Predictive Maintenance and Cybersecurity

Experts urge OEMs to adopt predictive maintenance services or risk obsolescence. Watch this Take Five video to find out about two new resources available from PMMI and OMAC to help protect your plant against cyber criminals.


This video covers:

  • Predictive maintenance as a service
  • Understanding cybersecurity processes across the organization
  • The OEM responsibility to secure remote access connections

Related to this episode:

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   Read the transcript below:

Hi, I'm Stephanie Neil, and welcome to Take Five with OEM Magazine.

At PMMI's Executive Leadership Conference, which took place in April, OEMs heard from experts on the economic outlook and how it impacts the packaging industry. They heard from CPG customers. And there was also a session on how OEMs can use predictive maintenance as a sales and service strategy. And that's what we'll focus on here.

Blake Griffin, an analyst at Interact Analysis, talked about benefits of providing predictive maintenance on machines as an aftermarket service. And while some of us in this industry thought of predictive maintenance as merely a buzzword in years past, it actually has the potential to disrupt the OEM business model. In fact, Griffin said if an OEM opts not to provide predictive maintenance, they run the risk of obsolescence in the longterm.

So first, what are we talking about? Griffin explained predictive maintenance as the use of technology to gather data on the condition of assets, such as temperature or vibration levels, and to perform an analysis on that data to predict when the asset needs to be repaired. This is all happening, of course, before anything fails, which is a big factor in avoiding downtime. And there are some machines that are more prone to downtime like form, fill, and seal machines, labeling, decorating, and coating machines—and that's according to a survey of customers. That's why many CPGs have already implemented predictive maintenance or are evaluating it. All of this research can be found in a business intelligence report from PMMI called Packaging and Predictive Maintenance, available now at pmmi.org.

So what's in the way of OEMs adopting this technology and offering it as a service? First, there are existing service level agreements, which machine builders may be afraid to jeopardize. But Griffin said that SLAs just need to be redesigned to run a factor of uptime. If you guarantee 95% uptime, you charge a premium for anything above that. The second obstacle is remote access security, something everyone is concerned about, especially given the recent headline of a ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline, which was attacked by a cyber criminal gang that experts believe were helped by the fact that more engineers are remotely accessing systems for the pipeline from home due to the pandemic. And small businesses are falling victim to these hackers as well as all they want is money. So this is concerning.

To help manufacturers and OEMs navigate new cyber threats there are two new resources available. First PMMI has recently released its 2021 cybersecurity report, which can help you evaluate your risk. The report outlines different threats, how to identify possible exposures, the need for IT and OT collaboration, and what manufacturers and OEMs can do right now to secure the plant floor.

In addition, the Organization for Machine Automation and Control, known as OMAC, also released a paper called The Practical Guide for Remote Access to Plant Equipment. This work group, led by security vendor ei3, brought together 37 representatives from major manufacturers, OEMs, system integrators, and automation vendors who worked on this guide for several months. It can be used to define, analyze, control, and improve secure remote access. I spoke with an automation expert at Cargill who helped develop this and he says he now passes it around his organization as well as to vendors as a reference for discussion because while there's no silver bullet, the goal is to develop common sense practical points of view that anyone and everyone should use.

You can access the PMMI and OMAC reports in the links below. And you can also read more about it in the summer issue of OEM Magazine coming to you in June.

So that's it for me for today. Thanks for joining me for this edition of Take Five.

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