Polished Manufacturing operations around the world often are left to decide between two different maintenance approaches: preventive and predictive maintenance. While these approaches strategies may differ, their goal remains the same: maintain the health and integrity of equipment used in manufacturing operations.
Preventive maintenance is a well-known strategy that has been around for years. The philosophy behind this maintenance approach is simple: perform routine maintenance to all equipment apart of a manufacturing operation at a regularly scheduled interval. This interval is often dependent on elements like the run time of an operation’s equipment, the age of the equipment, and the available down time an operation can schedule. Predictive maintenance, on the other hand, is a newer, more innovative strategy that has shown its advantages for manufacturing operations. The philosophy behind predictive maintenance is almost opposite that of preventive maintenance. Rather than having all of an operation’s equipment serviced at the same time, predictive maintenance uses data collected from the pieces of an operation’s equipment to indicate when maintenance is required. Sounds great, right? Except the systems necessary to collect this data are much more expensive to implement than what businesses would spend just opting into preventive maintenance.
However, despite their costs, predictive maintenance strategies are becoming much easier to implement in manufacturing operations. Previously, there wasn’t enough interconnected capabilities available for manufacturing equipment. As the number of these technologies increases, so do their capabilities in the Internet of Things space. More and more technologies are able to connect to the equipment in a manufacturing operation and feed equipment managers the necessary data that allows them to understand when their machines are in need of maintenance. The analysis of this data is also what allows equipment managers to better predict when their equipment will fail and how to better combat that failure in the future to prevent extended periods of downtime.
As many equipment owners and managers have come to understand, however, is that predictive maintenance systems are not always the saving grace that they seem. For many manufacturing operations, the barriers to entry are much too high. These systems require highly customized technology platforms that employees must be trained to master. For operations that have many moving parts, this can be difficult. Whether that be due to having to change the way existing employees look at equipment maintenance, or training new employees as new policies develop, there are bound to be significant challenges. If your organization has the capital available to invest, and you believe in the abilities of your employees to transition to these maintenance systems, predictive maintenance could likely be a great fit for your operation.
For more information on these maintenance approaches, as well as the important benefits offered by the two, check out the featured infographic below. Courtesy of Industrial Service Solutions.