What Is Predictive Maintenance, And What Can It Do For Your Business?

Traditionally, professionals who deal with maintenance in their manufacturing facilities have combined different techniques to optimise all maintenance tasks. These included both qualitative techniques and were used to predict possible failures and mitigate downtime in their manufacturing facilities. However, there is a tool that can help optimise tasks in real-time. This tool is called predictive maintenance. If you were wondering what this technique is, and how it can be used, you have come to the right place. In this article, you will find a detailed explanation of predictive maintenance and its uses in the business world.

What exactly is predictive maintenance?

Predictive maintenance represents an amazing maintenance strategy that can allow you to prevent breakdowns. It is the most advanced approach that exists today when it comes to managing maintenance within process plants. The way you can look at it is as a subset of predictive analytics. This strategy uses AI/ML, the Internet of Things, as well as big data. The goal is to monitor all of the equipment and check for part failure. There are, of course, different predictive maintenance techniques you can use. You just have to choose the one that best suits your business’s needs.

How does it work?

In theory, predictive maintenance is quite simple. The way it works is by gathering data about all your assets, and from there on, it can extract information that can allow you to calculate when exactly you need to perform maintenance. When it comes to practice, predictive maintenance can be divided into three stages: data collection, data mining and calculations, and machine learning.

Data collection

As mentioned above, the goal of predictive maintenance is predicting the breakdowns that might occur. And to be able to do so, this system uses sensors that can collect information in real-time. That is, you can track the performance of your equipment live. Of course, these sensors can detect different types of data, and it all depends on the techniques you intend to use in the monitoring process. You can control anything from pressure and temperature to vibration, noise level, and corrosion level.

Data mining

If you only accumulate data but do not know how to exploit them, you will not be able to predict any failures that might occur. This is where the Internet of Things, mentioned above, comes into play. This tool allows the sensors to send all collected information to the central system or software that analyses the data and allows you to see what is going on. In systems where the various assets are integrated, using predictive maintenance is very effective.

Calculations and machine learning

If you can only act when sensors detect anomalies, it is predicting the failures, but just detecting already existing ones. Fortunately, predictive maintenance can be used to build and apply algorithms that give you sort of a prognosis of breakdowns that might occur. First, it is usually based on maintenance logs, statistics, and equipment history. But, further on, artificial intelligence can detect anomalies early, find the right correlations and give you intelligent suggestions that can help you prevent failure.

Which businesses can benefit from predictive maintenance?

This amazing tool can bring benefits to various types of businesses. But, it might be the most popular amongst process manufacturing companies, as they have numerous interconnected moving parts, and practically every part of the equipment is vital. Some of these industries are oil and gas industries, refineries, chemical processing plants, cement plants, as well as pharmaceutical industries. But, no matter what kind of business you might have, if you need any failure prediction tools, you can use predictive maintenance for sure.

How predictive maintenance can benefit your business

If you have a manufacturing company of any kind, using predictive maintenance is a much better idea than using reactive or preventive maintenance. As in any manufacturing business, each plant has many pieces of equipment, and all of them need to perform correctly if you want the production to go smoothly. However, if there are any possible mistakes in any of them, predictive maintenance will allow you to act on time and avoid bigger failures. This is especially useful in those cases when a really expensive part of equipment might be affected. But, when you catch the problem while it is small, it will be a lot easier and less expensive to repair.

The reason why you can do this is that the predictive maintenance system will give you an early condition warning. From there on, you can move the relevant piece of equipment to the top of your maintenance management schedule. They will be able to repair or replace the problematic part, and prevent your business from facing huge expenses.

Examples of application:

Motor circuit analysis

This type of analysis uses a technique called electronic signature analysis. It can be applied to assess engine degradation, to scan for short-circuits, as well as insulation and gears. Besides analysing the circuit and the components that belong to it, it can evaluate the voltage as well as the current that enters the motor. Of course, this type of analysis can work on both DC and AC motors and can operate even when the equipment is running.

