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Industry 4.0: Improving Mechanical Integrity and Reliability with Data Analytics

Industry 4.0: Using Predictive Analytics to Improve Asset Reliability

As technology innovations reshape the industrial landscape, efforts to improve the safety, efficiency and effectiveness of operations will increasingly depend on applying data analytics to inform business decisions. Data-driven insights carry enormous potential to reduce unplanned downtime and boost productivity and cost savings.

How do businesses transition their Mechanical Integrity programs in the era of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)? Before we drill down into specific aspects of process safety, it is worth reviewing the foundation of this concept. IIoT describes the digitization of industrial assets, operations and processes and is the fourth stage of our industrial revolution. Companies increasingly are adapting newer technologies to improve asset reliability and applying data insights to their maintenance strategies. The desired result is better performance with long-term gains in maintenance cost savings, improved processes and a more robust safety culture that prioritizes and maintains the company's critical assets.

The New Control Scheme

Industry 4.0 describes an era in which cyber physical systems have advanced beyond the mechanization, mass assembly, and computer automation stages of the past to optimize asset performance using predictive analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. IIoT refers to a digital supply chain that enables huge volumes of real-time data sets to move outside of a plant's industrial systems and into the hands of data experts who can interpret and transform this information into intelligent business solutions.

With these definitions in mind, the concept of Industry 4.0 is just another configuration of a basic feedback control scheme. Everything that we do in a feedback control scheme involves measuring and monitoring, then using that feedback/data to take more strategic, insight-driven actions toward improving processes and systems within the organization. This process benefits overall supply chain effectiveness.

As a new feedback control scheme, Industry 4.0 and IIoT enable companies to perform advanced data analytics with the goals of improving decisions that impact the budget, production output and strategic plans. Data science experts may not work inside the plant, but their insights into critical processes could help businesses improve asset management and sustain operational excellence.

Evolution of Mechanical Integrity

Register for our upcoming webinar, "Evolution of Mechanical Integrity," to understand more about the eras of Mechanical Integrity and how practices are evolving to meet technology advancements, operational challenges and safety/environmental regulations. For more resources related to technical engineering services, download our Asset Integrity Management Toolkit

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