CMMS: Top Technology Trends in 2022 to Watch Out

Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS Software) is now an integral part of manufacturing lexicon. Many factors contribute to the widespread adoption of CMMS in the enterprise, including the ever-increasing complexity of manufacturing operations, challenging operating conditions, doing more with fewer resources, perennial talent shortage and more.

Technology is rapidly changing the society-at-large and the enterprise landscape.  Shopfloors are no exception.  Big trends impacting the manufacturing industry include digitalization, 3D manufacturing, smart supply chains, connected enterprise, mobile technologies, augmented reality etc., all of which are dubbed under industry 4.0.

CMMS Software, as a product of technology, will continue to get influenced and adapt to the big trends. Here is a look at the top technology trends that we are seeing in CMMS domain.

1)Rapid Cloud and Mobile Adoption

Enough has been written about cloud and mobile and their impact on business. Maintenance has been a slow adopter and has been catching up on these technologies. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) based maintenance management applications have helped plant maintenance emerge out of the clutches of rigid ERPs. Mobile applications have brought the power of computing to the point of work and have made maintenance application an ally for the front line staff, from a hitherto thankless job. Digital user experience provided by these applications have transformed CMMS from a system of record to system of engagement.

SaaS-based CMMS and Mobile access have been gaining traction constantly and has become mainstream. With low entry barriers (capital investment, implementation efforts, roll out timeframe), more Small and Medium Enterprises are embracing technology for efficiency.  We expect this trend to continue with full momentum with more processes getting digitalized and re-engineered.

2)Industrial Internet of Things

Internet of things has never been as popular, as of now. Many shop floors are getting connected and machines are equipped with sensors.  Control systems are internet ready.  Protocols are becoming open.  Data is liberated and available on demand.  Internet of things and other industry 4.0 technologies have made automated data capture from machines and other operating technologies frictionless. Recognizing the immense benefits of a 360 degree view of equipment,  more organizations are enablingInternet of Things and systems to process real-time information to insights.

When a billion people got connected the face of social networking, collaboration and business got transformed.  We are moving towards an industrial world, wherein 50 billion devices are getting connected.  Data is becoming the new oil and huge gains are awaiting in harvesting this data to gain strategic business insights. This will result in profound change and transformation in the industrial landscape.

3)CMMS is the New Wire

Enterprise integration has been in existence for years for with-in-the-data-center applications. With the integration of best-of-breed public cloud applications with private cloud enterprise applications, hybrid clouds are emerging.

CMMS is becoming the new wire connecting disparate information sources viz. smart machines, internet of things, SCADA and other automated sources. Enterprise information backbone is no longer complete without integrating the CMMS Software.

4)Rise of Reliability

Availability has been the cornerstone of maintenance. With more automated sources of data capture, there is increased transparency in the mechanics and metrics related to equipment performance. Technology advancements in condition monitoring domain have made data availability and integration more seamless.

Statistical techniques and computer models that are adept at processing such huge data and discover patterns are getting employed to forecast failures and improve reliability. The power of condition monitoring and predictive maintenance are repositioning reliability as the new unit of measurement.

5)Operations & Maintenance – Lines are blurring

Earlier CMMS Software have been used to monitor only break-fix or preventive maintenance work orders. Now with more and more equipment parameters are getting monitored real time, and maintenance actions triggered based on equipment performance and operating conditions, there is more overlap between operations and maintenance. The traditional wedge between operations and maintenance is making way for a true partnership.

6)EAM is Dead. CMMS is the new EAM

When enterprise networking was in its infancy, CMMS gained traction and many of the installations were done at a site level. Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) emerged as a new trend around the millennium that talked about multi-site architecture, standardization of process and institutionalization of knowledge and life cycle view of assets. Competing for corporate dollars, EAM started competing with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Software for survival and has become heavier requiring complex implementations.

Meanwhile, CMMS has caught on has incorporated all of these features and more. Advancements in Cloud, multi-tenancy architecture and big data have made strengthened SaaS-based CMMS Software delivery. CMMS has transformed with industry 4.0 technologies.

Such modern industry 4.0 CMMS software can provide all the functionalities of a traditional EAM Software and more.  Industry 4.0 CMMS Software can integrate with Operational Technologies (PLC, SCADA, DCS, MES, Internet of Things) and also with Enterprise Technologies, bridging the big information gap.  And it requires a fraction of the time, effort, and budget than a traditional EAM system. SaaS CMMS is plug and play and thus are ready to go live against long EAM implementation timelines. EAM function is gaining traction but EAM software will continue to lose ground to CMMS.

7)Information Seeks You

The information explosion has gone beyond possible human consumption and processing and thus the game is shifting towards more automated processing of information. Desired business outcomes are often the starting point of analytics than information analysis and action-oriented analytics traverses back to trace insights, inferences and information analysis.

Analytics don’t stay put as mere summaries but initiate downstream actions based on set business rules. For decision makers, it’s information seeking them than they chasing information.

8)Single Source of Truth

Information is fragmented.  More so, on the shop floor where information about the assets are fragmented and distributed across manuals, log books, drawings, computers, control systems etc.  Industry 4.0 technologies are unifying the disparate information.  With advanced technologies like Augmented Reality / Virtual Reality, smart markings can be done to retrieve all asset information at one-go.  CMMS Systems combine all the asset information at one place and can power AR / VR systems to present contextual intelligence to meet business goals.

The Bottom Line: 

Maintenance is shifting from manual labor to information led intervention. The winners of tomorrow need to adapt their maintenance strategy constantly to the developing needs of plant operations to stay ahead of the game.

Break-fix is the diminishing element in Maintenance. And tomorrow’s winners are already making investments in industry 4.0 CMMS to reimaging their asset management and plant  maintenance.

Plant operations are going to be hugely different in 3 to 5 years. Embrace change today to build an adaptive, progressive and reliable maintenance system as a Strategic Investment for Future.