Jennifer Lachky-Busch, 23.11.2022, 5 min.

Predictive Monitoring: The Gamechanger in Factory Monitoring

  1. What is Predictive Monitoring and what is the difference to Predictive Maintenance/Condition Monitoring?
  2. What possibilities does predictive monitoring offer and what are its benefits?
  3. What requirements must be met in order to use predictive monitoring successfully?
  4. How can predictive monitoring work in existing infrastructures with the help of the kontron susietec® toolset?

The analysis and use of manufacturing data provides companies with significant sustainability and profitability benefits. Despite the realization, however, to date only a few companies are successfully scaling data-driven use cases beyond the production process of individual products. As a result, important potential remains untapped in factory monitoring - especially against the backdrop of the smart factory. Until now: Predictive Monitoring is the buzzword that is supposed to usher in the future of factory monitoring. But what is behind it exactly? And where are the differences to already established approaches such as predictive maintenance or condition monitoring?


Optimierung der Fabriküberwachung mit Predicitve Monitoring


What is Predictive Monitoring?

Predictive monitoring is a sub-concept of factory monitoring based on AI-driven systems for remote monitoring of plants. The goal is to continuously monitor the behavior of data points in order to detect even the smallest changes in manufacturing plants. So, unlike reactive monitoring, which is currently considered the status quo, predictive monitoring is designed to detect potential failures as early as possible and thus actively respond to them before the failure occurs. This is because even with real-time analyses, representatives of reactive monitoring can only react to changed conditions after the fact. The result is usually a high expenditure of time and money, followed by consistently high error rates in production.

"A proactive or also called predictive monitoring approach overcomes the weaknesses of conventional approaches, as possible future failures can also be predicted based on the determination of event patterns. This makes it possible to initiate appropriate countermeasures at an early stage," says Henning von Kielpinski, Head of Business Development at Consol in Munich, explaining the approach of proactive factory monitoring. 1 By generating early warnings about small anomalies in the plant and uncovering inefficiencies in the plant, predictive monitoring actively helps to improve production efficiency and thus significantly increase the plant's yield.

The approach is reminiscent of the concept of predictive maintenance, which also aims to prevent bottlenecks through the targeted use of Big Data. However, while here it is determined when a prescribed task is to be completed, predictive monitoring only deals with the question of whether and which actions are required.


Excursus: Condition Monitoring and Predictive Maintenance 

Condition monitoring is used to detect, classify and evaluate critical events and the resulting faults. A quick response to undesirable operating conditions prevents cost-intensive consequential damage. The targeted provision of service technicians, spare parts and logistics through appropriate diagnostics ensures that downtimes are reduced.

Based on the experience gained through condition monitoring, predictive maintenance predicts possible risks of undesirable operating conditions and events. These forecasts make it possible to plan service and maintenance actions in line with demand. In the best case, this increases availability and the information available at an early stage for targeted maintenance actions.


What possibilities does Predictive Monitoring offer?

Facilities age, processes change, technologies evolve. As a result, failures occur. To ensure ongoing asset reliability, the use of remote monitoring and asset management systems in the factory environment is critical. For example, AI-based factory monitoring provides valuable real-time insights from both a quantitative and qualitative perspective. Even if malfunctions or failures cannot be completely prevented, downtime and error rates are significantly reduced. To illustrate, in companies where one hour of downtime costs well over $100,000, even a minimally shorter response time results in huge cost savings.


Vorteile von Predicitve Monitoring in der Fabriküberwachung


To sum up: What are the benefits of Predictive Monitoring?

Predictive monitoring makes it possible to detect the first signs of anomalies in plant data and thus uncover unexpected problems early on, before they spread throughout the plant. This allows companies to maximize production, increase plant uptime, reduce downtime and costs, and free up more resources for other projects. The number of unplanned downtimes is reduced by up to 20 percent.


The benefits of Predictive Monitoring at a glance

  • Reliable production planning thanks to early detection of fault indicators
  • Reduced downtime thanks to fast and precise fault analysis
  • Shorter response times to technical problems
  • Reliable forecasts of remaining useful life of equipment and components
  • Increase in production quality and quantity
  • Extension of the life cycle of equipment


What requirements must be met for predictive monitoring to be successful?

The success of predictive monitoring usually depends on one essential factor: An end-to-end monitoring solution ensures that the entire production process, including all machines, automation devices and measuring systems, is continuously monitored. This is the only way to identify possible weak points across systems and functions. A comprehensive database of the provider as well as sufficient empirical values guarantee to be prepared for all eventualities.

The following basic questions serve as a guide for optimally integrating predictive monitoring into an existing system:

  • What do you want to improve? This includes, for example, production quality, downtimes and failure rates.
  • What is your measurable goal? This should be defined using concrete figures.
  • What is the status quo of the plant? Record a baseline for the efficiency of the plant.
  • What tools or data do you specifically need to achieve your goal?


FabEagle®Monitoring aus dem Kontron susietec® Toolset unterstützt Predicitve Monitoring


How does FabEagle®Monitoring support the implementation of Predictive Monitoring?

Predictive monitoring offers enormous potential to optimize the reliability, efficiency and productivity of manufacturing plants. The susietec® experts have taken up the idea of predictive monitoring and anchored it in the core of the Kontron susietec® toolset.

FabEagle®Monitoring therefore provides you with a reliable and efficient end-to-end monitoring solution for all areas of production: based on predictive monitoring, the intelligent monitoring system enables seamless monitoring, evaluation and visualization of machine data in real time. In particular, errors, throughput and process values are recorded, analyzed and then graphically processed. In this way, FabEagle®Monitoring not only ensures continuous maintenance of the production equipment, but also identifies the existing optimization potential - with the aim of increasing machine capacities in the long term.  


Conclusion: The factory monitoring as the concept of the future?

Predictive monitoring is the gamechanger in factory monitoring: While reactive monitoring only reacts to changes in the plants after the fact, proactive factory monitoring ensures early detection of even the smallest disruptive factors and errors. In this way, predictive monitoring not only reduces plant downtime, but also minimizes costs and creates space for additional resources. With FabEagle®Monitoring, the Kontron susietec® toolset takes precisely this approach and condenses it into a proactive end-to-end monitoring solution. The result is an innovative, efficient and reliable monitoring system for all production areas that can withstand the future.

Find out more about FabEagle®Monitoring here.



Discover more about FabEagle®Monitoring here.

About the author

As Portfolio Manager IoT, Jennifer Lachky-Busch has been responsible for the strategic development and marketing of the kontron susietec® toolset since 2021. On the susietec® blog she deals with current trends, informs about product news and answers exciting questions around the topics IIoT and Industry 4.0.

Jennifer Lachky-Busch Portfolio Manager