I have to choose the critical spares for our plant instruments. I need to consider instrument reliability, manufacturer reputation, lead time, pricing, etc. I don't have any data on instrument failure in this plant. I'd appreciate if someone here can tell me how to design a good critical spares strategy.
Expert’s answer: Critical spares for plant instruments
So, you need critical spares for plant instruments? Nowadays, with the Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0, plant asset management (PAM) is a hot topic. So let’s divide the solution into two topics-collecting field data and receiving information.
If you can’t connect to the field or you don’t have the right platform, you can’t analyze your data.
Okay, most field devices provide data to predict downtime, saving your company money in the long run.
Now, if you have your devices in a digital network like FOUNDATION Fieldbus or PROFIBUS DP/PA, you’ll get all the information you need for a database. Here, most people use analog connections to their control systems and HART devices. You can catch all the field data, but you have to connect the devices to the control system digitally.
There are three ways to do that. First, you can change the system input card, allowing the system to read HART data. Or you can use a multiplexer between the field devices and the control system, passing the information to the system. Finally, you can have a wireless adapter in each device, allowing you to receive all data wirelessly.
Plant Asset Management
Once you have all the field data on your computer, you can focus on the plant asset management (PAM). The market offers a broad range of software to build your platform for calibration, communication, and more.
Also, some platforms can divide into applications using different concepts. Of course, you can pay more for greater access with a platform with internal licenses, or you can use one divided into different programs that work together.
Critical spares for plant instruments: Making your choice
So which platform should you choose? Naturally, the best for your situation and existing devices, of course! Your platform should offer transparent connections with your field devices and control system. Also, it should provide brand compatibility; if you can get data from brand X and none from brand Y, you have nothing.
Online communication allows you to maintain a big database, where you can easily do parts management. Depending on your platform, you may already have this option. Otherwise, you should invest in a service to create the spare part management inside your PAM system.
Here are some PAM options:
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