The Mainstream Conference, produced by The Eventful Group this past May was not your average virtual event. There was a lot of collaboration and interaction within sessions and many networking opportunities over the course of the conference.
It was my pleasure on behalf of Rizing to host the VIP Virtual Wine Tasting event, celebrating 25 years of the Mainstream Conference. This was such a new concept and a great example of how industries had to pivot during the pandemic to continue to reach and engage their customers. The platform was virtual, but the wine was real… which was great! We learned a bit about each other, the laughter and stories shared from the last 25 years of Mainstream were what made the night and demonstrated the true spirit of the Asset, Reliability, and Maintenance community.
Rizing partnered with SAP at Mainstream to be a premier partner for the event to present thought leadership and drive discussion on several topics focusing on Enterprise Asset Management. During these sessions, we utilized polling technology to get insights and trends on topics that are close to the Mainstream community, and to get an appreciation of where people and companies are in the pursuit of Asset Management Excellence.
There were two sessions I wanted to highlight which explore the trends across industries in asset management maturity which allows you to get an appreciation for what others are experiencing and what people are working through on this journey. The themes in both sessions were very similar and the discussion provided a range of ideas and thoughts on how to manage your assets.
Mainstream Think Tank: Asset Management across industries
The first session to highlight was a pre-conference Think Tank looking at Asset Management across industries. This session, hosted by Jon Wilson, Global COE, SAP Digital Supply Chain SAP Australia, and myself had attendees from multiple industries including Utilities, Mining, Manufacturing, Aviation, and the public sector. We explored 4 key topics:
- Asset Management Maturity
- Data Management
- Digital leadership
Everyone attending the session was highly engaged and in a talkative mood which provided some real-time insights into how we are maintaining our assets.
For Asset Management Maturity, the key themes preventing people’s progression were Time, People/Skills, and Selling the improvements through the organization. This discussion focused on how to build the business case to justify the improvements noting that for critical equipment and complex assets there are better ways to manage the asset. To complement traditional maintenance practices the technology is available now to utilize data to better predict failures and apply interventions to rectify the asset and prevent the failure.
For Data Management, the consensus was limited management and control of data. Because of this, it was not utilized in the way we hear it can be today. There was some distrust in data plus a lot of data is stored and managed in single systems without integration or without its ability to be interrogated in a way to make informed decisions.
There was so much interaction that the Think Tank session ran overtime, so we didn’t get time to focus on all our topics. However, the technology and people discussions were included throughout the Maturity and Data topics. There is still a lot of work to be done to increase maturity, but I hope the discussion during this session will lead to people focusing on the right areas to have better business conversations, build better business cases for improvements and achieve a better return on investments.
Mainstream Interactive Session: Asset Management in the Age of Industry 4.0
The second session I wanted to reflect on was the Asset Management in the age of Industry 4.0 live interactive session led by Jonathan Marvin, EAM Solution Architect, APAC Rizing, Jon Wilson Global COE, SAP Digital Supply Chain, SAP Australia, and Simon Lee, Global Solution Manager – Predictive Asset Insights, SAP.
With the rise in prominence of Industry 4.0 and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), technologies such as Digital Twins, Machine Learning, and Simulation are now available to support reliability engineers in both defining data-driven asset management strategies, and in monitoring those strategies.
The intent is to achieve a step-change improvement in cost, risk, and performance, and transform asset management practices. In this live interactive session, we discussed both the potential of Industry 4.0 in Asset Management and also the reality of implementing these capabilities today.
This session was well attended with approximately 90 people online from many industries – Utilities, Mining, Chemicals & Manufacturing, Maritime, Oil & Gas, Food & Beverage, Aviation, and public sector.
The interactive session started by talking about Industry 4.0 principles and Maintenance Maturity practices. The initial discussion was open and frank sharing ideas about what this means to you which produced many varying thoughts. Some consider Industry 4.0 to be jargon and marketing spin but as we talked further the thoughts shifted to IoT, Digital Transformation, Integration of data, and it was even called an ‘Information revolution.’
The general consensus of the group was that there is definitely value in looking and investing in Industry 4.0.
The rest of the session was spent discussing how this applies to your own organization. This sharing of ideas and discussion provided everyone with a few key themes. My takeaways are:
- Traditional maintenance practices are not going away. Industry 4.0 is a ‘and’ discussion and not a ‘or’ discussion.
- This journey is an evolution and not a revolution, focus on complementing what you already have.
- Start with critical assets, a small number but have a big opportunity. Chances are you are already generating data on these. Now is the time to connect the dots.
- Get the data you need, where you need it! Remove the barriers and silos preventing you from using this data to make better decisions.
- The technology is here now, it is available if you invest the time and effort.
Thanks for taking the time to read my update on some of the sessions from Mainstream. I would love to hear your thoughts and views on this topic. Please add comments below or drop me a note and we can discuss it further.