Acoustic analysis

Acoustic analysis can be used to detect any issues in a machine’s technical performance. The way it works is by detecting changes in the sound frequencies. As every machine makes at least some sort of noise, the changes in its frequency can signal that there is some sort of issue. For example, it can signal that there is a leak or a pressure change somewhere. This technique is most popular in applications for air compressors, pipes and plumbing, fans, and vacuum systems.

Oil analysis

When it comes to oils in manufacturing systems, it is very important to test their viscosity, as well as the amount of water and amount of metals present in them, etc. This is why oil analysis is so important. For instance, in a hydraulic system, it is crucial to check for the by-products of overheating and erosion that can occur as the system ages. Some other applications include turbines, evaluation of engines, and lubricant levels.

Predictive maintenance is an amazing tool that you can use no matter what kind of manufacturing business you might have. It can allow you to see earlier if any breakdowns are going to happen and therefore save your business tons of money.

Learn Why Saving Your Business Data In The Cloud Is Safer In 2021

Talk about “the cloud” has abounded over the last several years. You’ve heard it. Some of your business colleagues have even talked about moving to it, but you’re still sceptical. What’s this cloud that everyone keeps speaking about? What can it do for my business? If you want to find out, keep on reading.

What is the “Cloud”?

The cloud is a global system of servers and the software that facilitates them that allows users to access stored data as well as utilise services.

For example, if you use any of Google’s products, then you are using the cloud. The emails from your Gmail account are stored in the cloud and not on your computer’s hard drive. This is why you can access them from anywhere, on any device, once you have your Gmail password.

You can immediately see the benefits of the cloud for a company. You won’t have to invest in your own physical servers to store data. You also do not have to purchase software to be stored on your machine. You can run applications from the cloud. They can be accessed by anyone who needs them, from anywhere.

The primary benefit, of course, would be the cost-saving achieved by not having to maintain servers or hire staff to deal with them. However, business owners have asked about the safety of the cloud for their data. You can understand their concern. Data security could mean the difference between springing a surprise on your competition and a failed product launch because someone leaked your new innovation.

How secure is the cloud for business data?

Imagine it’s a few months before your product launch. All the data related to it is stored on your computers at your headquarters. You have a level of security both for the building and your IT assets, but it’s nothing advanced. You have also allowed some employees to work on it at home on their own machines, which have dubious security. One of two things could happen here. You can either be hacked by someone breaking into your headquarters and accessing your system. Or, they can hack one of the employees critical to the project because they have less security than the company’s computers and easily guessable passwords.

If you had adopted cloud data-saving products, you could have prevented this from happening. Learning more about cloud products and companies is easy. All you need to do is take the time and do your research to see what might be suitable for your business and its needs. As explained by the team at 360 Visibility, if your product data had been uploaded to the cloud, it would have been far harder to access. Data stored in the cloud is encrypted. What this means is that it is translated into code that can only be broken by someone with the encryption key.

Hackers are unlikely to get that. Even if they are able to intercept or gain access to your data, they won’t be able to turn it into usable information because of the encryption. Only hackers with hard to get specialist equipment and a lot of computing power might be able to turn the data into something usable.

Other ways the cloud is more secure

If your data was stored at your company headquarters and there was a natural disaster or a fire, it’s likely your data would be destroyed. Cloud storage on the other hand is everywhere the Internet is. Because the Internet is not a physical place, it is free from physical threats. Because cloud companies tend to back up this information to multiple servers around the world, your data is safeguarded.

Cloud companies also depend on multiple layers of security for your data. These are:

Firewalls

A firewall monitors network traffic to and from your system. The firewall can be set to stop certain kinds of traffic from making its way into your network. Firewalls can be software or hardware and can offer basic network monitoring to the most advanced next-generation security

Because of the nature of what they do, cloud companies often have some of the most advanced firewalls available.

Event logs

Cloud companies offer their clients event logs to help them monitor what has been happening with their data. It lets them know if there were attempts to access their data, by whom, when, and what types of data they attempted to, for example.

The business can see for itself if it has had any breaches and take steps accordingly rather than wait for the cloud company to inform them.

