IIoT for R&M: The Real Struggle, Paper360º September/October 2019

About 12 years ago I worked with a pulp and paper mill that had built a home-grown model to forecast inventory levels up to a month into the future. The model pulled in process data, received some “biological” inputs, and within a few months became very accurate at forecasting everything—chip pile inventories, liquor levels, the amount of fin-ished product, and more. Even then, it was clear that the potential benefit of mill-wide process integration was huge, and has a positive impact on the four pillars of manufacturing excellence: safety, environmental, quality, and profitability.

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has been a popular topic in the reliability and maintenance (R&M) realm for some time, and interest is growing rapidly. Arguably, R&M IIoT has been here quietly working for a couple of decades. (Anyone have online vibration monitoring? Have you ever used vibration monitoring compared with valve position to tune flow rates? That’s R&M IIoT). After almost two decades working around pulp and paper manufacturing, I have learned that we like lots of data—but the one thing we love even more is to ignore data!

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IIoT for R&M: The Real Struggle, Paper360º September/October 2019

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