Chris Ride explains how IBM’s Equipment Maintenance Assistant helps asset-intensive organisations overcome the challenges caused by a retiring workforce and increasingly complex equipment.
Many organisation we are working with are increasingly worried about the time and effort that goes into equipment maintenance. Equipment uptime and reliability are more important than ever in today’s competitive business environment. Organisations simply can’t afford for critical equipment to be unavailable due to breakage or lengthy repair and maintenance procedures. To stay competitive, asset-rich organisations need to optimise their equipment maintenance processes and better equip and enable their maintenance workers.
IBM's Equipment Maintenance Assistant (EMA) is the system that helps organisations achieve this – thanks to robust processes and cutting edge artificial intelligence (AI). EMA helps organisations optimise maintenance procedures, improve maintenance KPIs and ensures that field technicians have access to the information needed to complete their jobs quickly and accurately – the first time!
How will EMA benefit your business?
Equipment Maintenance Assistant helps asset-intensive organisations overcome the two main challenges they are facing in today’s business environment.
1. Many of the most experienced and qualified workers will be retiring soon.
Many organisation are faced with a challenging reality – a large portion of their maintenance workforce will soon reach retirement age. These are often the most experienced and skilled workers. In many cases, when these workers leave, a massive amount of knowledge will leave with them, as few organisations have the systems and mechanisms in place to ensure the knowledge is captured and then made accessible to other workers.
Equipment Maintenance Assistant is a powerful way to address this challenge. With EMA, organisations can make sure that knowledge is captured in a consistent, structured manner. EMA’s AI approach then turns this information into a knowledge base using your structured and unstructured data associated with repairs, maintenance and procedures, technical documents, diagrams, and more. Any maintenance worker can access this system when out in the field to make sure they have the right information at the right time to complete maintenance and repair work efficiently.
2. Equipment is becoming increasingly complex
The other challenge that asset-intensive organisations are facing is that equipment is becoming increasingly complex. Gone are the days where maintenance workers could store the knowledge they needed in their heads. Today, every piece of equipment is different, and they are evolving fast. In addition, these assets generate more data that needs to be captured, analysed and communicated to ensure even less experienced technicians can complete the task accurately and quickly.
With Equipment Maintenance Assistant, organisations can be sure that every technician has access to the right information at the right time. The system goes beyond traditional text search to understand the interrelationships between assets and the impact of cause and effect. This offers enhanced insights and recommends optimum repair methods to guide technicians out in the field. The result are improved maintenance KPIs – not matter how complex the asset might be.
How does EMA do this?
Equipment Maintenance Assistant is powered by novel AI technology. The system builds its knowledge base using your work order history, technical documents, specification diagrams, industry blogs, and more. AI technology then analyses that data to identify early warning signs and optimal repair or service procedures for your technicians to execute. It also continuously learns from the technicians’ interactions and uses this feedback to improve future recommendations.
Why does it matter?
EMA is all about helping organisations improve their critical maintenance KPIs. With EMA, all field technicians have access to standardised and optimal maintenance and repair guidance. This reduces knowledge gaps and silos, which helps improve key maintenance KPIs, including:
- First time fix rates – improve the efficiency of repair by up to 10 percent through prescription of the right repair procedures based on your data and AI
- Asset life – extend asset life with step-by-step repair guidance and enable compliance with current standards, regulations and best practices
- Time to repair – complete repairs faster through more efficient troubleshooting and prescriptive repair guidance
- Time between failures – optimise repair procedures to extend equipment operating time and decrease unplanned downtime
The benefits and power of IBM’s Equipment Maintenance Assistant can best be summarised with this simple fact: The systems enables every maintenance technician to be as good as your best technician.