Industrial businesses are at a pivotal time—redefining their strategies to address issues associated with workforce shifts, asset reliability, regulatory considerations, environmental impacts and more. Now more than ever, operations executives, IT leaders, technical staff and maintenance leaders must work together to ensure they can stay competitive in their industries, that their physical infrastructure can drive a strong return on assets, and that productivity continues to increase, all to maximize operational efficiency and reliability.
Organizations are challenged by the continued integration of physical and digital operations, allowing for maximized collaboration and decision-making capabilities. This is a key theme for the release of IBM Maximo Application Suite (MAS) version 8.11. The suite represents a big leap for legacy Maximo EAM users, with new features (Scheduler, Calibration and Linear), enhanced automation and asset health analytics and AI-infused technologies to drive value for migrating clients. MAS 8.11 provides major enhancements across core maintenance and field service (mobile EAM and inspections) domains and introduces a new reliability centered maintenance (RCM) capability and library.
Our clients are now able to reduce time to RCM value through the recently announced IBM Maximo Reliability Strategies. Their RCM programs can leverage a database of equipment types, failure mechanisms and maintenance tasks built by reliability engineers for reliability engineers. This allows clients to shortcut the RCM processes around analyzing each asset class and devising a strategy for maintenance based on its analyzed performance across thousands of data points. This can help enhance planning, scheduling, diagnosis and repair processes, reduce unnecessary maintenance and enhance asset lifecycles.
For example, by optimizing the frequency of their maintenance tasks, Downer Rail is confident they can predict when something could fail, which drove a 51% increase in the reliability of their fleet.
With the continued evolution of physical assets to incorporate more embedded software and replacing analog (moving) parts with digital elements, it has become critical for our clients to synchronize IT and OT environments, organizations and activities so that all aspects of assets are maintained and risks mitigated. Thus, we are bringing IBM Maximo IT to the Application Suite, previously known as IBM Control Desk. It provides the IT service management (ITSM) and IT asset management (ITAM) needed to simplify the support of users and infrastructures.
This is a key feature of IBM Maximo Application Suite, with its decades of experience managing IT asset management for IBM clients. This is designed to reduce redundancies and enhance technical staff productivity while reducing downtime risks in the factory and the field.
Aligning the Maximo platform to our client’s industries and strategies requires solutions for many clients. We have launched a new catalog of solutions that is built within the Maximo Application Suite as an online marketplace that allows easy access to IBM and partner technologies that augment and accelerate the value of MAS for specific use cases. The catalog provides EAM, APM and even RCM add-ons from IBM and partners. It will also have complementary content, including data, configurations, dashboards, attachments, model templates, scripts and code patterns, connectors and more.
Because IBM Maximo has managed assets across all seven continents—in the factory and the field—supporting technicians and inspectors anywhere is a critical function. With MAS 8.11, we have enhanced IBM Maximo Mobile to improve inspection capabilities for technicians with standardized process and list functions and augmented their ability to perceive issues by integrating IBM Maximo Visual Inspection (MVI) with Maximo Mobile. Technicians can now request a computer vision analysis (through MVI) while conducting an inspection to detect anomalies directly through their mobile device, on the go and in real-time.
According to Malcolm Mauger, VP of Service Operations at Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions (a long-time Maximo user who recently migrated to the Application Suite): “There’s a real benefit there when you start having these highly technical solutions that you’re going to also retain people. We get really excited when we start seeing the use of AI within the IBM products because our vision for our technician is to have that one device and that one touch.” In addition, MVI now includes high-resolution image stitching for large asset inspections, which is designed to improve the accuracy of defect detection on large assets like bridges and tunnels.
Entry-level SaaS packages for maintenance and inspections
Organizations can select from expanded SaaS tiers that fit teams of any size, from 25 to 25,000 users. MAS 8.11 now supports two entry-level SaaS packages (Maximo Essentials) for maintenance and inspections. These packages provide a simplified and flexible approach to satisfy smaller-team EAM/CMMS (computerized maintenance management system) or Visual Inspection deployments. They also facilitate modular strategies for migration and consolidation of EAM/CMMS and quality management system (QMS) systems to a scalable platform. Customers can start with Essentials and easily upgrade to our Standard SaaS package without additional migration efforts. All of our clients needing customized deployment options can leverage our Premium package.
There are many other additions to the feature set of IBM Maximo Application Suite in the 8.11 release to help existing and new clients accelerate their time to value and transform operations. This includes integrating the recently acquired Omnio capabilities for harnessing and rationalizing industrial data from thousands of devices for analysis directly into IBM Maximo Monitor. This allows sensor data tied to a large class of assets to be incorporated directly into Monitor.
We have also introduced persona-based dashboards for asset management operations to get a better view of their overall asset management operations and production risks. The City of Atlanta recently deployed the new dashboards to provide real-time insights to a host of stakeholders, including a director, commissioner, supervisor or facilities maintenance mechanic.