Plant safety at a glance

Plant safety at a glance

Synostik, the IT service provider from Oebisfelde, is continuing to improve the intelligent control and monitoring of machinery and industrial production systems using system diagnostics. The latest developments focus on maintenance algorithms that regularly safeguard the functionality, safety and quality of technical industrial systems.

"Machine maintenance is one of the most important processes in today's IIoT systems. It ensures the operability of a system, extends its service life, reduces failures and accidents and thus protects the interests of the company and the well-being of its employees in equal measure," explains Heino Brose, Managing Director of Synostik GmbH.

Maintenance is part of industrial maintenance, also known as plant maintenance. This refers to the process of implementing procedures to reduce breakdowns, increase uptime and promote overall reliability. In other words: Maintenance is the fundamental process of ensuring that equipment is kept in optimal operating condition.

Maintenance plans as guidelines

In order to carry out these tasks effectively, maintenance plans are essential to define an effective course of action. The content of the maintenance plan, which includes the actual work, instructions, schedule, employees, spare parts and contractors, serves as a guide for all maintenance work. In industrial systems, corresponding templates for maintenance plans are anchored in the existing ERP or MES software. These templates are used to enter which components need to be replaced, tightened, refilled, etc. and when. The software provides a reminder in good time and sometimes even sends it by email or text message. "However, this raises the question: how complete are these plans? And what about specific step-by-step instructions for maintenance?" adds Heino Brose.

Algorithms for maintenance processesThis is where Synostik comes in with its maintenance algorithms, which can be customised in corresponding customer projects using the DiagnoseDesigner tool. This software tool ensures a structured procedure that significantly increases the completeness of maintenance plans by breaking down the system in question into its individual parts and providing catalogues with possible maintenance requirements for each individual part. This reduces the risk of forgetting individual requirements.

Digital instructions and simplified tracking

It also makes it possible to store step-by-step instructions for each relevant maintenance requirement. This ensures the quality of the maintenance task. The instructions can be made directly available to the machine operator - as a printout, on a smartphone or tablet, or even in AR glasses. These procedures can be easily translated into other languages and adapted to the different levels of experience of the operators. If these processes are provided digitally in real time, for example in an app, the execution and result can also be tracked digitally, which significantly improves the flow of information.

Documentation for future incidents

The continuous analysis of the collected data leads to an overall picture that allows the user to identify the causes of potential faults or repairs and thus proactively prevent failures through improved maintenance. Known fault patterns and measures already taken are fully documented, which makes work at later stages much easier. All algorithms are also available as XML files and can be easily converted for further processing and transferred to any customer-specific format. Furthermore, duplication of work is avoided and the workload of those responsible for maintenance is visibly reduced, allowing them to focus on other tasks. The reduction in unplanned downtimes also increases overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), so that both material and monetary processes benefit significantly.