3 Ways Machine Monitoring Is Broken – And How Amper Is Fixing It

Joel Blachman Jan 11, 2020

Machine monitoring is an essential tool used for continuous improvement by manufacturing companies around the world. By collecting and analyzing data from their equipment, companies can make informed decisions to streamline processes, increase production capacity, and enhance profitability.

However, machine monitoring is broken. 

Here are 3 ways machine monitoring is broken and how Amper is changing the industry.

1. Implementation – Who has time to implement a full scale machine monitoring system?

Collecting machine data is challenging. Plant floors often have a mix of equipment types with different protocols, and some older equipment may not even have the capability to collect and report data. Implementing a data collection project by integrating machine PLCs with IT infrastructure is extremely expensive and a severe drain on resources. Most companies don’t have the ability to support and maintain such projects. 

However, every machine uses electricity. Amper simply measures the electrical signatures of machines and automatically reports the most critical machine metrics. This means that manufacturers don’t need to invest in upgrading their PLCs, which can cost from $4,000 to $25,000 for each machine. Additionally, it takes a maintenance technician just 30-minutes to install the system and requires no IT integration. Companies of all sizes can collect data with Amper’s plug-and-play solution and have their entire plant live within a few hours.

2. Application – How do we use our data?

Gathering manufacturing data is only half the battle – the other half is identifying how one can use it to improve their operations. According to a McKinsey survey, “only 18 percent of companies believe they have the skills necessary to gather and use insights effectively.” [1]


For the other 82 percent of companies out there, it can be daunting to incorporate manufacturing data into their daily operations. An overload of data often hides important trends behind excess noise, and hiring consultants to interpret data is expensive and unsustainable. 

Amper believes in rolling out such programs in bit-sized steps where companies can begin their journey in data driven decision making with as many resources as are available. For example, simply setting up downtime alert escalation requires only a few minutes of setup but can save companies hours of unplanned downtime on each machine.

3. Barrier to Entry – How can I afford this?

A prevalent concern in the manufacturing industry today is how small-medium sized manufacturers can keep up with the pace of advancing technology. Sometimes, these companies feel overshadowed by industry giants like GE, Siemens, and GM who have large CAPEX budgets to spend on the newest machine monitoring technology. For companies that run a lean operation, the thought of investing hundreds of hours and tens of thousands of dollars to incorporate a machine monitoring system into their factory seems like pure madness. They simply lack the time, budget, and manpower to successfully implement such a project. However, leaving these companies behind is not the answer.

Amper provides companies of all sizes with an affordable and easy-to-use solution, including non-invasive hardware sensors and an intuitive user interface. Compared to other companies, Amper’s technology can save customers thousands of dollars on installation fees alone, bringing real-time machine metrics within reach of businesses of all sizes. 

Credits to Erik Johnson for input on the content.

Amper is a technology company based in Chicago, IL that makes it easy to track and improve the performance of machines by non-invasively measuring electricity-use of the machines and translating those signals into metrics like downtime, cycle-time, and parts produced.

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