The fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) brought about the smartization trend that not only has transformed traditional manufacturing, but also challenges the manufacturing industry's thinking about business operation. With the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and big data analytics implementations in place, equipment suppliers are now able to provide value-added services in addition to simply selling products to expand into a service-oriented business model.
According to Zake Lin, product manager at ADLINK, to operate this business model, equipment suppliers need to have a comprehensive plan and commit R&D resources before they are clear about customers' intentions. This imposes an enormous burden on equipment suppliers. In view of this, ADLINK has recently introduced a remote monitoring solution targeting manufacturing equipment such as pumps and compressors. Featuring a complete range of functions, ADLINK's solution helps equipment suppliers quickly build up a system and create another wave of business opportunities.
Reliability is a fundamental requirement for manufacturing equipment, especially pumps and compressors that play a vital role in production line operation. An unexpected equipment failure could result in production shutdown. To prevent this, manufacturers and equipment suppliers generally include regular maintenance terms in their purchase agreements. Manufacturers are usually willing to pay for maintenance services even after a warranty expires to ensure reliable production line operation.
Regular maintenance can significantly boost equipment reliability, but still does not totally eliminate the chance of unexpected failure. The growing Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) implementations in recent years make use of sensor networks, big data analytics and AI technologies for online real-time equipment monitoring and failure prediction. This allows managers to remotely monitor equipment condition and schedule maintenance accordingly to maximize production line uptime.
According to Lin, a real-time remote monitoring system is a total IIoT solution that requires complete implementations from end nodes to cloud platforms to bring it into full play. However, the design and development of such a system is not possible without highly specialized expertise, which many equipment suppliers lack and are therefore unable to capture the emerging opportunities arising from real-time remote monitoring services.
Furthermore, if equipment suppliers can quickly build a real-time remote monitoring system, they stand a chance of creating more business models. To help them achieve this, ADLINK offers a one-stop total solution targeting rotating machinery such as pumps and compressors. The solution includes everything from front-end sensors to the top-layer cloud platform while featuring high system reliability. More than that, ADLINK's team designed the system with significantly simplified introduction procedures so that equipment suppliers can have it up and running in no time.
Lin points out that the solution is built with ADLINK's MCM-204 embedded edge device designed specifically for equipment monitoring as the end node. Its simple and compact mechanical design allows quick installation at the manufacturing site and therefore shortens system deployment time. Moreover, the system is optimized with ARM processors and data acquisition (DAQ) modules to enable one-stop sensor data collection, analysis and upload through a powerful edge computing capability and advantage. With no need for IoT gateways, users can enjoy savings in deployment costs.
The solution uses integrated circuit piezoelectric (ICP) accelerometers to detect vibration, digital temperature sensors to detect temperature and tachometers to detect rotation speed. The cloud platform, DataConnect Pro, is built on top of Microsoft's Azure SaaS and features a full range of functionalities and plug-and-play usability, making ADLINK's one-stop remote monitoring solution the most powerful tool helping equipment suppliers tap into new business opportunities. Lin notes that the solution enables three main advantages for equipment suppliers. First, it helps them strengthen customer relationships by allowing them to add differentiating services to their existing product sales business model so that they can maintain their revenue stream. Second, it helps them expand service scope and create new business models. For example, they are now able to offer a fee-based (for example, by annual subscription) equipment monitoring service by upgrading their regular maintenance service program to online real-time monitoring and maintenance. This way, manufacturers can add extra protection for their production equipment. Last, it can help raise maintenance efficiency. With a full and instant grasp on equipment condition, manufacturers can flexibly arrange their maintenance schedule and precisely control component inventory, thereby making smarter use of corporate resources.
Equipment suppliers are beginning to change their market positioning with the growing popularity of smart manufacturing. Simple product sales and maintenance services will not be enough to keep up with customer demand. Only suppliers that are able to provide diverse and satisfactory services will stand strong in the face of fierce competition. In today's business world, firms are increasingly specialized in their field of expertise. It is a smart strategy for a firm to leverage a third party's strength to give itself a competitive edge. By adopting ADLINK's remote monitoring solution, equipment suppliers will be able to boost performance with limited resources and expand business models, thereby bringing a diverse range of values to both their customers and themselves.
According to Zake Lin, product manager, ADLINK, as a complete system with powerful functions, ADLINK's remote monitoring solution can enable whole new business models for equipment suppliers
A real-time remote monitoring system is a total IIoT solution that requires complete implementations from end nodes to cloud platforms to bring it into full play
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