Every manufacturing operation’s equipment will require maintenance regularly throughout its life span. In most instances, organizations are left to decide between two leading maintenance options: predictive and preventive maintenance. While these two approaches are different in nature, their goal is same: keep equipment running to the best of its capabilities.
The principal maintenance strategy that has been used for some time is preventive maintenance. This approach utilizes a calendar-driven strategy to determine when pieces of equipment in an organization’s fleet should be worked on. In most cases, different elements of the equipment are what deem the intervals in which maintenance are required. For example, an older piece of equipment that runs more frequently will likely require more regular maintenance than a newer piece of equipment that runs half as long.
The premier alternative to this strategy is predictive maintenance. The major difference between these two strategies is the fact that predictive maintenance determines the optimal maintenance intervals based on real time data collected by the machine. So, rather than maintenance being performed on a set schedule, maintenance can be done on equipment as its needed. Which sounds fantastic, except for the fact that the systems required to accomplish this are expensive and technologically sophisticated.
The upside to the predictive maintenance systems is that they’re becoming more and more simple to implement them into an organization’s operations. Largely in part due to the ever-growing branches of the Internet of Things. As more and more technologies are integrated into the IoT, the easier it becomes to more accurately track and assess equipment. The information that is collected as a result of these connections, is what gives organizations the ability to predict the maintenance required for any piece of their equipment. This efficiency is certainly unmatched by the preventive maintenance approach.
Let it be known, however, that predictive maintenance isn’t always the best choice for your organization. No matter what maintenance strategy your organization uses, there will always be some sort of unexpected downtime. Not to mention, regardless of an organization’s preference, sometimes the barriers to entry for predictive maintenance systems are just too high. Aside from the cost for the systems themselves, there will also be the cost of training your employees to work alongside these systems.
For any organization considering a change of maintenance strategy, be sure to do all the analysis required before making a decision. Additional information regarding predictive and preventive maintenance can also be found in the accompanying resource coupled with this post, courtesy of Industrial Service Solutions.