Maintenance of industrial and manufacturing tools and machinery is essential to a production system or plant. If not done correctly or timely it can bring a business to halt. But performing unnecessary maintenance can be expensive too. By deploying an advanced maintenance system enterprises can nearly prevent unplanned downtime and optimize maintenance tasks so that the right maintenance procedures are done at the right times and only on the right units. That’s where PanaCIM Maintenance delivered through Panasonic mobile computing devices turns preventive maintenance into an intelligently directed process that helps prevent unexpected down time by identifying tool and machinery problems before they are likely to happen.
Maintenance can be managed in three different ways:
Run to fail – whereby nothing is done until the unit stops running and the unit is then fixed or replaced. Not recommended in almost any industrial or manufacturing organization today for obvious reasons.
Time-based method – in which the unit is checked periodically based on a fixed schedule. The more traditional methodology, acceptable for less complex operations because it may result in less optimal performance and unnecessary maintenance.
Condition-based maintenance – where the unit is evaluated continuously through a variety of methods, and maintenance operations are performed based on an understanding of how its conditions affect its performance and reliability, triggering maintenance before the unit fails.
When systems fail, things stop working. For factory environments that can mean thousands of dollars for every minute of lost production, with additional losses in terms of product delays and customer good will. Today’s production lines are populated by automated systems that manage complex processes but still require technical expertise and attention to critical components. Monitoring the condition of these machines is done through a variety of sensors used to both monitor and control their operations as part of normal functions. But tracking the output of the sensors also provides clues to their performance which can provide insight into what may be about to fail. Collecting and analyzing the massive amount of input from robots and other machines is how PanaCIM Maintenance is able to direct technicians to the machine or device that needs maintenance before it fails.
Survival on the shop floor
PanaCIM Maintenance, which may be cloud-based or on-premise, provides the combination of data collection, analysis, and presentation that makes predictive maintenance possible. It stores data collected from sensors and environmental conditions and applies rules and history to predict performance issues. It then creates work orders and maintenance schedules to guide technicians via GPS and location information to the units in need of service. But manufacturing environments can be harsh environments, and the machines that run the manufacturing processes can be tough to get to and work on. Often they are wet or oily, in dusty environments and emit RFI.
The PanaCIM Maintenance solution in combination with Panasonic’s mobile devices is designed to operate under these adverse industrial, harsh conditions, with the devices hardened against damage due to dropping and sealed against dust and water. In addition, Toughbook mobile computers and Toughpad tablets go beyond the standard safety testing to achieve ANSI 12.12.01-2000 certification1. (ANSI 12.12.01-2000 certification assures safe operation in areas where potentially explosive or flammable substances may be present).
Also, the PanaCIM Maintenance solution communicatevia WiFi for efficiency. However, WiFi signals can sometimes be blocked by industrial buildings, large machinery, and other sources of interference and consumer-grade mobile devices will not connect. For this reason Panasonic builds Toughbooks and Toughpads withcustomized antennas and modules to maximize the wireless performance of its computers and tablets. Additionally the Panasonic device testing is performed in heat, cold, rain and other typical real world environments to optimize performance.
And while much of today’s manufacturing machinery is computer controlled, not all of it is wireless networked. Much of it still relies on legacy serial port connections rather than WiFi or even USB ports to communicate with other computers. For this reason Toughpads are equipped with RS-232 serial ports capabilities specifically so they can connect to legacy systems.
The goal of the the PanaCIM Maintenance solution, delivered with a Toughpad mobile device, is to enable technicians to predict and perform orderly updates and maintenance minimizing emergency shutdowns due to equipment failures and optimizing maintenance and production up-time.
Today’s global manufacturing requires the use of advanced, reliable maintenance management technology to be competitive. As a global manufacturing company, Panasonic knows the complexity of the industry today and our PanaCIM Maintenance solution is designed to be an effective and easy-to-use solution for nearly any manufacturing or industrial enterprise.
For more information on PanaCIM Maintenance you can visit our website at:
For more information on the Panasonic Toughpads that power PanaCIM Maintenance, visit our website at Panasonic Toughbook and Toughpad solutions.