Real-time insights needed for improving uptime, machine performance

Manufacturers can improve performance and operation through real-time insights, but know what kind of information is needed to benefit the specific user or department. Pneumatics is moving into the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) as smart technologies maximize uptime with predictive intelligence and condition-based monitoring, as explained in an IMTS 2016 presentation. See four real-time benefits.


Jeremy King, product marketing manager, Bimba, said that the company learned that the Internet of Things (IoT) provided Bimba with abundant amounts of data, in his presentation, The Future of Pneumatics: Smart Technology that Maximizes Uptime with PredictThe Industrial Internet of Things' (IIoT) impact has been felt in many industries and companies that produce pneumatics are no exception. Jeremy King, product marketing manager, Bimba, said that the company learned that what it meant for their company was an abundant amount of data in his presentation "The Future of Pneumatics: Smart Technology that Maximizes Uptime with Predictive Intelligence and Condition-Based Monitoring," at IMTS on Sept. 13.

Data is only part of the equation. "None of us need more data," King said, explaining that 80% of data collected isn't used. "What we need to do is create more insights into our systems and learn how that can improve uptime and create more efficiency for our systems."

The type of data needed, however, depends on the user. The machine designer, machine operator, and quality manager each have different needs. And those insights, King said, need to be delivered in real-time to deliver real results. A constant influx of precise and accurate performance-related insights can allow users to make smarter decisions to ensure uptime and component performance.

Four real-time benefits

King highlighted four areas that will especially benefit from real-time insights:

  1. Predictive prognostics. Up-to-date condition information is designed to allow hardware to predict when something is projected to fail. Having this knowledge in advance prevents breakdowns and increases uptime.
  2. Remote monitoring. A network of smart devices allows users to collect data and monitor machinery remotely from multiple locations. King mentioned an example where the plant manager can check s smartphone and tablet for a status update instead of having to physically visit the site to see how a machine is doing.
  3. Machine efficiency. With real-time data, users can identify whether a component is achieving its desired performance specification and make adjustments as needed. King said this is useful for sequencing applications that rely on precision.
  4. Maximizing production. Users running machinery 24/7 or producing large batches can alert users to underperforming components, which enables proactive responses for maximum uptime.

Users should determine what types data should fuel insights; real-time data delivers real results. Image courtesy: Chris Vavra, CFE MediaKing discussed an example involving a company that makes medicine bottle caps. The company uses real-time data to improve machine efficiency to improve pneumatic cylinders, which had a tendency to break down because of dust and gunk filling up through consistent operation. They used a new lubricant and added a rod wiper in the cylinder to reduce internal damage. The pneumatic machine also received upgrades through the data with higher flow exhaust mufflers as well as modifications to the stopper material. The latter portion, King said, is a work in progress, but this is also part of gaining insights through real-time data.

The data gleaned from improving the machine also helped improve maintenance insights as well as quality control and operations. The data allowed the different departments to improve such facets as swell time, the force being applied, and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE).

"Getting the right data to the right people is critical," King said. "Component manufacturers have the experts to turn data into sights and component manufacturers are uniquely placed to develop insights with their customers so they can make better decisions."

Chris Vavra, production editor, Control Engineering, CFE Media,

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See additional stories from IMTS 2016 linked below.

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