Navin Kulkarni with Fluke Reliability

On this week's Industrial Talk we're onsite at Xcelerate 23 in Orlando, FL and talking to Navin Kulkarni, Product Management Leader, Fluke Reliability about “The future of Fluke Reliability solutions and connected reliability”. Get the answers to your “connected reliability” questions along with Navin's unique insight on the “How” on this Industrial Talk interview!

Finally, get your exclusive free access to the Industrial Academy and a series on “Why You Need To Podcast” for Greater Success in 2023. All links designed for keeping you current in this rapidly changing Industrial Market. Learn! Grow! Enjoy!


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Welcome to the Industrial Talk podcast with Scott Mackenzie. Scott is a passionate industry professional dedicated to transferring cutting edge industry focused innovations and trends while highlighting the men and women who keep the world moving. So put on your hard hat, grab your work boots, and let's all


right for you listeners out there. This is take three, I'm telling you take three of the intro because one I had a camera problem, too. Then I mispronounced the name. And so this is Take three. So So Navin gets to hear it again. And I'm tired of hearing about it. But this is Industrial Talk. It is a platform that is dedicated to you. We do everything we possibly can to create a platform that is just encourages education, collaboration and innovation. And we're broadcasting from Xcelerate 2023 Orlando, the company is Fluke Reliability that's putting it on and it is a great, great event. Put that on your calendar for next year. Yes, I'm telling you to do that. Don't yell at me. But that's when we can do in the hot seat. You heard me. Navin is the gentleman. And we're gonna be talking. I think we're gonna be talking about connected reliability, but I'm gonna let him talk about it. Let's get cracking. All right. No camera. I'm looking at the camera. We're still doing well. So no problem there. So how are you doing?


I'm doing well. I actually like the starting interest. I don't mind hearing.


Yeah, good. Thank you. Great answer. Okay, for the listeners out there. Give us a little background there, Navin, about who you are, and all that good stuff. And then we're gonna get into what you were talking about, or the speaking of?


Well, Scott, I, I'm a enterprise applications guy at heart. And I've had about 15 years of experience in the enterprise software space, primarily in the industrial enterprise software space. My, my core competencies or background have been in asset management, maintenance, manufacturing, and warehouse management. So I just love the ability to come talk to customers really understand what their problems are. And this is a great event for the had street


cred. You can tell all right. You are here. You having a good conference. Yes. Yes. No. Yes. Oh,


great conference. Okay. Good


answer. And you were speaking what were you speaking on?


So I had a keynote session today where I talked about the future of Fluke Reliability solutions, and specifically around connected reliability. And, you know, this, it's been three years since we've had the opportunity to come in front of customers and really showcase what we've been doing so. So there's a lot to talk about.


It's a long time. It's three years, my goodness, oh, yeah. So so for the listeners out there. Let's let's sort of begin to deconstruct what we're talking about here. Define defined connected reliability. What


does that mean? So connected. Reliability is really a framework. The way we differentiate ourselves, and Fluke Reliability, is that we're not just a software company. We're a reliability company that wants to do software. And talking to many customers, and I had this statistic early on in my presentation, where I mentioned that last year, me and my team had the chance to talk to over 100 customers, both fluke and non-fluke, and really talk to them about what challenges they're facing, for moving from reactive to proactive to predictive maintenance. And a lot of times customers go, I don't even know where to start. I don't have the expertise.


Do I trust you?


Yeah, and so I or I don't have the skill sets or expertise in house to do anything like that. So connected reliability as a framework is a combination of the right tools, the right monitoring tools, the right software, as well as the expert services would who have the domain knowledge in your industry as well as machines to help you through that journey. So


But you bring up a good point and and a couple of areas, it's always from my perspective, and all the conversations I've had, it's always a human equation. And I know that I go out there and I look online, and then I hear all the buzz buzz about, you know, being connected, digitally transformed my business, the benefits and the values and all of that stuff. I hear it, I see it, I read it. And again, I don't even know where to where to start, but we start talking about this connected framework. Take us through that sort


of journey on my part. If I'm just saying hey, I need I need to know and I need to know what to do what take us on that journey. Well, you you said it right, you know, majority of the customers we talked At a high level talk about similar problems, right, too. They talk about asset uptime, safety, reducing or optimizing their spare parts. So in general, the high level problems are the same. But when you start digging deeper into the context, now, what industry are they in? Are they in life sciences where they have regulatory requirements, or if they're an automotive where they have issues with heavy machinery, you know, automated machinery and workplace safety. So the customer problem starts becoming a little different as you get into this specific industry. And if you go even a little deeper than that there's a concept of the different types of assets. You may have rotating asset fleet assets, linear assets, and each asset typically requires a different type of maintenance strategy. And that's, that's where we come into place to understand what's the context of your industry and your asset and help you get come up with the right maintenance strategy for condition monitoring?