Artificial intelligence

Some cloud companies use AI to help them detect lower-level threats. There are advantages here in that where human beings are not available to scan networks 24/7, artificial intelligence systems are.

Data redundancy

Remember when we spoke earlier about backing up data? This is what data redundancy is. Cloud companies backup data multiple times on multiple servers around the world. Even if there are conditions affecting servers in one place, this does not mean that your data is lost.

Third-party security checks

Because cloud systems need to be absolutely secure, companies often hire third parties to see if the data can be breached. They will also hire white hat hackers to test the security of passwords, firewalls, and many of the other systems spoken of above here.

The point of both exercises is to see where they can make improvements in their security.

Updates to system security

A cloud company does not depend on the client to do the requisite updates and security patches to software to guard against attack. Instead, they take on this responsibility for themselves. This way, the level of security is not compromised by forgetful clients.

Cloud companies are also always seeking ways to make the data they protect more secure. You can rest assured that the latest technology will be applied to the protection of your data.

As time passes, the expectation is that cloud security and the technology it is based on will only get better. Some 94 percent of businesses surveyed in a 2019 study used a public or private cloud service. Your business could be the next to adopt them.

Pinsent Masons advises on the £28m government funded 5G test project

Multinational law firm Pinsent Masons has advised the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on its innovative joint £28m investment in 5G test projects to showcase the capability of 5G technology across a range of industries and identify commercially sustainable long-term use cases.

As the latest funding competition run by the DCMS’ 5G Testbeds and Trials programme, 5G Create was run as an open call for 5G use cases, providing successful applicants with public funds to support their testing of 5G technology. Over £28m joint funding from government and industry will be invested across nine different projects, looking at whether 5G can improve construction process monitoring, optimise predictive maintenance of port infrastructure and improve the traceability of goods passing through ports.

Projects will also explore how 5G can support live-streaming by film makers in extreme locations, and provide for a more immersive remote experience of tourist attractions, sports events and the natural world through the use of augmented and virtual reality technology.

Having worked with DCMS on its 5G Testbeds and Trials programme since 2017, Pinsent Masons provided support around funding agreements and compliance with procurement and state aid law. The team was led by Simon Colvin (Partner) and included Justin Chan (Legal Director) and Nick Hutton (Associate).

Minister for Digital Infrastructure, Matt Warman, said: “5G is about so much more than faster mobile internet speeds so we’re investing millions to help some of Britain’s brightest innovators explore the huge potential of the technology to improve and enrich our lives.

“The projects we’ve selected will demonstrate how the blistering speeds of 5G can put some rocket fuel in our economy and help businesses bounce back from the pandemic.”

Global head of TMT and partner at Pinsent Masons, Simon Colvin said: “It’s clear from the breadth of projects that are receiving government support through the 5G Create competition, just how wide ranging the potential applications of 5G technology are.

“The real value from the trials will be derived through unlocking the commercially sustainable 5G use cases. This will come from putting new ideas like private networks, edge computing and Open RAN to the test in a real world setting. I look forward to seeing the trials develop in the coming months and understanding more around how 5G technology enables them to succeed.”

Digital justice in Brazil

The National Justice Council (www.cnj.jus.br) of Brazil has just approved the adoption of a totally remote system of Justice by the Judiciary instances. Known as “100% digital Justice”, it will be an option to the parties in a judicial procedure.

For the moment, the system, when adopted by the Brazilian courts, will be facultative. However, the CNJ understands that it will bring more efficiency to the proceedings, meeting the constitutional principle of the reasonable duration of the judicial process, a fundamental right, according to the Brazilian Constitution.

The decision was made considering the successful experience that the courts had with the remote proceedings adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brazil implemented the electronic process system in 20**. Since then, many measures are being taken to eliminate paper based process. Now, the digital era is covering all the system, including hearings and judgement sessions.

It seems that Brazilian Justice maybe very close to the on line courts model, in the words of Richard Susskind, strengthening the idea that Justice is a service, and not a venue.

