Industrial internet of things ushers in equipment-as-a-service
Predictive maintenance (PdM) is a key industrial internet of things use case, according to analyst
As the industrial internet of things brings automation to an array of verticals, the as-a-service model is evolving to fill an emerging market for the hardware–sensors and other devices–that make up the so-called “things” in the industrial internet of things.
This growing market is referred to by Lux Research analyst Isaac Brown, in a new report titled “Predictive Maintenance: The Art of Uptime,” as equipment-as-a-service or XaaS. The paper focuses on the predictive maintenance use case, which would enable industrial equipment owners to essentially fix problems before they happen, effectively increasing uptime and decreasing operational costs.
“To fully benefit from the new technology, industrial organizations need to rapidly move away from the current practice of fixing equipment only after failure, or at pre-determined intervals,” Brown said. “Remote diagnostics and maintenance solutions are a key factor in enabling OEMs to offer equipment-as-a-service models.”
Brown also makes the point that while implementing predictive maintenance requires significant upfront capital outlay, it does drive cost savings at scale; he gives the example of Monsanto, which he says saved $1 million by using wireless gateways and failure ratings to some 14,000 pieces of equipment.
The equipment-as-a-service model would help avoid the high capex and enable industrial players to jump straight to the cost savings promised by predictive maintenance. He reports Caterpillar, ThysenKrupp and Tennant are “experimenting with new business models that could eliminate capex.”
Brown also notes that size of the industrial company as well as regional location “play important roles in the adoption of predictive maintenance and connected solutions. Among industries, energy and heavy industries are much further along than others.”