22 Jul 2019

Maintec Conference: digitalisation to the fore

Originally created for IP&E Magazine June/July

Maintec, the exhibition dedicated to maintenance, reliability and asset management, has announced the first details of its 2019 seminar programme. Conference programme director Andy Pye reveals more.

The new-look programme will feature a variety of different session formats including; keynote presentations, in-depth case study reviews of active maintenance projects, technical sessions, and panel discussions.

Each day begins with a keynote presentation, both of which emphasise the role of digitalisation in modern maintenance. Today, digitalisation offers wide-ranging potential for long-term and predictive maintenance.

A company’s digital transformation journey can start small to address a single issue, such as pump health or personnel safety and build from there. Or it can explore company-wide programmes across a full impact area, such as reliability. On an even larger scale, it can mean an enterprise-wide strategy across all manufacturing and operations areas, with a view to enabling true business transformation.

IIoT uses network-enabled intelligent sensing devices and applications to collect, analyse and act upon huge amounts of plant data. Companies in process and manufacturing have for many years been using connected sensors to feed data into computers to control their processes. The IIoT uses connectivity to extend this methodology, so that real-time data can be accessed and interpreted by experts anywhere in the world. They can then provide actionable insights that can lead to significant improvements in core areas such as energy consumption and equipment reliability.

Companies that have invested in IIoT are now achieving quantifiable business value through a significant reduction in maintenance costs. The technology can warn that a piece of critical equipment is about to fail, enabling them to repair or replace it before it does so.

But how do we that ensure the data needed for planning, processing and documenting maintenance measures is exchanged reliably? On Day One (30 October), Gary Ingram, Sales Manager UK&I at Conference Sponsor Emerson Automation Solutions will talk on Accelerating the Digitalisation Journey with Operational Certainty. Emerson studies suggest that a company can save around £40 million on their ongoing maintenance budget for every £1 billion of capital that they already have deployed in their plant.

The presentation will start by providing answers to some fundamental questions about digital transformation and the performance improvements it helps achieve. Emerson’s Digital Transformation Roadmap enables organisations to improve performance in reliability, through increased asset availability and reduced maintenance costs.

On Day Two (31 October), Martin Walder, Chairman of the Engineering and Machinery Alliance (EAMA) and Vice President Industry, Schneider UK, will talk on Merging IT (Information Technology) and OT (Operational Technology) to Maximise the Potential of Digitalisation. Information Technology (IT) teams that are accustomed to working in spotless data centres now need to collaborate with Operations Technology (OT) colleagues who often work in dangerous industrial settings. What happens when OT and IT collide? If not managed well, the result can be a clash of cultures and a potential crisis.

This is due to a mismatch in products executing in the environments - the environment is changing very fast, but the products in those environments are not. At the plant level, the cyber environment is evolving at a very rapid pace, but the technology inside is not. For a user to say they are going to keep up with the evolutionary speed of the cyber realities of the world, would be a significant statement, not even necessarily feasible from a business standpoint. Industrial PCs and PLCs, as well as components and firmware, must be intrinsically secure from the beginning.

One Schneider case study talks of an instance where IT and OT were not working well together so the manufacturer sent both IT and OT to school to learn about each other’s area of expertise!

Taking place from 30-31 October 2019 at the NEC, Birmingham, the Maintec exhibition will host a packed-out professional seminar programme. All sessions are CPD accredited and approved by the Society of Operations Engineers, who review each session prior to the event to ensure the highest level of educational quality.

Register free now 

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