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What, Why, and How of Condition Monitoring

Condition monitoring is the process of monitoring a parameter of condition in machinery (vibration, temperature, oil condition, etc.) to identify a significant change which is indicative of a developing fault. It is a major component of predictive maintenance. This market includes hardware, software, and services.

Key benefits derived through condition monitoring:

  • Cost savings achieved in operational processes, enabled by machine data, which can improve reliability and productivity of assets—minimized downtime, lower maintenance, and inventory costs, higher operational reliability, improved workforce management, optimal procurement of parts
  • Increased asset life
  • Streamlined operations through integration with other business systems for decision making
  • Enabling environment and energy management
  • Ensuring operator safety

Steps involved in implementing a condition monitoring solution:

  • Identification of critical assets to be monitored
  • Identification of parameters to be measured and frequency of measurement
  • Selection of appropriate condition monitoring solutions
  • Installation of condition monitoring solutions and training of relevant staff
  • Integration of condition monitoring system with other relevant systems and maintenance programs

Trends Driving the Adoption of Condition Monitoring Services

Growing emphasis on improving production efficiency drives market demand

  • The key driver for implementing condition monitoring services is the prevention of unplanned maintenance, unscheduled downtime, and high capital expenditure. To achieve this, companies have gradually shifted from a reactive maintenance approach to a preventive maintenance approach and now a predictive maintenance approach.
  • Other potential advantages include increased equipment lifetime, increased plant safety, fewer accidents with a negative impact on the environment, and optimized spare parts handling.

Technology advances and convergence driving new business opportunities and adoption rate of Big Data and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

  • The convergence of technologies across many different areas, including wireless communication, sensors, cloud computing, data analytics, smart factories, and smart mobility is expected to give rise to new growth opportunities.
  • Driven by the lack of a skilled workforce, customers are turning to their condition monitoring hardware providers for additional value-added services, as advanced analysis of data has become even more critical.
  • Big Data analytics has the potential to create new growth opportunities and transform the competitive landscape. Traditional condition monitoring equipment companies may not be capable of handling such large volumes of data and may look to partner with Big Data experts such as IBM or HP. Another key trend will be mobility, allowing information access anywhere and anytime.
  • While predictive maintenance is still in its infancy, there is already talk about moving to prescriptive maintenance, where experts can recommend actions based on desired outcomes, taking into account specific scenarios, resources, and knowledge of past and current events.

Outsourcing of condition monitoring tasks to service providers

  • Traditionally, the role of condition monitoring hardware companies was limited to providing sensors, monitors, and machine protection systems. This has changed over the last few decades, as customers consider doing more with the data collected from their assets.
  • In 2001, only 20 to 25% of customers requested for condition monitoring software for analyzing the performance of their critical assets. Currently, that number is approximately 55% and continues to rise as customers have understood the importance of continuous monitoring of not just their critical assets but non-critical and balance of plant assets as well.
  • In addition, due to the lack of skilled personnel and an aging workforce, customers are seeking the help of service providers to implement condition monitoring programs or outsourcing the complete condition monitoring program to a third party for risk management and 24/7 monitoring.

Increasing safety standards and regulations in end-user industries driving the adoption of condition monitoring solution

  • Safety standards are growing and driving demand for condition monitoring equipment to improve safety, reduce energy consumption, and bring down harmful emissions across industries.
  • The American Petroleum Institute (API) has various standards that need to be complied with to ensure the safe operation of rotating equipment such as pumps, compressors and gears, engines, lube oil systems, and safety seals. In addition, new standards such as API 691 and API 689 cover high-risk machinery management and collection analysis and exchange. These new standards drive the need for advanced online condition monitoring and protection solutions.

Customer Pain Points

  • Software not leveraged adequately for analysis: The challenge of a highly distributed environment (with different data repositories on premise and in the cloud) means that there is latency between events and action. This is because visual dashboards alone do not always ensure a call-to-action.
  • Inadequate knowledge transfer: In scenarios when customers choose to retain their condition monitoring in-house, a significant challenge is retaining in-house condition monitoring staff with the requisite skill and experience. In some instances, when in-house staff leaves, there is inadequate knowledge transfer, which results in underutilization or improper use of the condition monitoring system. This eventually weakens management support of condition monitoring as an effective asset management approach.
  • Access to technology: There are still some remote industrial sites where access to wireless data connectivity bandwidth is a challenge, which curtails the customer from leveraging the latest remote monitoring technologies fully. Similarly, the penetration of advanced and accurate sensor technologies is yet to catch up in many traditionally conservative industries.

Market Outlook for Condition Monitoring Services

The condition monitoring services market will undergo a significant transformation over the next 5-8 years with the advent of new technologies changing customer requirements in connectivity and analytics, and with evolving business models featuring among other services specifications. From $1.92 billion in 2017, the market revenues are expected to reach $4.8 billion by 2025 at a CAGR of 12.3%, although the revenue trajectory varies among different service segments. Improved customer appreciation of the benefits of condition monitoring, wider leverage of standards and certification, reduced condition monitoring equipment prices, and the demand for analytics will underpin growth. Customers are looking to derive actionable insights from their condition monitoring data and require assistance to integrate disparate data and leverage analytics.

The global condition monitoring services market is going through an evolutionary phase. Advancements in connectivity solutions, data processing, analytics, and cloud computing underline the need for integrated service providers. This need is expected to give rise to opportunities for market convergence, as companies that are experienced in areas such as analytics or condition monitoring software may impact the competitive dynamics in this market. Recovery in oil and gas prices and other key technology changes have pushed service vendors to rethink and reinvent. Despite these challenges, pockets of opportunities across the industry and increased awareness among end users about condition monitoring have helped the market surge ahead.

For a more detailed analysis and insights on the condition monitoring services market, please refer to the Frost & Sullivan research title – Global Condition Monitoring Services Market, Forecast to 2025

About Frost & Sullivan

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