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Safeguarding your Equipment - how to enhance productivity and safety

Companies come to us to safeguard their People, Infrastructure or Equipment, in order to be compliant, to protect their assets – human and physical – and to increase their productivity. These are the 3 legs to the 3-legged stool we call PIE. Sometimes companies come to us to safeguard all 3 areas and see the benefits of a unified approach to their monitoring, alerting and communications. In this post we cover the third piece of the PIE, equipment.

Optimising your process control All business with manufacturing or other operational facilities rely on a process for producing their outputs. When one step in the process fails and a link in the chain is broken, the process breaks down and damages operational productivity. The equipment and machinery form part of this process. They can be very expensive assets to acquire and often perform specialist, sophisticated tasks. When they break down, this costs the company money; how much money is a function of both the fault severity and the time it takes to get the machine up and running. Some machinery relies on human observation to spot when there’s a problem and respond accordingly. This tends to be ‘lo tech’ equipment and it is met with a similarly lo tech, manual approach. Many other pieces of machinery, particularly high end machinery with 24/7 operational capabilities, are equipped with sensors and process controllers to monitor performance and emit an alert when a part of the machine either approaches warning levels or outright fails. This enables early fault detection and, hopefully, swift fault resolution so that the production process can continue.

Multiple machines, multiple systems For each machine in your business you need to monitor its performance, manage any alerts, and communicate these alerts to the people who can address them. Ideally, you also want to be able to report on machine performance so that you can see which areas of your operations are causing more problems. The larger your business, of course, the more sensors and process controllers you need to manage. If you have different systems doing all the monitoring, alerting and relaying, then your problems are magnified. As we already mentioned, the equipment is just one piece of the pie. You may also have lone machines, lone workers, other key staff, intruder and fire alarms, all of whom have their own systems. Safeguarding your machinery and your other assets then becomes a time-consuming and complex task of managing across multiple systems and using multiple interfaces and communications protocols. Centralise your equipment monitoring, alerting and communications With so many providers of the hardware and software required to support all of your different systems, you perhaps feel it is an insurmountable task to bring them together into one centralised system. Not so, in fact there are providers like Isle Systems who can do this for you. It is quite possible to bring together your fire and intruder alarm systems, your lone worker systems and your machinery systems into a centralised monitoring console. When you connect your machinery and other lone pieces of equipment to a central monitoring and alerting system you can detect and respond to production issues the moment they occur, which helps you minimise downtime and increase productivity. You should also consider systems which can provide auditing of all your equipment alarms and give you the reporting data to help you discover the weakest links in your operational output.

A unified approach to monitoring, alerting and communications gives you complete visibility and control over the operations and safety of your people, infrastructure and equipment. It saves you management time and effort, keeps you compliant, and increases your productivity to impact both your top line and bottom line. To discuss how you can add your key equipment to your key people for monitoring, alerting and communications, please contact us.

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