Fighting Downtime with Digital

Fighting Downtime with Digital

December 11, 2017 at 02:12pm

Today, most of us have very little visibility into when of our cars or home appliances will need repairs or break down. Unfortunately, it’s pretty much the same for operators of large industrial equipment and factories in the region, according to a new study commissioned by ServiceMax from GE Digital.

The research showed that 65% of companies in Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the UAE said they lack full awareness of when their equipment is due for maintenance, upgrade, or replacement.

If you own a car, not knowing if, or when, it’s going to break down is an annoyance to be sure, but for big industrial firms, the damage from unplanned downtime is massive.

The report revealed that more than 8 out of 10 respondents – who came from manufacturing, medical, oil and gas, power, telecommunications, distribution, logistics and transportation – said they had experienced an unplanned outage over the past three years. The average was two such outages, each lasting an average of four hours.

The report, which interviewed 150 field service and IT decision makers in the three countries, found that across businesses, downtime costs $260,000 an hour. With the average company facing two episodes of downtime lasting four hours each, the bill is often more than US$2 million.

The impact of unplanned downtimes is also amplified in ways other than cost, including an inability to deliver services which leads to loss of customer trust and impacts productivity, according to the study: “After the Fall: Cost, Causes and Consequences of Unplanned Downtime.”

In response, companies are increasingly looking to digital Industrial Internet of Things solutions. More than 80% of companies recognize that digital tools can eliminate unplanned downtime, and 51% identify digital transformation as a high or top board-level priority.

“In the same way that field service management solutions moved from being reactive to proactive to preventative, we are seeing a similar shift in attitudes to unplanned downtime – from recovery to protection to pre-emptive,” said Ali Saleh, Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer for GE Digital in the Middle East, Africa & Turkey.

More than 80% of companies recognize that digital tools can eliminate unplanned downtime, and zero unplanned downtime is now the number one or high priority for 62% of organizations surveyed.

More specifically, respondents saw a digital twin, which is a digital representation of a physical asset with predictive maintenance analytics, as a key way to prevent major failures. Fifty-seven percent are planning to invest in a digital twin by 2020.

Complete findings of the survey will be presented in an exclusive webinar on 14 December 2017, at 2:00pm Gulf Standard Time. Register for the event here.

Read more stories here about GE Digital solutions for customers in the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and Pakistan.

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