Yeah, so do you come in and say, Hey, Scott, I hear what you're saying, I see the desire in your eyes and your heart you want to you want to create and make your operations far more reliable, great, good, noble? Do you come in and just say, hey, let's, let's, let's take a holistic look at your operations and then say, that's okay, that's fine. We don't, this is where we think we need to focus. And we do have, and have that dialogue with me.


Well, of course, this is a journey. And then there are customers who already know what their problems are, they know who the bad actor assets are. And they would like to do something about it. And there's other customers who understand that they're falling behind in the digitization journey, they want to understand how can the tech hopping technologies of today help them with their challenges. So for customers who are starting their journey, we always go and do some sort of like asset criticality analysis to guide them and tell them that these are the types of assets you must focus on. A great example that we talked about during our presentation here was in automotive plans, one of the problems that we often run across is the body of the paint shop. The paint shop usually runs 24/7, when the automotive plant is running. However, the paint shop can only run when the ventilation system is on because you know, there's a lot of hazardous fumes, paint spewing alone everywhere. And if you don't have the ventilation system running, workers cannot work there. And if that one piece of fan of the ventilation system fails, your entire production system could come to potentially a halt.


Yeah. And then from an asset, criticality readiness. That's a high rated asset.


Correct? Yeah. And so really getting to those use cases and nuances by industries of understanding single points of failures. The business context, the industry context, helps us have that value based conversations with customers to say, while we have the right tools and software and services, let's talk with what value can bring to your organization.


Yeah, it just seems like a no brainer. And and, and I would imagine, no, there's a lot of a lot of noise out there. It's it's pretty foggy, quite frankly, with everything else that's out there. Do I do this? Or do I do that? Do I get involved here, do I. But from my perspective, there seems to be a a real value proposition to be able to, I want to be a reliable company, I want to go down that road, I want to be able to commit to that. And to be able to work with an organization that has been around for more than, you know, many years. Right? That just seems to me to be a very good relationship to have that conversation. How do you from, from your perspective, because it's a human equation? How do you create that sustainable focus on maintaining and managing those assets? And, and its cultural, how to how do you start doing that?


Well, I think it all starts with our vision, our our vision is really simplifying and building connected reliability solutions for the workers who make this world or keep this world up and running. Right. So our focus has always been on the the end users who use our solution. So it which also reflects in the investments and roadmap that we're making. So the big three themes that we have on our roadmap, start with the user experience. One of the constant recurring theme I hear from customers or even people who are not our customers is that you can have the best solution out there but if nobody uses it, then there's no value. Big time. The the other team that we are really focused on is and powering the end user, a majority of our end users are not sitting behind a desktop or laptop and then spending their day they're out in the field, their job is to turn wrenches and really maintain their assets. So taking the work to them, providing them with the right tools, either to mobile applications or the right handheld tools, or even allowing them access to information at their fingertips wherever they are, is a core focus for us. And finally, I just touched on it is that we just don't want to have a strategy of if they, if we build it, they will come, we would like to work together with our customers to really understand those industry and application specific use cases that are of high value to them. And then help them solve that. And we truly believe this combination of making the solution intuitive for users to use, empowering the users to work where they are. And in focusing on the the most high value solutions and applications specific to their industry will help us with the sustainment of our of our solution.


Okay, so I have three points, user experience, empowering the end user, and of course working together. Are those sort of the three legs of the stool right now? Let me let me sort of pull on the user experience a little bit. And the reason I pulled on that is because I find that also along with that that usability, there is a desire and push or or they want it there's a there's a simplicity, there's a beauty and simplicity. Yep. When that user experience that simplicity, is that what we're talking about here?


