How to Utilise IIoT to Improve Your Asset Maintenance

Asset Management Software / February 2023

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is on the cusp of global adoption. To give you an idea of the growth, the number of sensors shipped globally grew by 600% in recent years.

A recent survey by Accenture and Microsoft of oil companies and those involved in the support industries found that 86% to 90% of respondents said that increasing their analytical, mobile and Internet of Things capabilities would increase the value of their business.

Combine IIoT With the Best Asset Management Software

Get Started

What Type of Assets Are You Looking to Manage?

What Is IIoT & How Does It Work?

Industrial Internet of Things is about the Connection and Communication between machines. Using sensors and the internet, machines can be connected with each other. Not only can the machines be connected but they can also transmit data about themselves—this paradigm shift makes it easier to monitor assets.

Connected Assets provide the framework to enhance operations. Connected Assets not only offer the opportunity to monitor assets for safety, reliability and compliance but also offer the platform to manage our assets for enhanced utilisation and production.

For example, Rolls-Royce recently announced its TotalCare digital with Microsoft and Singapore Airlines. The capability will be incorporated into Rolls-Royce’s industry-leading TotalCare® services to significantly reduce cost, improve on-time performance and provide better value to their customers and the industry as a whole.

Recently Tom Palmer, SVP of Rolls Royce, said: “We have done much over the last twenty years to reduce costs and improve efficiency, but we want more. We must now exploit digital capability and big data technologies to proactively drive to an even higher level of operational performance.

Teams will take signals and information from many sources and turn it into an individual aircraft strategy that uses the least fuel, avoids disruption, and is serviced with minimum downtime.”

How To Succeed With Space Management

4 Key Deliverables of IIoT & Asset Analytics

  1. Take actionable decisions based on real-time data to enhance operational performance. You can make your operations customer-oriented rather than stock- or production-oriented
  2. Provide feedback to asset manufacturers on the design and operating conditions of your assets
  3. Get an accurate picture of inventory levels which can help warehouse and cash flow optimisation
  4. Demand management can be managed with better confidence

The data generated by connecting assets provides the framework to monitor, service and audit the connected assets. Some of the principal activities that can be recorded and reported automatically are:

  • Mean Time Between Failures
  • Uptime
  • Planned vs Unplanned Maintenance
  • Downtime
  • Mean Time to Repair
  • Asset Performance Analytics
  • Asset Condition Monitoring

One of the biggest benefits of big data is that you can plot trends for any element of your assets. For example, not only can you find out how your assets failed but also the top five reasons why your assets failed.

Whilst automatic monitoring of your assets is fundamental for proactive maintenance decisions, it also enables you to fine-tune your operations.

A majority of operational planning decisions are based on historic design principles which were based on built-for-stock situations. In the last ten years, real-time data has changed from built-to-stock to built-for-customer—the turnover times are different today.

For example, John Deere’s FarmSight connects equipment, owners, operators, dealers and agricultural consultants using their existing wireless technology. It aims to enhance productivity and increase business efficiency by sharing information as well as sustainable practices, to help reduce overall input and running costs and therefore improve profitability.

Monitoring connected assets on a real-time basis offer the opportunity to optimise your production schedule to enhance your profitability.

Cloud Architecture—connected assets produce a lot of data and hence you typically need a cloud architecture to support the data storage and analytics.

Security—anything connected to the internet escalates the cybersecurity risk. Connected assets are no different when considering the Industrial Internet of Things—security aspects of your architecture should be carefully evaluated.

Industrial Internet of Things along with efficient Asset Management Software offers the opportunity to significantly optimise industrial operations.

The companies that adopt IIoT earlier can lead their industry and realise early market benefits.

1. The Right Data, At the Right Time, On the Right Device

When industrial equipment transmits data about themselves via the internet, a vast amount of data is generated. Using Real-time analytics, asset uptime can be enhanced by leveraging asset data at the right place, at the right time and on the right device.

