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Developing Preventive Maintenance Culture Time:2017/10/19

By Academician Dato Ir. (Dr) Lee Yee Cheong Hon. Chairman, ISTIC Governing Board/Commissioner, UN Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development

Global Digital Economy Facing the 4th Industrial Revolution

Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic

Forum, Spoke in Davos January 2016 about the 4th Industrial Revolution:


The possibilities of billions of people connected by mobile devices, with

unprecedented processing power, storage capacity, and access to knowledge,

are unlimited.

These possibilities will be multiplied by emerging technology breakthroughs in fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage, and quantum computing.


Sequence of Industrial Revolutions

1st Industrial Revolution 1784  Steam and Mechanical Power

2nd Industrial Revolution 1870  Electric Power and Mass Production

3rd Industrial Revolution  1969  Electronics and ICT

4th Industrial Revolution      ?    Cyber-Physical Systems

The Digital Economy Driven by

Moore’s Law: processor speeds, or overall processing power for computers will double every two years, Gordon Moore Co-Founder, Intel 1995.

UN Broadband Commission “State of the Broadband 2015” Report

Global IT and Telecom spending will grow to around US$ 3.8 trillion for 2015 alone.

By the end of 2015, the total number of mobile cellular subscriptions will nearly rival the total global population (7.3 billion) . ITU forecasts 7.1 billion mobile cellular subscriptions (as opposed

to subscribers).

Mobile broadband is the fastest-growing ICT service in history, taking just five years to achieve one billion users

From UN Broadband Commission State of Broadband Report 2015 From OECD “Data Driven Innovation” Report

tMcKinsey Global Institute May 2013

Preventive Maintenance

From WEF list of Disruptive Technologies with big economic impact from the Mckinsey Table, I would single out the following that will impact Preventive Maintenance:

The Internet of Things (IoT),


Artificial Intelligence,

Internet Of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical devices, vehicles, buildings and other items, embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity that enable these objects to collect and exchange data.

In 2013 the Global Standards Initiative on Internet of Things (IoT-GSI) defined the IoT as "the infrastructure of the information society." The IoT allows objects to be sensed and controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure, creating opportunities for more direct integration of the physical world into computer-based systems, and resulting in improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit.

Preventive Maintenance

With sensors embedded liberally and widely in machines and systems sending signals to a computer located either locally or remotely, condition monitoring in preventive maintenance is becoming more and more intelligent.

With the aid of artificial intelligence and robotics, preventive maintenance and even automatic repair of IoT connected devices and systems in homes, businesses, factories, urban systems like smart power grid and public transit  will become not only possible but also routine. For geographically spread out systems like railway, highway and power grid, satellites and drones can also be monitoring devices.

It is already happening at speed in the developed world.

Tradition of Caring for the Environment

Developed Countries have well established Tradition of  Caring for the Environment.

Their peoples do not throw rubbish everywhere.

This “House Proud” Tradition is a Prerequisite for Developing Preventive Maintenance Culture

Developing South Countries

Engineering and technology devices and systems for preventive maintenance are being deployed in high income developing countries like China, India and Malaysia.

Most other developing countries are still grappling with building basic infrastructure. Their infrastructure facilities like highways, power grids, airports, railways, hospitals, sport stadiums etc have not been equipped with IoT capabilities.

They must persevere with traditional maintenance methods, but the instruments and systems used are becoming more sophisticated by computer and IoT. With broadband network connection, conditions can be quickly reported to maintenance centres and manufacturers for quick response.

Developing South Countries

We need to train more and more competent engineers and technicians in the Maintenance of Infrastructure.

This is the objective of this ISTIC training programme.

I would recommend ISTIC consider incorporating elements of the digital technology into the training programme.

Besides the maintenance devices and systems increasingly using digital technology, the digital economy systems will also require skilled human resource to manage and maintain


The UNESCO International Knowledge Centre for Engineering Science and Technology (IKCEST) Training Program on “Big Data Technology Application and Knowledge Service”

The objective of the one week program is aimed at helping developing countries cultivate talent and build capacity in the field of information technology and improving the data aggregating, processing, mining, analysing capabilities of professionals. The program covered i) Infrastructures for Big Data; ii) Deep Search; iii) Knowledge Graph Population via Deep Learning, iv). Large-scale Visual Data Analysis; v) CADAL: A Big Digital Library Project in China; vi) Bibliometric and Patent Analysis for Technology Foresight; vii) Medical Data Integration and Knowledge Service; and viii) Practice and Reflection on Construction of Agricultural Professional Knowledge Service System.

Throwaway Culture

Unfortunately Peoples in Developing Countries lack the tradition of keeping their environment clean. They throw rubbish everywhere.

This is not being helped by the global economic drive for more and more consumption. For example, smart phone giants Apple and Samsung announce new models every few months making smart phones like costume jewellery.  Older phones are thrown away like junk.

As Pope Francis twitted, “the throwaway culture of today calls for a new lifestyle.  The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.“

Malaysia :An average of 2,200 tonnes pollute rivers monthly despite campaigns like “Love Our River” (The Star 25 July 2016)

According to Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) (The Star 11 July 2016) there are more than 66 million mobile phones in Malaysia – about twice the population. This means Malaysians are sitting on millions of unused, obsolete handphones at home or thrown away as rubbish. These are posing a danger to the environment. MCMC urges recycling.

Unless we first cultivate a tradition of cleanliness for our environment, we cannot develop a preventive maintenance culture!