August 2, 2016

Industrial IOT Factors in Reliability Engineering


Reliability engineering is engineering that emphasizes dependability in the life cycle management of a product. In Energy, Oil and Gas, Maritime and Aviation Reliability Engineering is crucial when it comes to machines used in these environments.  These would include complex systems and sub-systems that all depend on the reliability of components that fail regularly.

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) has enabled dependability and reliability for systems and components to function under stated conditions for much longer periods of time.  While the ability of a system or component in the industrial arena can be spec’d out to give operators the ability to run a piece of equipment, system or subsystem at specific parameters this machinery rarely ever gets operated at the specs it was designed to operate at.

On Another Note
Reliability is the degree to which an assessment tool produces stable and consistent results. Test-retest reliability is a measure of reliability obtained by administering the same test twice over a period of time to a group of individuals.  Industrial IOT solutions have enabled these individuals to better support their respective teams globally through the use of IIOT.

Where Engineering and IIOT Intersect
RAM analysis is a well-known method of estimating the production availability of a system by assessing failure modes, frequencies and consequences, all the while paying attention to the effect on production.  Even though reliability is a major focus of industrial companies there is a big gap that is occurring in the market today and Industrial IOT solutions is enabling better assessments and even automated assessments coupled with automated calibrations using edge analytics. This can also include intersecting multiple systems feeding data into an Industrial IOT platform that is designed to handle high volumes of data streaming in and analytics processing power that is using the latest technologies. 


While there is a lot of knowledge when it comes to Engineering there is a lot of experience that is being lost with an aging workforce that is retiring daily. Not to mention all of the layoff’s that have been happening over the past year in oil and gas and manufacturing, etc. 
Recently I had a conversation with someone that was responsible for over twenty-four hundred operators, maintenance and other employees that all leaned on him to find ways to decrease downtime, reduce failures and enable better visibility into what level their machines were performing at.  
“It is overwhelming to say the least”, he said. 
This is a common problem across all industries.  With Industrial IOT solutions, organizations globally will be able to connect the dots between the operational and information technologies that make up the Industrial Internet of Things.