Panasonic Toughbook has no doubts: technology and business are increasingly related, and technologies like IoT and Artificial Intelligence also enable the maintenance sector. In the current scenario, the evolving technological trends do not spare any sector: even the maintenance sector is certainly affected by a series of challenges in terms of technology and business, which as always happens can also become opportunities  first of all, that Panasonic Toughbook has identified 5 particularly relevant themes that, thanks to Toughbook technology, you can take advantage of.

Panasonic Toughbook, The Role of the IoT

L’Internet of Things (IoT), thanks to which machines, components and measuring devices are connected to the internet through sensors to generate usable data, is having a significant impact on the very essence of the maintenance sector. The more connected elements, the greater the data flow. This means that maintenance is moving away from the traditional process of In this case the challenge is to combine the Big Data deriving from the IoT with the experience of the technicians; this allows the companies to increase the efficiency and improve the customer experience through proactive interventions and targeted actions.

A good example is the maintenance of the Belgian national railroad by Infrabel (State-owned company that deals with the maintenance and upgrading of the railway network): intelligent sensors indicate whether an installation is compromised, so the maintenance plans are sent in real time to technicians through their tablet Pan

There is also a growing number of maintenance companies using PSA (Professional Service Automation) software, which connects projects to customers and collects data that will then support them in making important decisions. Reading sensitive PSA data can ensure that more customers are served with the same number of employees, or that more valuable services can be offered to the customer.

Sustainability according to Panasonic Toughbook

Maintenance managers play a key role in sustainability: every day they make decisions that then have a direct impact on energy efficiency, CO2 emissions and waste reduction. After all, every maintenance or repair work offers the opportunity for sustainable improvement, as Siemens has included for example: Siemens Mobility Ltd. This way, the maintenance of a train is not only more efficient but also more sustainable, because thanks to the use of a computer device the operation no longer requires the use of paper.

Efficient maintenance management can have a significant impact on the viability of the organisation. In fact, maintenance managers are in a privileged position to identify potential sustainability benefits and develop a ready-made solution. And even though these sustainable initiatives often do not lead to immediate cost savings, they benefit the company in the long term, reducing the total cost of ownership and at the same time bringing benefits to society.

New business models

New business models are also affecting the sector: subscription models, for example, with which the customer rents an installation and pays for extra services, are becoming more and more widespread. Many maintenance and installation companies offer a continuous service, so all the costs of installation, maintenance, repair, waste treatment and recycling are paid through a single monthly fee.

An example? A customer does not invest in an HVAC system, but rents heating, ventilation and air conditioning through a performance agreement. The maintenance manager shall monitor the quality of the internal air, and if he receives an automatic notification of the deterioration of air quality, the filters shall be replaced by the IoT. This way the supplier can even intervene before the customer has noticed that something is not working.

This approach is not only adopted for large installations: Panasonic, for example, has launched Toughbook-as-a-Service, a subscription model that allows companies to use tablets, handhelds and notebooks rugged at a fixed monthly cost.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence, although it is still somewhat distant, has the opportunity to revolutionise the maintenance industry. It will provide software and machines that can recognize patterns in large and complex data sets, both inside and outside the organization

The facilities will use machine learning to improve their operations, learning from both their own performance and those of others. These systems will offer solutions or run them independently to continuously improve efficiency and performance. Many of the daily activities of the current maintainer could therefore be replaced, but the opportunity will be to familiarize with the software and technologies AI to advise the companies and help them put in place these systems.

Partnership

Looking ahead, partnerships and new partnerships seem ready to become a tool for the success of maintenance companies. Getting in touch with colleagues, experts and organizations that can help take advantage of these new technologies and develop new services, or collaborate with companies that offer other products or services, will be a new and interesting way to expand the business.

In the long run, collaborations will be a competitive advantage over competition, and reduce the time and costs associated with the adaptation and development of new services and solutions.

Like many other sectors, maintenance also faces many challenges , but it will be the organisations that will catch the change and adapt their way of working to grow.

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