Maintaining the Installed Base: Maximizing Efficiency and Performance

  • May 14, 2024, 14:36 PM
In the dynamic landscape of manufacturing, efficiency is key. From optimizing processes to enhancing productivity, every element within a facility plays a crucial role in achieving operational excellence. Among these critical components is the installed base, the foundation upon which manufacturing operations rely. To ensure peak performance and longevity, conducting an Installed Base Evaluation (IBE) is imperative. 
Throughout the lifecycle of a facility, problems are bound to arise. Manufacturers see issues like downtime, equipment failures obsolescence, safety issues, and compliance issues. 

The issue of downtime is as old as the industry of production. In today’s landscape, downtime costs industrial manufacturers as much as $50 billion a year. Facilities operating on a large scale cannot afford frequent unplanned downtime. To avoid this issue, preventative measures are necessary. 

Maintenance is a vital part of a functioning facility. Without it, equipment will fail. Furthermore, poor maintenance strategies can reduce a plant's overall productivity by 5-20%. Maintenance is time-consuming and can be costly. Assessing what is worthwhile will make for more efficient maintenance strategies, preventing equipment failure.  

Between safety, sustainability, and product quality, there are many standards to uphold in an industrial manufacturing environment. These standards are to be maintained, not only to avoid fines but also to nurture a respectable reputation among industry peers and consumers. 

What is an Installed Base Evaluation?

An Installed Base Evaluation is a thorough assessment of the existing automation infrastructure within a manufacturing facility. It involves an examination of all industrial control systems, components, and devices deployed throughout the plant. This process encompasses a systematic analysis of hardware, software, and network infrastructure, providing insights into the current state of the facility’s automation assets.

The Benefits of an Installed Base Evaluation

An Installed Base Evaluation delivers a myriad of benefits, empowering manufacturers to drive efficiency, mitigate risks, and achieve sustainable growth:

  1. Enhanced Operational Efficiency: An IBE provides a comprehensive understanding of the capabilities and limitations of existing automation assets. This allows manufacturers to optimize processes, streamline workflows, and eliminate inefficiencies. Once a facility is aware of these pitfalls, action can be taken to correct or mitigate the issue. 
  2. Improved Asset Utilization: Identifying underutilized or redundant assets enables manufacturers to reallocate resources effectively, maximizing asset utilization and ROI. Manufacturers can then identify opportunities to rationalize their automation assets, reducing maintenance expenses and total cost of ownership.
  3. Proactive Maintenance and Support: Outdated or unsupported equipment poses significant risks to operations. With insights from an IBE, manufacturers can identify obsolete components and implement proactive maintenance strategies, minimizing downtime and extending the lifespan of critical equipment. 
  4. Greater Resilience and Reliability: Mitigating risks associated with obsolete or unsupported equipment enhances the resilience and reliability of manufacturing operations, ensuring uninterrupted production. 
  5. Strategic Decision-Making: Informed by the findings of an IBE, manufacturers can make strategic decisions regarding technology investments, upgrades, and migrations. This aids in aligning automation infrastructure with business objectives and industry trends. Staying ahead of the curve in this area will future-proof the facility ensuring a healthier system. 
  6. Compliance Assurance: IBE services help manufacturers maintain compliance with regulatory requirements and industry standards, avoiding non-compliance penalties. Keeping up with the latest standards and regulations safeguards both operations and reputation. 
A detailed report will be provided after the IBE. As illustrated in the example provided, it is easy to read and user-friendly, but an expert will be available if any clarifications are needed. This expert will guide the entire process but is especially qualified to assist in identifying replacements and necessary upgrades as antiquated equipment is discovered. Typically, replacement parts and equipment can be ordered promptly to get the system performing at top efficiency as soon as possible.


In today’s competitive manufacturing landscape, maximizing efficiency and performance is non-negotiable. An Installed Base Evaluation empowers manufacturers to unlock the full potential of their automation infrastructure, driving operational excellence, mitigating risks, and achieving sustainable growth. By leveraging the insights gained from an IBE, manufacturers can make informed decisions, optimize processes, and stay ahead of the curve in an ever-evolving industry. Embark on the journey towards operational excellence and future success.

When working with Rockwell Automation authorized partners, facilities can ensure access to the most up-to-date product information and industry best practices of installed base maintenance. The report you receive from Rockwell Automation creates a plant hierarchy, consisting of all the facilities assets, not just Rockwell parts. Partners will have access to support and experts to recommend the most effective solutions. SMC has been a trusted Rockwell partner for over fifty years, assuring a thorough report with seasoned specialists. 

SMC Tool: Mike Gonzales  

"Providing expert data to customers so that they can make strategic business decisions that will impact their business outcome in a positive and beneficial manor." 
- Mike Gonzales 

Mike has been a valued member of the SMC team for 28 years. He started his journey at SMC in the Service department and moved to a technical specialist role, offering support to customers. Spending 20 years in this role means he has experience with all different kinds of situations and is skilled at identifying issues and providing solid solutions. 

Ensure efficiency to your highest potential and schedule an IBE today. Learn more about SMC's IBE process below.