Maintenance Technology June 2015 - (Page 4)

MY TAKE Pursuing Reliability: Time Well Spent Jane Alexander Managing Editor T he theme was innovation. The focus was solutions. Fluke's 2015 Measure of Innovation Summit attracted a diverse group of interested individuals from around the world to the company's Everett, WA, headquarters last month. Although invitations had promised "an interactive look at new technologies that capture, trend, and share detailed measurement data to improve performance, minimize downtime, and further research," the organizers clearly went further. Much of the event was devoted to in-depth discussions and activities related to the pursuit of reliability across today's industrial landscape. My take? It was time well spent. As industry events go, the Summit turned out to be particularly busy for the assembled thoughtleaders; service providers; consultants; technology partners; end-users from organizations such as Nissan, Alcoa, Weyerhaeuser, Hormel Foods, Toyota, and Southern Company; and members of the media. From the moment we arrived until we went our separate ways, full-throttled participation wasn't an option for any of us: It was required. Concern over the lack of skilled technical workers to meet industry's growing demands was the proverbial elephant in the room at Fluke's Measure of Innovation Summit. For a company that prides itself on listening and providing more than expected, Fluke appeared to succeed on both counts at the Summit. It got an earful on reliability, and it delivered. Conversations coming out of the sessions seemed to continue almost non-stop. Presentations on topics such as the failure of leadership in reliability programs and panel discussions on what's working, what's not, and what could in real-world reliability efforts fueled much of the chatter. The elephant in the room at this event was big and 4| MAINTENANCE TECHNOLOGY familiar: the lack of skilled technical workers to meet industry's current and future needs for equipment and process reliability across the board. These issues couldn't have been far from the minds of many in the crowd, including the event's organizers and representatives of Fluke industry partners, including IBM, PRÜFTECHNIK Alignment Systems, and Snell Infrared. The agenda put a spotlight on several of the innovative ways that end-users and suppliers are working together to overcome these challenges. Dave Hart of ServiceMax, Pleasanton, CA, offered a case in point. ServiceMax provides end-to-end mobile and cloud-based field-service management software solutions for 20-million people around the globe who install, maintain, and repair machines across dozens of industries-an $18-billion market, by the way. References to leveraging mobility and cloud-based technologies in solving problems posed by industry's technical-skills crisis were a common topic of discussion. As vice president of Global Customer Transformation, Hart works with existing ServiceMax customers and prospects "to understand and unlock the true value of their field-service organizations." During one of the Summit's panel discussions, he pointed to ServiceMax statistics indicating that 60% of companies are currently understaffed in their technical and highly skilled positions. Moreover, demand for workers with technical and engineering skills, he said, is expected to grow by twice that of other professions by 2025. It looks as though ServiceMax could be on to something with its business model. In 2012, the number of U.S. service technicians stood at 5.4 million. By 2020, it's expected to hit 6.2 million. ServiceMax is one of countless suppliers trying to address end-user organizations' demands for increased reliability of their critical assets, despite the availability of fewer skilled workers. Fluke is another. As the Summit demonstrated, the company continues to listen carefully-and to that end is working closely with many attendees to develop solutions that make reliability a sustainable reality for all types of equipment and processes, in all types of operations. That, too, seems like time well spent. For all of us. MT jalexander@maintenancetechnology.com JUNE 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Maintenance Technology June 2015

My Take
Uptime
For On The Floor
Compressed Air Challenge
News
Friction, Fluid Optimize High-Inertia Systems
Improved Culture Cuts Downtime
Maximimize Power-Plant Skills
Gateways Make Systems Multilingual
Technology Showcase
Products
Marketplace
Lubrication Checkup

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