The definition of IoT is an interesting one. Whereas some see it as placing sensors and automatically collecting data, others see more far-reaching developments. The latter is more accurately defined within maintenance as Smart Maintenance or Industry 4.0 and also includes solutions such as Virtual and Augmented Reality.
An often-used definition of the Internet of Things is (according to Oxford Dictionaries) “the interconnection via the Internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data.” This definition demonstrates the simplicity of IoT. It really does not have to be that complicated.
Hype, trend or here to stay?
It is important to differentiate between a hype, a trend and valuable developments that are here to stay. It turns out IoT is actually all three. IoT is definitely a hype: it is everywhere and people are increasingly talking about it. However, a hype is only short-term. If a hype persists, it becomes a trend. IoT solutions which are currently available on the market clearly have proven to be a valuable addition to current maintenance management practices and to accelerate the transition of corrective maintenance towards predictive maintenance. IoT has shown to be more than a hype and has established itself as a long-term trend with valuable developments that are definitely here to stay.
A great example of a valuable IoT solution is installing smart sensors on your assets which directly communicate information to your maintenance system, such as vibrations or temperature. This would offer you the opportunity to obtain results from the measurements and adjust your maintenance processes accordingly.
A growth process
Embedding IoT solutions in your work environment is a process of growth for any organisation. Your organisation probably is already working with smart technology. Combine this technology with the IoT solutions on the market to find out what works best for your company. This does require experimenting, but you could set up a pilot project to avoid large investments until you can prove the added value of the project. The key to success often lies in moderation and experimentation where possible, there is no need to rush. And to provide a closing word of advice: do not focus only on IoT. This process also works for countless of other options that can help you to implement “Smart Maintenance” within your organisation.