Addressing Challenges of Online MonitoringW H IT E PA P E RAddressing Challengesof Online MonitoringIntroductionAccording to the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), online monitoring isthe implementation of applications for monitoring, maintaining, and optimizingassets from a centralized location. Such monitoring becomes necessary intoday’s fast-evolving global economy for companies that rely on assets asthey face increasing reliability concerns. Unexpected downtime andmaintenance can lead to significant cost and safety repercussions that caneasily affect a company’s bottom line.CO N T EN T SChallenges in Today’s Plant Maintenance and Asset MaintenanceGaps in Current TechnologyBenefits of Online MonitoringTop ConsiderationsTake the Next Stepni.com/condition-monitoring
2Addressing Challenges of Online MonitoringIntroduction, continuedMore than ever, organizations need a dependable maintenance program that helps alleviaterisks and can lead to millions of dollars in return on investment.Reliability engineers and maintenance professionals are keenly aware of the optimal balanceof plant safety, reliability, and financial returns. They know they must deploy maintenancestrategies that address these three objectives: Increase revenue through the maximum uptime and optimal efficiency of machinery.With properly functioning assets, organizations can achieve maximal output within theconstraints of the facility.Reduce costs by minimizing downtime and scheduling maintenance only whennecessary. Being able to identify developing issues with enough lead time to properlyschedule maintenance during planned downtimes allows maintenance managers tooptimize the workforce and increase the mean time between failures.Reduce risk and increase safety through decreased worker contact with large,dangerous machines in potential hazardous environments. In addition, properlyfunctioning machines can remove uncertainty in business operations, which preventscatastrophic failure and unforeseen outages.Challenges in Today’s Plant Maintenance and Asset MaintenanceAs maintenance managers build a maintenance strategy, they are challenged to address eachof these objectives without spending more on a maintenance program. They report difficultyin finding enough experienced equipment specialists, spending too much time collecting dataversus analyzing it, feeling discouraged with inconsistent diagnostics and a lack of insight intooverall reliability, and working with new technology that is more complex, expensive, anddifficult to maintain. Often plant systemsare custom-made packages. But over time,sustaining a custom package can be trying,especially when maintenance managershave limited resources.Equipment monitoring systems are used to detect trends and anomaliesfor accurate diagnosis.As assets grow more important to theperformance of a facility, maintenancemanagers use technicians to collect assetcondition data through manual, route-basedmeasurements. This data provides thecontext necessary to better understandasset health and allow organizations toschedule maintenance when necessary.As the number of assets that demand thisattention grows in the facility, thesetechnicians are spending upwards of 80percent of their time collecting data and 20percent analyzing it to determine the rootcause of issues. Further studies by theInternational Data Corporation (IDC) showthat 22 percent of data stored digitally isdocumented well enough to be analyzedni.com/condition-monitoring
3Addressing Challenges of Online Monitoringand that only 5 percent of data is actually analyzed. In addition, organizations are finding itmore challenging to locate, hire, and train new equipment specialists while today’s expertsare retiring at a rapid pace.According to a survey performed by Allied Reliability Group, a global maintenance, reliability,and operational consulting organization, 78 percent of maintenance managers are not happywith their current maintenance approach. Despite expending too many resources,organizations still failed to produce results that predicted equipment failures, and unexpectedasset failures still occurred. The reality of budget cuts, workforce gaps, aging equipment,expensive technology, and shrinking profit has forced maintenance managers to seek newtechnologies that allow organizations to scale and prevent costly failures in the future. Thiscan be especially daunting as technology ages because plants and enterprises requiresystems that can accommodate needs for years to come. But on the business side, plantsand enterprises are constrained because monitoring systems are tied to equipmentproviders. So the trend is to seek platform solutions that are independent of equipmentproviders, thereby gaining the flexibility to have one system that can monitor equipmentfrom any supplier and then integrate this for accurate diagnosis.Gaps in Current TechnologyToday, packages custom-built for the plant featuremonitoring functions but lack flexible processingcapabilities or I/O count. Or, on the other hand, they offerI/O count but limited programming options to customizethe system behavior.As utilities and enterprises move toward centralizedmonitoring, the integration of advanced monitoringapplications with existing monitoring efforts enables aplant view of operations and maintenance along with theback-end integration into the enterprise. This can helpreliability and maintenance managers achieve the optimalbalance of safety, reliability, and cost returns.Benefits of Online MonitoringMore than 50 percent of the generating capacity in the United Statesis greater than 30 years old.Managers need a predictive maintenance strategy thatintegrates with existing enterprise infrastructure andautomates the collection of data on more assets topredict asset failure in advance of catastrophic and costlyrepairs. This strategy involves data acquisition andanalysis systems that continuously acquire and comparekey measurement indicators, such as vibration andpower consumption, to baseline normal behavior topinpoint any equipment health degradation. When thesystems detect this, they immediately alert operationsstaff to examine the issue. These condition indicators canhelp influence decisions about when to performni.com/condition-monitoring
