Education & Training
Five ways to enhance performance with condition-based monitoring
How to use this technology to keep your equipment in top shape.
January 8, 2024 By Emily Newton
Construction teams can use condition-based monitoring to lower their maintenance costs, improve site safety, increase efficiency and more. Condition-based monitoring uses sensors and data collection to provide real-time insights into specific performance metrics. Construction teams can apply it in cranes, hauling equipment, vehicles and more.
What are some easy ways site managers and equipment operators can leverage condition-based monitoring to enhance their operational performance and maintenance processes?
1. Lower maintenance costs with proactive repairs
Proactive repairs are one of the best ways equipment operators can enhance maintenance through condition-based monitoring (CBM). By leveraging monitoring data, equipment operators can significantly reduce maintenance costs and time spent on repairs.
For example, condition-based monitoring gives equipment operators access to data on specific maintenance issues and metrics. This information allows for a highly focused, informed approach to repairs and removes diagnostic guesswork. As a result, maintenance personnel can complete repairs faster and with fewer wasted resources.
Additionally, condition-based monitoring allows equipment operators to address performance issues immediately. It can open the door for predictive maintenance, which eliminates an estimated 75% of breakdowns compared to reactive maintenance.
As soon as CBM systems detect performance issues, maintenance personnel can perform small repairs or tune-ups and prevent a major mechanical failure. Businesses can save significant amounts of money spent on new equipment or replacement parts while also minimizing downtime and maximizing the value of their assets.
2. Improve efficiency with heightened visibility
Condition-based monitoring gives construction teams access to a wealth of invaluable real-time data. It results in much broader visibility into daily operations and performance. Site managers and equipment operators can apply that data to actively improve efficiency.
For example, on large construction sites it is notoriously difficult to keep an eye on everything, particularly asset-specific details like operating efficiency. Condition-based monitoring systems can bridge that gap. Site managers can funnel CBM data into one convenient hub or control center where they can view performance data on assets all over their job site.
An increased level of visibility enables a few powerful tactics for enhancing performance. Site managers can easily pinpoint which assets are performing best and worst. Condition-based monitoring specifically is uniquely well-suited for identifying trends in asset performance.
For instance, vehicles in a certain area of a job site might consistently be performing worse due to environmental factors. CBM data might reveal that these vehicles’ engines are consistently overheating, or their drive trains are strained from supplying excessive levels of torque. By investigating these specific metrics, a site manager may realize part of their site has poor ground traction due to a drainage issue.
Resolving big-picture challenges like this can improve both individual vehicle efficiency and full-site efficiency. With condition-based monitoring, no vehicle or piece of equipment goes unnoticed, ensuring construction teams have the high visibility they need to maximize performance.
3. Optimize equipment using CBM data
Data from condition-based monitoring systems is a great resource for developing optimization strategies for vehicles and equipment. The condition-specific metrics offer a detailed look at how a piece of equipment is performing and specific systems where mechanical issues may be occurring.
For instance, a certain motor might be consistently overheating, or an engine component might be causing excessive vibration. This information is important for maintenance processes, but construction teams can also use it to enhance performance by taking a step past repairs.
For instance, an engine component might create high amounts of vibration even if it is in perfect working order. While this isn’t cause for a repair, it does present a great opportunity for optimization. Vibration isolation can improve operational efficiency and safety by preventing vibration from creating issues like loose bolts or impaired precision.
With the insights from condition-based monitoring, construction teams can address this type of area for improvement. They can go beyond maintenance to proactively enhance the quality and performance of their vehicles and equipment.
4. Increase safety with real-time diagnostics
Construction teams can utilize condition-based monitoring to ensure everyone on site is working safely. Vehicles and equipment with undetected maintenance issues pose a serious hazard to operators, workers and even civilians.
Real-time data on the mechanical health of equipment is critical for ensuring safety. Sadly, there have been several major crane accidents in recent years, leading to both civilian and worker deaths. Crane accidents are often the result of excess physical strain on the crane itself, whether from its load, mechanical failure or weather-related factors like high winds.
With real-time monitoring, equipment operators can stay ahead of potentially dangerous situations. For instance, CBM data could inform a crane operator immediately when the crane begins showing structural strain due to high winds. Real-time data like this allows for immediate, informed responses to high-risk situations.
5. Maximize longevity with asset health data
Condition-based monitoring can help construction teams maximize the value and longevity of their vehicles and equipment. Over time, CBM generates large amounts of data on an asset’s mechanical health and performance. This information is helpful in real-time and over the entire lifespan of an asset.
For example, construction teams can use data from CBM to set and analyze KPIs and goals for aging equipment. Asset health data can reveal trends in performance that may indicate when a piece of equipment is nearing the end of its usable lifespan. That data can also be used to optimize and enhance equipment in order to extend the usable lifespan past estimations.
Other uses for condition-based monitoring support asset longevity, as well. Predictive maintenance based on CBM data minimizes the likelihood of premature equipment failure. Plus, data-driven maintenance can maximize the value of warranties and insurance plans.
Equipment manufacturers and insurance agencies appreciate when businesses take good care of their equipment. They may offer more warranty support or lower premiums to construction companies that are using proactive, data-powered maintenance processes. As a result, equipment can stay in top shape for as long as possible with support from warranties and insurance.
Construction teams can revolutionize their operational performance and maintenance processes using condition-based monitoring. CBM increases visibility, lowers maintenance costs, increases safety, expands visibility, increases efficiency and more. There are countless ways site managers and equipment operators can apply CBM data to maximize the value of their assets and ensure top performance on-site.
About the author: Emily Newton is the Editor-in-Chief of Revolutionized Magazine. She regularly covers news and trends in the construction and industrial sectors.
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