According to analysts from Technavio, the global machine condition monitoring market will reach US$1.8 billion by 2020, driven by changes in industrial plant operations.
The main growth factors include:
- The shift from preventative maintenance to predictive maintenance
Preventative strategies include pre-planned periodic shutdown, disassembly, thorough inspection and replacement of damaged parts in anticipation of breakdowns. This strategy can be effective, but it is expensive and time-consuming.
“Therefore, in order to increase the longevity of machines and equipment and prevent breakdown during operations, end-users are increasingly favouring predictive maintenance. Real-time data collection and analysis, preferably by online detection, is the most favourable modality of predictive maintenance,” said Bharath Kanniappan, Technavio analyst.
- Stringent regulations for employee safety
Industries such as oil and gas, power, chemical and petrochemical, cement and pharmaceutical must abide by stringent policies regarding process efficiency, ergonomics and employee safety. Hazards such as toxic gases and chemicals are commonly encountered by personnel during unscheduled maintenance operations and machinery breakdowns. For this reason, machine condition monitoring is becoming more prevalent, with vendors of machine condition monitoring systems increasingly applying for approval and certification from regulatory bodies.
- Increased use of wireless technology for machine condition monitoring
Machine condition monitoring systems are used to increase productivity and decrease downtime. This involves the use of data collection systems, of which there are two types: permanent online systems that can collect and store data automatically, and portable data collectors for manual programs. Online permanent data systems tend to have more benefits as they provide continuous coverage of data and machines that may be vital for production processes. However, some of their disadvantages include high installation costs and difficulty of use in hazardous areas.
These disadvantages have compelled vendors to incorporate wireless device technology into their monitoring systems, which eliminates the need for hard wiring, increases the speed of data transmission, allows untethered operations, enables easy monitoring of mobile machinery, allows access to hazardous areas and is cost-effective due to the lack of wiring expenditure.