Key principles For using the IoT to reduce machine downtime

18 August 2016

There’s an awful lot of discussion right now about the IoT / Industry 4.0 and the benefits it brings to predictive maintenance among other things (in summary, better quality information, delivered faster between machines). We believe that the most exciting application of the Industrial IoT is for prognostics but it doesn’t do much good to talk about the benefits without ensuring that the foundations of your IoT implementation are correct. We’ve put together three key principles which we think are essential to help ensure that you can take advantage of this emerging field and ultimately help to reduce machine downtime. 

IoT should be inexpensive

This may seem obvious at first but it’s easy to get carried away with all of the ‘IoT’ solutions available and specify something greater than the cost of the machinery that you intend to monitor (in that case you’d be better off just buying a new ‘standby’ machine!) We’re of the firm belief that retrofit IoT solutions should cost in the order of hundreds of dollars per machine, not thousands. Unfortunately, this isn’t a belief shared by many established industrial automation suppliers. 

The payback of a solution should be less than 6 months.


It should be quick to implement

Unplanned downtime is easy to quantify. Any solution chosen to put an end to it should be deployable as soon as possible, in-case the opportunity cost of not having it deployed (machine failure) is realised. 

Solutions should be quick to install and quick to supply you with useful, actionable information within a matter of days or weeks. 

It should make your life easier

It’s easy to feel increasingly like you serve the systems that are meant to be serving you. With constant phone, email and text notifications from countless things demanding your attention, it’s easy to start believing that you’re performing useful work by stopping them falling over. Wouldn’t it be easier if they just notified you when actual work needed doing instead of every little thing that’s happening? 

The IoT should make your life as a maintenance manager easier; helping you to direct your predictive maintenance regime effectively and efficiently. 

Make sure that the solution you’ve chosen makes use of technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence so that it works for you instead of you for it.


We’ve developed an easy to use, cloud-based condition monitoring and prognostics software tool to automatically forecast machine failure which can work with any IoT solution. It provides you with warning of when machinery will stop working and so helps you to save money and avoid downtime. Download our free flyer to learn more!

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Using the IoT to reduce machine downtime