APM 4.0 has quickly risen to be the latest and greatest. Everyone is talking about it, most feel the need to do something about it. No one wants to be last in their industry’s leap forward, as the digital transformation promises to create real value. I often see a good start making all the difference. In fact, it’s crucial to get the basics right before any investment in Industry 4.0.
APM 4.0 is hardly the flavor of the month. This is the step that brings it all together, the methods, components, and technologies that turn the idea of Industry 4.0 into a reality. Asset performance optimization is what drives MaxGrip, and APM has the best credentials in improving availability, reliability, and cost control. APM 4.0 is set to continue that tradition in the age of Industry 4.0.
Your data has to be accurate to start with, that is literally the basics. First you have to know your critical assets are in good working order. Then you can start monitoring their performance. In my experience, this always works a lot better than the other way around. First questions to ask then: Which assets are critical, and what is their actual condition?
I strongly feel some APM 4.0 magic boxes being offered today aren’t worth the trouble. They’re often a waste of time because to some degree or another, they disregard the interconnected realities of industrial asset management. They tend to isolate issues and offer partial solutions that are unlikely to bring real results. A one-sided focus on technology is not going to do the job.
All the shiny objects can easily distract from what should be clear well before the start: Your ROI and the expected business value for your particular operations. You cannot ignore the economics, or the interconnectedness of people, processes, and data. And you can only make well-founded Industry 4.0 decisions when you know which rewards and returns to expect.
Many companies find it hard to get beyond the piloting stage. Some decide to put the Industry 4.0 efforts on hold for the moment. I think technological options are wonderful only if they actually serve the larger purpose and can be turned into meaningful actions integrated into your EAM system. If that is not the case, all of these signals and alarms are just annoying.
To clarify, think of your car. A warning light may be necessary, but it does nothing to solve the problem. What you really want from this signal is your garage already starting to prepare for the service, ordering the spare parts, and scheduling the appointment.
It never makes sense to select a solution without looking at the system as a whole. Before taking off on the Industry 4.0 journey, you basically need three things: accurate baseline data, clarity on the goals and the ROI of APM 4.0 investments, and a coherent idea about how to connect all the elements.
Creating clarity is what APM 4.0 is all about. You need an action plan that is tailor-made for your business, assets, and operations. You need insight into the current state of affairs, and a clear roadmap with plainly defined priorities, KPIs and ROI targets. This is the great start your journey deserves. Connecting the technical solutions with people and processes is the next important step.
I am excited about the future, there are great innovations ahead. Keeping in mind the end goal of Industry 4.0, let’s get rid of all the annoying alarm signals that do not translate into actual solutions.
CEO and Co-Founder MaxGrip