One of the companies that have excelled in leveraging asset information is Caterpillar. Their products around the world are already outfitted with sensors monitoring fuel, idle times, location and a variety of inputs that provide valuable information to them, their dealers and their customers. For example, a locomotive has 300 sensors with the capability to spit out data in milliseconds.

Doug Oberhelman, CEO, Caterpillar said “Our business model runs on uptime for customers. If we run at a lower cost than our competition, we win. We better disrupt ourselves in our own way before somebody does an Uber to us.”

The IoT is making it easier for equipment manufacturers to send operational data to the cloud, where it can be thoroughly analyzed to better understand how the equipment is functioning. For example, Fisher air compressors continuously report the operating status of their internal parts (eg motor, belt, oil barrel etc) over a secure internet connection. If an operating parameter indicates abnormal behaviour, maintenance personnel are alerted via SMS or email to service the air compressor.

Thames Water, a well-known utilities company in the UK has deployed sensors and real-time analytics to forecast asset failures. It also helps the company to act swiftly on critical situations like leaks or adverse weather events.

2. Equipment as-a-Service

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, has famously said “The lines between hardware, software, and services are blurred or are disappearing.”

With real-time asset analytics, companies have a well-structured understanding of how their products are used by their customers. As a result, companies are exploring new business models to foster long-term deliverable driven customer relationships.

Rolls-Royce is a well-known example of innovating a product-as-a-service business model.

The possibility to deliver more products ‘as-a-service’ provides customers with a new level of transparency and fosters a deeper connection between those offering the service and their customers. IIoT along with real-time analytics provides a platform to offer asset uptime assurances.

In Los Angeles, a company called Streetline has installed 7,000 hockey-puck-sized sensors in city roadbeds that communicate real-time parking conditions to smartphone apps, telling drivers where parking is available. These connected parking spaces have increased the city’s parking revenue by 2% while decreasing the average cost of parking, and increasing space utilization, by 11%.


Traditionally companies saw increased risk in assuring deliverables, quite often the model was product warranties and maintenance for the first few years. With IIOT and Real-Time Asset Analytics companies can offer assurances on deliverables like asset uptime, energy saved, production yield and safety.

3. 3D Printing and Other On-Demand Manufacturing Techniques Reduce Turnaround Time

One of the best examples (both commercially and technically) is the use of 3D-printed parts by BAE Systems.

In 2013, BAE systems flew the first parts created using 3D printed parts on a Tornado jet operated by the Royal Air Force in the UK. The jet took off from RAF Marham fitted with a plastic camera bracket and since then the aircraft has flown with a cockpit radio cover and components in the landing gear created using 3D printed techniques.

Engineering Design which is disconnected from asset maintenance today will become vital to maintenance turnaround. Using 3D Design and a 3D printer, maintenance parts can be easily produced ‘On-Demand’. Eliminating the need to stock maintenance parts, shipping costs, maintenance parts forecast issues but most importantly maintaining the uptime of the assets.

Another supercritical example of the use of 3D printing with asset uptime and maintenance is demonstrated by the Marine Corps. Replacement parts sometimes take several weeks or months to be received by conventional methods, and 3-D printing just might hold the key to keeping fragile gear up and running.

“It’s the instantaneous nature of being able to print things on your premises,” said Lt. Col. Gregory Pace “If we can reduce a 100-day lead time down to one day because we have the capacity to print the replacement part, I think we are doing a significant increase to MEF readiness.”

Forbes recently reported that 52.8% of U.S. manufacturers believe that in the next 3-5 years, 3D Printing will be more useful in producing after-market parts or products. The impact of 3D Printing on complex manufacturing supply chains that generate high margins from Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) products serving aerospace and defence, discrete, industrial and vehicle manufacturing is just beginning.

Use Our Asset Management Software Finder to Identify the Best Tool For You

What Type of Assets Are You Looking to Manage?