Ensuring their equipment maintains its optimal efficiency is one of the premier challenges for manufacturing operations around the world. Doing so often requires businesses to decide between two primary maintenance strategies: preventive and predictive maintenance. While these two strategies differ, their goal is one and the same. Protect the health and integrity of any equipment used in a businesses’ manufacturing operations.
It’s likely best to start with the most well-known of the two strategies. Preventive maintenance has stood the test of manufacturing time. The philosophy is simple, schedule routine maintenance to be performed on all pieces of equipment throughout the year. The interval will be different between each piece of equipment. For equipment that runs longer than others, businesses may need to schedule additional maintenance. Equipment that is much older than others in the fleet may also require additional maintenance. Determining the interval for each piece of equipment is the challenge organizations will face.
The alternative to this strategy, predictive maintenance, is much more innovative in nature. The philosophy that predictive maintenance follows disregards everything put in place by preventive maintenance strategies. Rather than estimating failure, predictive maintenance systems connect to equipment and collect data in real-time to more accurately determine optimal maintenance scheduling. The equipment becomes responsible for addressing its issues. Seems too good to be true, right? The truth is, while these systems are effective, they’re much more expensive than primary preventive maintenance strategies.
While the costs of these predictive maintenance systems continue to limit some businesses, the businesses that have converted were met with a very simplified integration process. With more and more equipment becoming interconnected with the Internet of Things, the number of capabilities these systems can provide to businesses increases. Through real-time data collection, reporting and analysis, equipment managers can more accurately determine an equipment’s issues and thus prevent failure. Meaning less periods of unexpected downtime.
Unfortunately despite these systems proving to be more than capable, some businesses have continued to struggle despite their implementation. No maintenance approach can solve all of a businesses’ internal problems, especially one that has such higher barriers of entry. Not only will they require grand capital investments, they’ll also require highly tailored technology platforms to be integrated into a business. Meaning employees may have to reconsider everything they’ve ever known regarding their positions as a result of these changes. Only organizations confident in their staff should ever consider making the transition to predictive maintenance systems.
If you were curious as to how either of these maintenance approaches can contribute to your organization’s success, take some time to review the infographic coupled alongside this post. Courtesy of Industrial Service Solutions.