Once upon a time, intelligent machines sounded like a figment of science fiction. Now, though, we know that AI is here. It’s not up to the levels of science fiction, but that doesn’t mean it’s useless.
Quite the opposite. In fact, AI CMMS solutions could be the bridge you need to make your team more productive and make the best use of your resources.
Here’s how AI and CMMS programs can work together, how AI improves on available solutions, and why your team can benefit from it.
Pre-AI Maintenance Management
Before we look at how AI strengthens maintenance management, it’s important to know where we’ve come from.
As manufacturers in the post-industrial revolution turned their eyes to bulk production, they had to organize things on an industrial scale. Suddenly, maintenance had to evolve with it.
It was no longer enough to repair machines as they broke down because the scale of the problem was so much larger. Production was so high that the cost of reactive maintenance shot up.
Thus, the era of preventive maintenance began.
Now, though, production levels are rising faster than ever, which means maintenance teams have to keep up. For technicians and their managers, though, that means managing an ever-increasing, complicated workflow.
This is where management systems (and AI) can pick up the slack.
Where AI Is Now
Like maintenance, artificial intelligence has also come a long way since the early days.
In the beginning, there was a simple question: can machines think?
Now, we know that a machine can learn, but the question is: how much can it learn?
Or, rather, how much can it learn in a given period of time, and how good is it at learning?
Humans have achieved artificial narrow intelligence, which is AI programmed to perform a single task, such as voice recognition. We’re knocking on the door of artificial general intelligence, which is AI that can process multiple tasks the way a human can, but we’re not quite there yet.
How It Works
So, how do AI and preventive maintenance fit together?
AI is good at pattern recognition. So, as it is now, AI works with CMMS systems to do the following:
- Collect information from sensors
- Monitor the data for anomalies and failures
- Report anomalies to humans for corrective action
Anomalies are anything that is outside the system’s recognized, acceptable operating parameters.
So, for example, air quality at a certain level could be an anomaly. So, too, could machine failure, or inefficient machine operation.
How AI CMMS Solutions Come Together
AI CMMS solutions come together by making the most of what AI is good at (pattern recognition) and applying it to problems that are simply too large for humans to manage on their own.
And in the era of big data, there are plenty of problems humans could use help with.
That said, AI can perform other tasks outside of predictive maintenance. It can perform basic housekeeping tasks, track performance over time, or help you manage your inventory.
AI CMMS solutions aren’t the solution of the future. They’re the next generation of problem-solving for facilities managers who need to handle incredibly complex asset inventories and workflows.