and personal studies aimed at generalising information. Please be respectful in your comments.