Well, user experience, in my opinion, has many different facets, the most, I guess, obvious one that people think about is the user interface is this simplicity and the look and feel of the application. But it really just starts there. There's several different layers to this, which is actually understanding the jobs to be done. So for example, if my end user focus is a maintenance manager, I he's not going to pick up a wrench as soon as he walks in the door and then go fix a machine, he wants to first understand what's the status of my plant? What's the status of my assets? Do I have enough inventory? What are the key metrics that I'm tracking that are important to my management that I should be looking at? Right, so providing him that information in a configurable way, right up front is one aspect of it. The other aspects are knowing very well that even though maintenance and reliability is a very horizontal discipline, the way that it's executed in different industries in different companies is, is very unique. And providing highly configurable solutions that can provide workflows really shorten the way users can use the system, right? So instead of, instead of going to 10 different pages and clicking 15 different buttons, you can configure your own workflow, and automate the work as much as you please, for your end users benefit. So yeah, there's a difference, different levels of user experience. And then our goal is to focus on all of


them. And I know that, I would imagine companies say, Hey, I have this email platform, and I just want to buy it off the shelf, whatever that'll look like me buy it off the shelf. And I'm not going to I'm not going to customize it, which is always never the case. Right? And I think that email, has taken that into consideration. And there's a level of customer customization that can exist that that reflect that business reflect those values in that business. That's all part of that whole user experience. Correct? Yeah, we,


I get a slap on my wrist whenever I use the word customization, because they always say it's not customization. It's configuration. And but tomato tomahto. Potato Potato. Yeah, you're absolutely right. But the core idea is that email is a pure 100%, cloud multi tenant cloud application. And we do not allow our customers or anybody for that matter to get inside the guts of the application. However, the application itself has really powerful tools that the customers and end users can configure these workflows, you know, build new screens, new fields, write their own business logic, whatever they want on top of the application. So it's a highly configurable and highly open system.


When we talk about workflows, there are a lot of there's a lot of opinions out there on What is the right workflow when it comes to maintaining assets? And this is what you need to do. And this is how you stage it. And this is what, you know, whatever. Does email have the ability to sort of be able to to be configured in that way to sort of reflect? Or do you have to be in begin changing sort of that culture that thinking in the workforce? Absolutely. In


fact, going back to the topic of connected reliability, one of the things that we showcased in this conference was that getting the condition data into your CMMS is just the first step. What you do with it is what really matters. Yeah, so so you can show pretty dashboards with acid status and asset condition and asset data. But what do you do with it. And there's several different use cases that you can configure. So the couple of them that we showcased over here, one of them, which is more obvious is based on the condition of asset, the level of criticality of the asset, potentially automatically trigger works, work requests or work orders. But that's the most obvious use case, beyond that we would like to better understand is to truly get to a predictive state. It's not just about catching the failure right before it happens and triggering a work order. It's really creating a longer term maintenance strategy. So the other thing that we talked about was, when you start understanding, better understanding the condition of your assets, how can you do long term planning and scheduling of your work of your procurement, making sure you have parts available, the right talent and resources available? So all of that is we showcase those configurations here in the conference.


So I like that. I like that. And because the reliability business industry is constantly evolving and changing. There, there are some foundational principles, no doubt about it. And and it's been driven by organizations that are real passionate about creating that common lexicon within the reliability world. But, but I know that end users have always wanted some configurability and capability of being able to do that. And this is this, because I've done it before I want your opinion on something. And that is asset, criticality rating. When you have these conversations on what acid is critical, you have to always sort of apply it to a model, you guys bring in, bring in a model and say, Yeah, this is how, that's why this bad, this, this wheel right here is more important than that pump? Do you go through that? And do you have that debate with the customers?


