Recently I had the opportunity to write a contributed article for Pipeline & Gas Journal. They wanted me to talk about how Internet of Things (IoT) technology applies to maintaining complex midstream infrastructure and avoiding unplanned downtime – a highly relevant subject given that production losses due to equipment failures can total upwards of $500,000 per day. Inevitably, the topic turned to condition-based maintenance (CBM). Specifically, how an effective IoT solution can enable CBM by providing the advanced data analytics necessary to analyze pipeline sensor data to identify patterns and characteristics that signal a potential failure event is on the horizon.

The opportunity to keep equipment operating at peak levels, while decreasing repair costs and avoiding catastrophic failure, through CBM is very real. But at times it seems like these benefits can become obscured amid a groundswell of concerns over the realities of deploying an IoT solution. Some concerns are valid, but can be easily addressed through a thoughtful, piecemeal IoT implementation strategy; after all, IoT adoption is not an “all or nothing” proposition. Other concerns are simply not grounded in reality.

One unfounded fear that’s easy to debunk is the myth that IoT implementation requires companies to “rip and replace” existing systems. Such a clumsy approach is needlessly disruptive, time-consuming, and expensive. Fortunately, the notion that wholesale solution changes are the only option, or even necessary, is categorically false. An IoT system should integrate with the software investments you’ve already made, and the infrastructure you’ve already built.

For a more in-depth look at employing IoT to enhance pipeline infrastructure maintenance through CBM, check out the full article here.