Big Data

Five Ways Continuous Monitoring Outperforms Traditional Inspections

Mike Manzi, Feyen Zylstra
July 30, 2021
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Are you still doing traditional inspections? Mike Manzi shows you five ways that continuous monitoring will up your game.

Five Ways Continuous Monitoring Outperforms Traditional Inspections

Your assets matter. Lost capacity due to downtime leads to harmful, catastrophic consequences ranging from decreased utilization, lost profits, increased overtime, and missed delivery dates. The reality is that lost capacity means lost revenue. Furthermore, flawed machinery is not only a threat to itself and your other assets, but in extreme cases it can lead to injury and even death.    

Actionable intelligence is front and center in our rapidly-changing manufacturing world. Its purpose is simple – getting the right information into the right hands at the right time. The worst time to discover that an asset has failed is after it has already failed or when it is too late to repair. Traditionally, many manufacturers rely on routine manual inspections to identify faults or inefficiencies in their assets. While these inspections may be sufficient, utilizing continuous monitoring solutions allows you to stay ahead of the game with actionable data and real time alerts.  

Here are some ways that continuous monitoring outperforms traditional methods:

1. Faster Response Time:

Manual inspections only allow for reactive maintenance after the data is manually collected, aggregated, and reported. In order for these inspections to occur, the equipment needs to be running and available for testing at every visit. With continuous monitoring, data is collected, stored, reported, and alerted 24/7, allowing your team to respond and resolve issues as they happen.  

2. Better Baseline:

In order for inspections of any kind to be useful, baseline metrics are needed to determine anomalies or deviations from normal operations. Under the traditional model, you would either need to have a pre-existing data model or a significant amount of time to build these baselines before the inspections could provide value. By continuously monitoring your assets, you’re able to gather continuous data and establish baselines in a significantly reduced time frame, allowing for more accurate baselines overall.

3. More Accurate Results:

Under the traditional model, manual inspections take place on a pre-determined date, generally once or twice a quarter. This means that the inspections are only able to tell you that your assets had an issue at some point between inspections. In some cases, these inspections may not be able to tell you anything at all. For example, imagine a case where a vibration issue only presents itself at certain load amounts; the continuous monitoring system would detect the issue, whereas the manual system would have to find it by coincidence. For cases that are not intermittent, the manual inspection has the potential to only alert you to the problem after it has existed for several months. With a continuous monitoring system, you would be alerted within minutes of an anomaly or deviation from the baseline. This allows staff to take immediate corrective action and potentially save an endangered asset from harm or damage.  

4. Unlimited Access:

Realistically, it’s not easy to access and inspect every asset in a facility on a routine basis. Confined spaces or hard-to-reach locations can create safety risks and make your assets inaccessible. By using wireless sensors, the need to physically reach an asset on a routine basis is diminished, allowing assets to receive around-the-clock monitoring without human access.  

5. Better Data:

The use of continuous monitoring provides data that is stored electronically in the cloud and can be used for future production planning and reporting. Furthermore, with rich data sets, you can perform advanced data analytics to further refine your monitoring capability beyond anomaly detection.

For more information, please check out the following resources:  

Mike Manzi, Feyen Zylstra
Mike Manzi, Feyen Zylstra

As the Senior Manager of Industrial Tech and the Practice Lead of Manufacturing Information Systems at Feyen Zylstra, Mike Manzi applies his expertise from past careers to provide innovative solutions for FZ’s customers. With over 25 years of experience working in the Industrial Sector, Mike combines his expertise in the design, installation, control, operations, and maintenance of manufacturing process control systems with a passion for holistic, simplified approaches to the complex issues of today. Mike has a broad background in manufacturing that includes being a nuclear qualified US Navy machinist mate, an industrial electrician, an engineer at Rockwell Automation and a major GE Representative (Gray Matter Systems), and a global staff engineer for both PPG and Kennametal. Mike graduated Magna Cum-Laude from Cleveland State University with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and controls and currently sits on Cleveland State’s Industrial Advisory Committee.

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