Equipment-as-a-service pushes the frontier of IIoT

The hottest new arrival in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) space is equipment-as-a-service, which is radically revolutionizing  predictive maintenance practices.

A new Lux Research report, entitled “Predictive Maintenance: The Art of Uptime,” discusses how IIoT is helping introduce new predictive maintenance (PdM) solutions for industrial equipment around the world.

More significantly, the report heralds the impact of new industrial business models that are emerging out of IIoT, such as equipment-as-a-service (EaaS). These new paradigms have the potential to re-orient the playing field and create huge opportunities for operators and vendors alike.

“Remote diagnostics and maintenance solutions are a key factor in enabling OEMs to offer equipment-as-a-service models,” said lead report author Isaac Brown. “To fully benefit from the new technology, industrial organizations need to rapidly move away from the current practice of fixing equipment only after failure, or at pre-determined intervals.”

The report sees PdM programs as verging on a phase of major disruption, thanks to IIoT advances in connectivity, sensors and analytics which are pushing modernization ahead at breakneck speed. PdM is considered one of IIoT’s coveted use cases which could benefit from connected devices’ ability to provide decreased costs and improved asset uptimes.

The report added that those industrial organizations that do not quickly embrace the change will be rapidly left in the dust.

Lux’s research surveyed operations managers in various global locations and industries who highlighted new business models, such as EaaS, that are emerging out of the new IIoT frontier.

Equipment analytics a huge opportunity

An example is Kaeser which charges a monthly service fee for PdM analytics generated by connected devices installed on its gas compressors. The report also noted ongoing experiments with new EaaS business models by Tennant, ThyssenKrupp and Caterpillar that could eliminate capital expenditures.

However, some industries have been quicker than others in adopting new PdM technology despite the huge potential upside of demonstrated performance benefits. Early adopters of connected solutions and PdM are most often found in such areas as energy and heavy industries.

Meanwhile, other industries have been much slower to adopt new connected technologies, largely depending on geographic region and organization size.

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