Law firms collaborate on industry first to accelerate tech adoption

DLA Piper is amongst six international law firms which have developed a Protocol to help deliver a globally consistent approach to the use of online case management platforms in international arbitration. It is anticipated that the Protocol will be of significant value to arbitration practitioners, parties to international arbitrations and to arbitrators as they adapt to the increasing use of technology in dispute resolution, a development which has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Protocol, which is a product of collaboration between DLA Piper, Herbert Smith Freehills, Ashurst, CMS, Hogan Lovells and Latham & Watkins, has been in development since May 2019. It aims, amongst other things, to improve arbitral participants’ ability to meet their obligations relating to data handling and cybersecurity in a way which is both practical and cost effective. It is also intended to facilitate efficient and secure document sharing.

The initiative to produce the Protocol reflects a common need that had been identified by lawyers who are engaging directly with a changing legal landscape in which the use of technology and digitisation are assuming ever growing prominence. Particular features of that in international arbitration include the greater focus which Arbitral tribunals are having to give to cybersecurity and data protection, the recognition following the pandemic that much if not all of the arbitral process can be done virtually and the revisions which arbitral institutions are making to their procedures as, for example, they look at the ways in which they can operate through online data hosting platforms.

With this Protocol the six firms have worked together to produce guidance that will help to foster greater understanding of those and other issues, and assist the arbitration community to take a consistent approach. It is of global application, deliberately flexible in approach, and relevant to all forms of international arbitration. In addition to providing guidance to parties to an arbitration, their lawyers, tribunal members and arbitral institutions, it is hoped that it will also contribute to the way in which technology developers and providers tailor their legal tech offerings and develop new products.

Maria Scott, Senior Associate at DLA Piper, and member of the Protocol’s working group, commented: “DLA Piper is proud to be a part of this collaborative initiative, which aims to drive real and beneficial change in the way proceedings are managed around the world. This fits well with our firmwide radical change agenda which addresses the increasing role that technology and innovation is playing within the legal sector. It was, therefore, a natural step for us to work with other firms to develop this comprehensive and practical guidance to assist arbitral users in navigating the online case management options available to them when seeking to store, share and manage data securely.”

Charlie Morgan, Senior Associate and Digital Law Lead (UK) at Herbert Smith Freehills, who chairs the collaborative working group, added: “This protocol will help drive discussion and consensus within the arbitration community and with relevant technology providers about the need for and functionality of online platforms in arbitration. Given the fantastic input from various arbitral participants to date, this guidance will support more informed, streamlined and effective decision-making about the adoption and use of online platforms in international arbitration. It will also herald the development of more sophisticated platform options that continue to meet the evolving needs of arbitration users.”

James Carter, Partner at DLA Piper, also commented: “The guidance set out in the draft Protocol will help to drive the effective and consistent use of sophisticated new technologies in international arbitration in a way which not only delivers efficiency of process but contributes to the confidence which parties have in arbitration as a method of dispute resolution. If it is to remain such a popular method of dispute resolution, international arbitration must adapt and embrace new practices, particularly as regards the use of technology. This Protocol will materially contribute to that by providing valuable guidance to users of international arbitration around the world.”

Dentons advises shareholders of VRmagic on the sale of their shares

Global law firm Dentons advised the Board of Directors and shareholders of VRmagic on the sale of 77 percent of their shares in the company to the Swiss medical technology company Haag-Streit.

VRmagic was founded in 2001 and is a pioneer in virtual and augmented reality technology for medical training. The solutions developed by VRmagic enable realistic simulation of examinations and operations on the eye. The company has special expertise in the development of camera systems for high-precision optical tracking. With its Eyesi® product group, VRmagic is the market leader in the training of ophthalmologists.

With this acquisition, Haag-Streit is expanding its ophthalmology product portfolio in the key area of medical training. The transaction follows a four-year collaboration between the two companies to develop a simulator for slit lamp examinations, an important instrument for microscopic examination of the human eye.

A Dentons team led by partner Robert Bastian advised the Executive Board and the shareholders of VRmagic on the sale. Bastian has advised the company’s largest shareholder Leonardo Venture on numerous transactions over the past years.