Predictive Maintenance uses many different advanced technologies to prevent costly shutdown and costly reactive maintenance of machines. It is used in manufacturing as well as in other venues.
Predictive maintenance works by:
Lowering the time that the equipment maintenance takes
Lowering the cost of necessary parts and supplies that are required to accomplish the maintenance
Lowering the hours that are lost for maintenance by preventing reactive maintenance.
Predictive maintenance has as its goal the prediction—of course—of when a failure in equipment or mobility or anything else—may take place. Secondary to this, it aims to prevent the failure by allowing the maintenance that must be done to take place well before the equipment failure takes place. The ideal situation is that predictive maintenance keeps the frequency of maintenance work as low as possible to keep the costs as reasonable as possible. In addition, its goal is to prevent reactive maintenance but to keep costs low by maintaining an even level –and a low cost measure of preventive maintenance.
Yes, it all sounds just a bit confusing. To make a long story short, preventive maintenance is too costly. Reactive maintenance costs too much and takes too long. Predictive maintenance takes into account past failures, when they took place, why they took place and prevents them from happening without costing an arm and a leg.
How Does It Work?
Predicting a failure can take multiple forms. The methodology must be effective at the prediction of failure and it must also permit time to allow for the maintenance necessary. Some methods include the analysis of vibrations, analyzing oil, thermal imagery, and even observation of the equipment. Condition based maintenance and using the right methodology is imperative and creating a maintenance strategy is imperative as well.
This is not to say that there is no down side to predictive maintenance. In fact the main down side is the cost of the equipment that is necessary for monitoring your facility. Condition monitoring and maintenance monitoring are quite expensive and may be cost prohibitive for smaller facilities. In addition, the specialty training or experience technical personnel that are required to operate the equipment may also be difficult to find and costly to hire.
The up side is that in comparison to being shut down for preventive maintenance or to being offline for reactive maintenance, the cost of predictive maintenance may seem a very small burden.
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