Maintenance Technology June 2015 - (Page 4)
Time Well Spent
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
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
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Maintenance Technology June 2015
For On The Floor
Compressed Air Challenge
Friction, Fluid Optimize High-Inertia Systems
Improved Culture Cuts Downtime
Maximimize Power-Plant Skills
Gateways Make Systems Multilingual
Maintenance Technology June 2015