Prepare well for a digital future, advises Pragma

07 June 2017

Leaders in the management of buildings, machinery and assets have been advised to prepare well for a future in which digital solutions will take centre stage.

Engineering company Pragma CEO Adriaan Scheeres told attendees at the Southern African Asset Management Association (SAAMA) conference that companies would need to take a fresh look at their processes, as the technical workforce shifts in line with massive global change.

“Already, the speed of communication and the demand of response time has increased. Today you report to a helpdesk. Tomorrow it will be a machine,” he stated.

“There’s going to be such a lot of data. We’ll need to focus on what we want to collect. We must be very specific. We’ll need to focus on the critical pieces of equipment.”

Scheeres said evolving technology trends, such as sensors, robotics, wearable and mobile technology and three-dimensional (3D) printing, would require special skills.

“We need to start thinking about how we would maintain a 3D printer, drones and sensors.”

It would also be vital to start training a workforce with the right skills. 

“We should analyse our existing processes and, within those, start implementing data acquisition and analytics processes. It must be part and parcel of your business.”

“Data will become a tradable entity. People will start building up credits to buy and supply data.”

Scheeres said it was also important to integrate mobile and wearable solutions, which are expected to shake up the industry. 

“Everything has to be connected and we’ll have to have adequate connectivity coverage. High risk or time-critical applications will need to be prioritised. 

“By analysing data from sensors and systems, we will be able to fix things before they break.”

Predictive maintenance is a key feature of the smart machines of the future.

“Digital transformation is here and it is here to stay. It is the future of asset management.”

The SAAMA conference has brought together asset management practitioners who oversee physical assets in a wide range of industries.

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