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How can technology enable change in plant reliability?

While data has a huge role to play in improving reliability, digitally literate maintenance engineers are critical too

In a recent roundtable discussion at RS Connect in Telford 2022, experts discussed how technology can enable a step change in reliability – and thus support world-class maintenance.

Dr Moray Kidd, a maintenance engineering researcher, was joined by François Disch, Digital Transformation Lead at energy and automation multinational Schneider Electric, and Rob Russell, Chief Technology Officer at artificial intelligence predictive maintenance software manufacturer Senseye. They were also joined by Gary Harvey, Head of UK Field Services at RS.

Each of the four bought a different perspective to a wide-ranging conversation that began by focusing on the role of data in improving reliability and supporting more efficient operations before moving on to discuss problems with data silos and how to avoid them. Participants also shared their experiences of pitfalls in data-driven maintenance, including uncertainty about what to do with data and how to use it in the right way.

The final part of the conversation explored the crucial role that people play in data-driven maintenance and the huge demand for digital skills in this sector. As with Dr Kidd’s opening lecture, it was an important reminder that developments in maintenance engineering mean little without maintenance engineers themselves.

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