If your business is hoping to achieve anything within the manufacturing industry, it’s important to understand the relationship between maintenance and this aforementioned success. The equipment and machinery that allow businesses to operate in the manufacturing space must remain in operable shape, but how can businesses effectively maintain this equipment? Preserving the equipment used in these manufacturing operations is typically done through one of two of the major maintenance strategies; either preventive or predictive maintenance.
The former strategy is likely the most common of the two. It is a common staple for maintenance in many industries around the world. Preventive maintenance is a strategy that includes performing maintenance on each piece of equipment in an organization’s fleet at routine intervals throughout the year. This may seem counterintuitive at first, but the truth is for a majority of organizations it is effective. The frequency at which machines receive maintenance is largely based on age and average run-time. For example, older machines may require more maintenance throughout the year than newer machines. The same way that machines that have a longer average run-time will likely require more routine maintenance than those with a shorter average run-time.
The much more advanced maintenance strategy, however, is predictive maintenance. This strategy uses real-time data collection from each piece of equipment in an organization’s fleet in order to determine the most optimal maintenance schedule. This is accomplished through the link to the Internet of Things from each piece of equipment. These systems are able to collect and analyze performance and external data unique to the machine in order to diagnose an issue and recommend the best fix. While predictive maintenance is much more efficient than its counterpart, it is also far more expensive.
Despite being more expensive on average, the implementation of these predictive maintenance systems are becoming less difficult as more and more companies have made the switch. Why is this? Well, as more and more IoT technologies are connected to organization’s equipment and machinery, the more possibilities arise in regards to maintenance. These systems are able to provide owners and managers with thorough analysis and reporting of the performance of their equipment, in addition to some external data that can be contributing to additional wear. All of this information provides a clearer picture in regards to equipment failure, and the best ways to prevent this failure and extended downtime.
While preventive maintenance may seem like the most optimal choice for every manufacturing operation, this isn’t always the case. For most organizations, the barriers to entry for these systems are just far too high. Not only will these systems require the use of highly sophisticated and integrated technology platforms, they will also require the retaining of existing personnel to work alongside these new systems. For some organizations, these systems can shake up the entire way they’d look and approach maintenance, which can lead to a long adjustment period. If your organization has deep enough pockets, employees capable of handling such technologically advanced systems, and a willingness to change, predictive maintenance is likely the solution for you.
While the information included within this post makes it clear that in order to achieve success in the industry you must first carefully consider the best maintenance option, there’s much more to learn. For additional information centered around these two maintenance strategies and how they can impact your business, be sure to review the infographic included alongside this post. Infographic courtesy of Industrial Service Solutions.