Yeah, I mean, first of all, we don't want to reinvent the wheel, we have our framework, but determining criticality is mostly an industry standard, right? So it all falls under the Reliability centered maintenance domain, understanding the probability of failure and the impact of failure. And some customers even go down to the mode of failure modes and effects analysis. So really understanding what are the different failure modes, this asset can get into? What is the impact of that failure mode. And then there's the third leg of the stool that people usually don't talk about, but there's a detectability of the the failure. So if it's, if it's a highly critical asset, which can cause a lot of damage, or the impact of failure is high, but you can never detect what's going to happen. And you may have a completely different strategy of maintenance, as opposed to saying that I know, vibration is the reason why this asset fails, or there's a signature it gives out. And you can do condition monitoring on it. Right. So that's usually our framework around


it. Yeah, there's just so much and I think the benefits are, are just so obvious. I mean, they're just, you know, the encouragement that I get is that the industry that reliability, and Fluke Reliability, the industry as a whole is really trying to continue to your sole purpose is to keep that asset up and running. Keep it monitored, you guys are the doctors, the doctors of that asset, and you want to be able to perform the, the the right maintenance at the right time, and to optimize the the uptime of that asset. Future. Your talk also included sort of a future. Yeah, talk to us a little


bit about that. Well, this is really the first time we're showcasing the integration between our CMMS or asset management solution, as well as the condition monitoring cloud is that the x five, that is correct. Don't move. But this is just the beginning for us. Our goal is to not only try and integrate more fluid tools every time we talk to customers over here The first thing to talk about is, oh my gosh, we, we've got so many Fluke tools in our, in our industry in our company, and we use them all the time, how can I get this information into the CMMS? And how can I take action on it? Right? So


come on and make sense, right? It's just it's like, yeah, okay, that makes sense. I got it. Yeah, I


mean, cuz I mean, there's examples that customers gave us about the fact that, you know, when I ask them do a PDM program, and they go, like, they, of course, have a PDM program, and I said, so what kind of value have you gained out of that PDM program? And I mean, I'm not gonna, I'm going to say that there's no value, but a lot of times the maintenance guys will go, Well, I think the PDM guys come over, they do their stuff, they give us a report, and we put the report on a shelf, and then you know, then they come back again next year. So we want to break that cycle and really connect the reliability as well as maintenance teams together to empower both those organizations.


How did they get a hold of you? If they say, Hey, I want to get a hold of an OB.


I'm on LinkedIn, Navin Kulkarni. And so you can always connect me to connect with me over there. So all right.


You were great. You're always great. Great to see you again.


Thank you, Scott. You bet. You're awesome, too.


Yes, I am. All right, we're going to have all the contact and information for Navin out on fear not, you need to be in the asset management game, you need to be in the reliability game, you need to figure out solutions that bring you on that journey, look into flew reliability, and also put on your calendar, do not hesitate to be a part of Xcelerate 2020 for next year. I don't have a date on that. But this, let's put it that 20 I got the 24 correctly. All right. You know, we're broadcasting from Xcelerate 2020 It's been wonderful, great people, great companies, helping people solve problems. Thank you very much for joining. As always, we're gonna wrap it up on the other side. So stay tuned, we will be right back.


You're listening to the Industrial Talk Podcast Network.


Thank you again for joining Industrial Talk and thank you for your continued to support this blackboard, this platform that celebrates industry professionals, all around the world. Now we were at Xcelerate 2023 Great event. Without a doubt a great event with professionals such as NaVi, reach out, by the way, I'm going to have all the stack card out there on Industrial Talk. So reach out, because you will not be disappointed on that. But anyway, 2024 Put that on your calendar, I do not have a month. All I know is it's a 2024. And if it's anything like 2023, it's going to be bigger, better, stronger, faster. It's going to be all Steve Austin, bionic man type thing. It's going to be great. And so you need to put that in on your calendar. If you are a reliability professionals. Yeah, make that happen. Industrial Talk is here to highlight, as you know, industry professionals, not me, them, industry in general. It's important because because we need you to succeed and the way this world is just the speed at which technology and innovation is happening because you need it. So support and continue to support it. One last thing. I want to put a plug in for mercy chefs, great organization, and all they do is they deliver great food, wonderful food in areas that need a little food, need a little TLC and it comes through, you know, wonderful, wonderful cuisine, so support them go out to Mercy find out more please support that organization. Be bold, be brave dare greatly I say it all the time. Hang out with Navin and he will change the world. We're gonna have another great conversation coming from Xcelerate 23 shortly so stay tuned.

Scott MacKenzie

About the author, Scott

I am Scott MacKenzie, husband, father, and passionate industry educator. From humble beginnings as a lathing contractor and certified journeyman/lineman to an Undergraduate and Master’s Degree in Business Administration, I have applied every aspect of my education and training to lead and influence. I believe in serving and adding value wherever I am called.

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