Maintain Europe 2014 The Internet of Things Makes its way into the World of Plant Maintenance

Editor: Dominik Stephan

Mobile devices, preventive maintenance and outsourcing are top trends at Maintain 2014 - Europe’s leading fair and exhibition for maintenance engineering and technology.

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(Picture: PROCESS)

Munich/Germany – From innovation to profit: Munich, Germany’s beerhall capital, hosts Europe’s leading fair and exhibition for maintenance technology, the Maintain Europe 2014. A total of 226 companies and institutes took the chance to present new developments and business models. Apart from outsourcing, especially mobile solutions and data management took center stage at the fairground.

“Europe must take care not to fall behind”, stated Bernd Bienzeisler of Fraunhofer, one of Germany’s leading scientific and technology institutes. In a panel discussion at the fairground, he called upon engineers and companies not to become to dependent of IT service providers. Software specialists and webhosters have already cast an eye on the business opportunities that data from smart devices offer, he stated. “You might one day find that you have to pay for your own data”, Bienzeisler warned the audience.

A Wake–Up–Call for More Data Integrity!

Some companies might need this wake-up-call more than others: While a lot of firms still struggle to implement data management, others used Maintain as a showfloor for smart devices and applications: From Bilfinger’s “Mobile Maintenance” paperless maintenance management to Akquinet’s JITS, a “just in time” asset management software, fed by in-field sensor data, the “internet of things” was the buzz all over the fairground.

But also more traditional theme, like the outsourcing of turnarounds, plant shutdowns or the complete maintenance of a process plant remains an important aspect. Chemical park operators like Infraserv, companies like Evonik or service providers like Bilfinger presented new business models and portfolio additions to meet the demand for plant services worldwide.

Maintenance first-hand: We were in Rotterdam to witness a complete refinery turnaround at Europe's biggest port - Discover, how 3.5000 specialists turn a complete petro-plant inside out in this article

Growth Potential for Maintenance Services and Technology in Asia

“We expect the biggest growth to come from Asia”, stated Gerald Pilotto, Chief Operating Officer, Division Central Europe at Bilfinger Berger Industrial Services. He pointed out that European engineering expertise is still in high demand worldwide, although the battle for skilled professionals goes on. Equipping service personnel with little helper like tablet PCs, smartphones or Google’s ‘Glasses’ might be an alternative –but could also undermine a customer’s willingness to pay

Still a lot of work to do for the maintenance professionals – but the trend seems inevitable: Shorter turnaround times, highest safety requirements and complex production plants can often only be handled by specialists – and these need the right equipment, of course. Smart devices and mobile solution could – and most certainly will –become an important instrument for maintenance and engineering, butthe struggle for data protection will go on.

The Maintain 2014 has opened its doors until June 6th at Messe München, Munich, Germany. See also

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