Maintaining your organization’s equipment line is imperative. The way in which you do so is increasingly important. For most organizations, maintaining their equipment comes in the form of two maintenance approaches: predictive and preventive maintenance. While both provide a unique approach to ensuring an equipment’s health, they are both vastly different. 

When you think of a typical maintenance schedule, you’re thinking of preventive maintenance. This has long been the standard for maintaining any piece of equipment’s integrity in the industry. The process is simple, schedule maintenance for every piece of equipment in an organization’s fleet at regularly scheduled intervals throughout the year. Organizations determine these intervals based on their equipment’s age, run time and any other prior conditions that impact the equipment’s health. 

Recent advancements have introduced organizations to a newer alternative to preventive maintenance, though. Predictive maintenance flips everything preventive maintenance attempts to establish on its head. Rather than estimating the optimal maintenance intervals, this approach uses integrated systems to determine maintenance intervals in real time stemming from performance data of each machine. Much more effective in regards to using an organization’s maintenance resources, sure. But much more expensive than their preventive counterpart. 

While the costs for these systems remain adamantly high, the implementation of these systems continues to simplify. Upon their introduction, these systems weren’t nearly as accurate as they are today. As more and more equipment joined the Internet of Things, the more accurate the data reported became. With more accurate data comes more accurate predictions in regards to equipment failure or malfunction. The information provided by these systems allows organizations to dispatch their maintenance resources much more effectively than in preventive maintenance strategies. 

It’s worth nothing, though, that not every organization will blend well with a predictive maintenance approach. Not only can the cost keep certain organizations from being able to invest, these systems also require a retraining process for new and existing employees to get the most out of them. Even after initial investment and retraining, there’s no way to guarantee eliminating all downtime from any piece of equipment. There are going to be situations where predictive maintenance systems may fail the same way preventive maintenance approaches fail. Finding the right approach for your organization will take time. 

For new or aspiring manufacturing managers, developing a maintenance strategy right for your organization is key. Doing so can be difficult, but with the infographic coupled with this post, courtesy of Industrial Service Solutions, it should be a bit easier. Take a look at the infographic for more information.

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