I always relish and look forward to the opportunities I get to talk to people on my show. And what a day I recently lived!
Last week, I had the privilege to talk with excellent Greg Perry, Fluke Accelix’s Capacity Assurance Engineer (Digital Systems division of Fluke Corp). This meet was the second one in the six months, and it was wonderful how profound this discussion went as compared to the first. If you haven’t heard my first conversation with her, I suggest treating it as a series and playing #1 before attending the second instalment.
Greg is an expert system engineer and industrial facilities reliability consultant. He is studying how industrial operations teams operate, how to handle challenges in industrial digitalisation, how the machinery they run works, digitalisation in manufacturing industry, and how ideal it is to involve Fluke’s software and hardware to achieve their desired uptime level.
It costs a significant amount of money when devices suddenly break, and undoubtedly, it is ALL about productivity in manufacturing. Besides, it also costs big money, not just for returning the machine rather than the part, or even for the cost of labour, but the wasted product that was on the line at the time AND the loss of possible product that could have been created as well as likely fines from regulators and downstream consumers.
You’d assume #IIoT was an ideal thing ever for this tightly-strung globe – a few strategically placed sensors, and all of a sudden, you have eyes on the plant. However, while explaining pf curve reliability, Greg does mention that there are some problems in the way.
However, it is not wrong to say that most plants are OLD, and the machinery spans various models and ages; and a lot has never been connected. There may not even be an infrastructure to link it to — many industrial environments are physically hostile to traditional cabling (abrasive, corrosive, etc.). They can be so giant and remote that WiFi and even cellular networks are hard to execute. That’s a piece of why even though the #IIoT has been here for a while, it’s taken some time and mindful thinking to execute it.
The additional parts are:
A. Lack of time to do anything more on top of what they are already doing full speed
B. Resistance to change
Greg’s mission is to utilise his experience with how facilities, people, and machines work and his knowledge of what Fluke’s “connected reliability” framework of software and hardware can do to each client and help them move onwards.
“You’ll see some companies out there approach reliability from the technology point of view, and they seem not to understand the other two aspects to this, one of which is people and the second is processes. We want to connect equipment, assets and data, and we want to connect that through synergy with processes and people together because that’s where you’re going to get true reliability,” states Greg.
Especially, Greg utilises a tool known as the P-F Curve (article link below) that reliability engineers have been using for some time to assess what sort of assessment to do on what type of tools when to detect issues. At the same time, they’re still little enough to be easily fixed.
Using his lens of people and processes, he sort of shifted it and came up with a new angle of capacity assurance, maintenance and maintainability — that’s the latest plan. It’s more like a twin sibling to data science – it’s all of the rationale necessary to justify and best utilise the sensors, data and analytics, and it gets right into the lane of the operating engineer.
In the discourse, you’ll also listen to how Greg explains the different physical and data environments he sees across industrial digitalisation or the several kinds of industrial and commercial facilities he visits and how different the “solutions” have to be based on the condition.
But it concluded well – the resistance to change that Greg and others experienced at the outset of the IoT has lessened as plants have dipped their toe in via pilots and individually connected machines, and there’s a real need to get around all of the data silos in the plant — there’s a broader willingness now to proceed. Exciting times indeed.
Well, if you found this description interesting, I truly recommend you to attend Greg’s second interview with me. It’s a sneak- peek inside industrial digitalization systems that you don’t get regularly. Moreover, I want to hats off to the Fluke Accelix team for all their work and want to show gratitude for giving me the chance to take such interviews.
For more information on the work Greg discusses, follow these links:
- Greg’s 1st appearance as my featured guest on Conversations with Dez podcast
- Greg’s 2nd appearance on Conversations with Dez as my featured guest
- Recent article by Greg Perry on the P-F Curve & Capacity Assurance
- Article by Greg Perry on Capacity Assurance Maintenance
- For more info visit the Connected Reliability page on the Fluke website