Manufacturing facilities normally integrate the use of machine condition monitoring solutions for operation critical assets. These solutions primarily function by monitoring any of the numbers of parameters related to asset conditions Viz. spent oil, thermography, ultrasound, or vibration. These readings are used to identify possible problems that the parameter is indicative of. For example, vibration analysis can be used to identify common mechanical faults are component wear, loose bearings, shaft misalignment. Nevertheless, the ability of a machine condition monitoring solution to detect a comprehensive range of potential faults is limited because these solutions are only capable of focusing on 1-2 discrete data types. Furthermore, the solutions alone are reportedly incapable of communicating any insights on the urgency of the imminent problem, which has given rise to advanced machine condition monitoring solutions.
Industrial Production Indicator, Oecd - Europe
Source: OECD (2020), Industrial production (indicator). doi: 10.1787/39121c55-en (Accessed on 30 July 2020)
Maintenance has emerged as a strategic business function that is increasingly being considered by various industries for reducing both maintenance costs and downtime and increasing asset lifecycles. As opposed to investments in reactive maintenance strategies as well as preventive maintenance strategies, predictive maintenance strategies are being increasingly adopted. The rationale behind this adoption is to streamline maintenance operations by employing data pertaining to asset conditions to predict impending failures thereby schedule maintenance only when it is required. The aforesaid are the leading factors that are expected to drive the machine condition monitoring market during the next few years.
From the perspective of the application, predictive maintenance is now an integral component as well as most sought-after integration across industries that range from aerospace and defense, automotive, construction and mining, energy and power, marine, oil and gas, and others. With the gradual increase in population, increase in demand for energy, national imperatives of reducing energy dependence thereby engaging in more oil and gas exploration, the all-encompassing food and beverage industry which needs even more types of machinery and equipment to sustain itself and reduce spoilage are, among others, expected to embrace the automation industry even more than ever, especially when the current rate of demand and opening up of markets are considered.
The other drivers that are expected to positively influence the market and lead to its subsequent growth are increasing integration of wireless connectivity which is particularly beneficial for those applications that require a non-invasive setup, like those pertaining to food processors, more demand for new and emerging applications, availability of more secure cloud computing platforms facilitating even greater cloud deployment resulting in remote accessibility. Nevertheless, additional expenditure towards retrofitting has the potential to hinder the market growth. The importance of assessment of asset condition has led to quite a few strategic initiatives that range from product launches through partnerships to acquisitions.
November 2018 – Acquisition – Application: Military and defense, process, power generation, and transportation
The acquisition of a leading provider of machine condition monitoring solutions named Spectro Scientific by AMETEK, Inc. (NYSE: AME) was reportedly completed. Its solutions are intended for critical assets in high-value industrial applications. From consumables and cloud-based software analytics to both lab-based and onsite instrumentation, Spectro is known to provide solutions to customers helping them to determine and monitor the condition of fluids in mission-critical equipment of a variety of industries and defense. Its product portfolio induced spectrometers for wear metal analysis, among others. The latter was reported to join Electronic Instruments Group (EIG) of Ametek, a who is a leader in advanced analytical, calibrating and display instruments, monitoring, testing, with annualized sales of $3.0 billion.
October 2018 – Product Launch – Component - Ultrasound & Vibration Detector
To facilitate sound asset health, it was reportedly announced that a new cloud-connected condition monitoring solution was unveiled to detect, trend, and analyze parameters pertaining to ultrasound and vibration by SDT Ultrasound Solutions. Within the purview of this solution, the SDT340 data collector along with the UAS4.0 analysis software enables users to view the time signal and spectrum pertaining to ultrasound and vibration directly on a large color display. A further data acquisition time can be adjustable from a few seconds up to 10 mins enabling the satisfactory inspection of systems that operates in ultra-low speed. Moreover, it has a focus mode that lets the successful capturing of ultrasound and vibration for measurement as well as facilitating the capturing of long data samples with a resolution of 32k64K, 128K, or 256K.
March – 2019 – Product Launch
SKF USA Inc. had reportedly launched a device SKF Pulse which combines a mobile app with a handheld sensor enabling the user to monitor machine health rotating equipment to predict issues and ensure reliability before the operations are adversely affected. To analyze the captured data, the user is provided with the facility of SKF Pulse Check wherein the captured data could be sent directly by the app, which is then analyzed by experts at the receiving SKF diagnostics center, who subsequently recommends corrective actions. Acceleration, temperature, and velocity, measurement is featured in the built-in sensor intended for rotating equipment, along with Bluetooth communication with iOS mobile devices, among others.
Printed Circuits, Global Imports
Source: International Trade Centre
In thousands of US$
Further, the intelligent machine condition monitoring system offers a value proposition for critical industrial assets, which are located in physically harsh as well as remote environments. These environments by default cause stress to the machinery. Moreover, it becomes an expensive proposition if technical experts are needed to travel to the location of the asset for condition assessment and maintenance need identification. Thus, as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) gains traction, remote condition monitoring and predictive analytics have created ample room for new business models. For instance, in July 2019 Arrow Electronics, Inc (NYSE: ARW) had reportedly joined forces with ADLINK and Microsoft to facilitate faster deployment of IIoT Solutions that comprise a combination of a proprietary platform facilitating machine condition monitoring by ADLINK, software, and hardware support form Arrow Electronics and Microsoft Azure IoT Central. This solution integrates data collection, algorithms related to vibration analysis, tasking of computation, and network connection in single cocompact edge device ADLINK’s MCM-100. It was reported to enable preventive maintenance of machinery, plant equipment, and automation equipment as well as tooling with fast and simple setup and configuration.