The Center for Intelligent Maintenance Systems is still thriving into its 19th Industry Advisory Board meeting held last week at GE Aviation near Cincinnati. I stopped in for the industry forum on Wednesday, but just couldn’t find the time to make it back on Thursday for the papers from grad student researchers.

Jay Lee, IMS Center director and a professor at the University of Cincinnati, continues to push the research and industry/supplier partnerships in new directions. Building on its Watchdog Agent technology–a piece of embeddable code that monitors crucial parameters of machinery in order to predict equipment failures–to take it into current problems, the focus of this year’s event was energy. Most interesting was research into various forms of electic vehicles.

There are always interesting ideas floating around. One concerned how to use the vast amounts of data that can now be collected from manufacturing. So, they looked into professions used to handling and analyzing huge data stores and discovered actuaries. These number crunchers of the insurance industry do work similar to the maintenance function in a plant–which indeed can be considered a type of insurance.

Another speaker suggested that the venerable OEE (overall equipment effectiveness) be brought up to date as OEEE, or OE cubed, defined as overall equipment & energy effectiveness.

Check out the Center. If you are a manufacturer, its researchers are skilled in working in plants and factories to discover underlying causes of failures and provide a model. For suppliers, it offers partnerships with the Ph.D. level researchers to develop mathematical models and algorithms for solving condition monitoring problems and other similar phenomena.

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