4Addressing Challenges of Online Monitoringmaintenance, which can lead to more revenue, reduced costs, and advance warning ofimpending risks of failure while increasing safety.Companies are discovering that predictive maintenance strategies are a superior approach.EPRI compared the maintenance costs for a pump in US dollars per horsepower (HP) andfound that a predictive maintenance strategy was the most cost-effective at only 9 per HP.When compared to a scheduled maintenance strategy at 24 per HP or a reactive approachat 17 per HP, predictive maintenance offered attractive financial benefits and all buteliminated the risks of secondary damage from catastrophic failures. In addition, McKinsey &Company stated that organizations who use data and analytics in their operations can deliverproductivity and profit gains that are 5 percent to 6 percent higher than the competition!Though the financial benefits are attractive, additional industry trends such as lower costsensors, automated monitoring systems, and the emergence of intelligent analytics are alsofueling the adoption of automated solutions for online monitoring. When compared withother maintenance approaches, online monitoring and diagnostics for predictive maintenanceoffer the following benefits: Workforce optimization—Online condition monitoring helps ensure that the limitedspecialized personnel are spending maximal time on the highest value tasks such asassessing required maintenance rather than low-value tasks such as traveling toassets, setting up tests, and recording data.Fewer gaps in data—Online condition monitoring ensures data accuracy and providescontinuous data collection. Manual measurements offer only a few snapshots ofmanually recorded data for any given asset every month, if any at all, which increasesthe possibility of data errors or missed events.Improved diagnostics—By using a single database with online condition monitoring,more historical trend and baseline data is available for predicting faults with greaterstatistical significance. This ensures consistent analysis and eliminates reliance on theexperience and knowledge of an equipment specialist.These online condition monitoring systems provide the greatest insight into overall reliability,which helps companies thoroughly understand their operations and make business decisions.Top ConsiderationsBefore choosing a condition monitoring system, maintenance managers need to understandwhich assets and which failure modes should be monitored. They must make decisionsbased on the breadth and number of assets and the types of measurements needed todetect the failures.Once the assets and necessary measurements have been identified, maintenance managersshould consider the following when choosing a vendor for a condition monitoring solution: The ability of the solution to scale with evolving needs, such as support for new typesof algorithms, a wide variety of I/O and emerging sensors, and expansion to largenumbers of systems.An openness that allows for access to the raw engineering measurements so new andinnovative analysis techniques can be adapted and the solution can be extended tomeet the maintenance program requirements.Interoperability with third-party hardware and software packages so the solution canintegrate with existing CMMS and ERP systems and any data historians or processmanagement enterprise software used.ni.com/condition-monitoring
5Addressing Challenges of Online Monitoring Rugged mechanicalsand a breadth ofavailable analysisalgorithms.A monitoring hardwareand software solutionfor a price that allowsfor thesolution to scale to alarger percentage offleet assets.The services to helpfacilitate the end-toend solution fromasset to ITinfrastructure, eitherdirectly or through anetwork of partners.When implementing anonline condition monitoringsystem, there are three maintechnology factors. The firstis data management, whichMaintaining high reliability of equipment requires monitoring performance and condition.involves using an appropriatedata structure, databaseconsiderations for easily mining data, alarming capabilities, and the implementation of anaging strategy to manage data volume.The second is data analytics, which includes application specific algorithms and higher levelpredictive analytics or prognostics. It involves both real-time decisions and embeddedintelligence closer to the sensor source and performing data analytics on servers usingaggregated data from multiple assets.As the number of data acquisition or monitoring systems increases, data management andanalytics grow more complex. Then a third consideration becomes increasingly important:systems management. Remotely managing large numbers of monitoring systems helps toincrease reliability, serviceability, and availability of the overall solution. These capabilitiesshould help perform tasks such as viewing the health of asset monitoring systems,connecting to the network and acquiring accurate data, and remotely configuring channelsand analysis functions.Take the Next StepWith online condition monitoring, organizations can achieve better insight into the health oftheir assets. They can use this data to drive predictive maintenance programs, which allowsmaintenance managers to schedule and plan maintenance only when necessary. This leads tomore revenue, reduced cost, and advance warning of potential failures while increasing safety.Learn how NI InsightCM can address these challenges. 2017 National Instruments. All rights reserved. National Instruments, NI, and ni.com are trademarks of National Instruments. Other product and company names listed are trademarksor trade names of their respective companies. 28750ni.com/condition-monitoring
WHITE PAPER Addressing Challenges of Online Monitoring Introduction According to the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), online monitoring is the implementation of applications for monitoring, maintaining, and optimizing assets from a centralized location. Such monitoring becomes necessary in
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