Predictive Maintenance: Why You Should Start Now

Predictive Maintenance

Predictive maintenance (PdM,) also known as proactive maintenance, is a right-on-time maintenance strategy that allows you to detect the onset of mechanical degradation prior to either reduced operating efficiencies or total mechanical failure. A successful PdM program leverages the combination of data, operating information and processes in order to analyze these trends against known engineering limits. This, in turn, allows you to detect, analyze and correct a problem BEFORE a failure occurs. Compare this to reactive maintenance which you perform only AFTER equipment failure and almost always results in both high production costs and significant service downtime.

Benefits of Predictive Maintenance

The benefits you receive from predictive maintenance are clear:

Improved productivity

  • Minimizes downtime by reducing unscheduled maintenance
  • Allows repairs to be scheduled during optimal scheduled downtimes
  • Reduces time required for repairs by ensuring that all parts and tools are on hand
  • Ensures that machinery is operating within specifications and at peak efficiency

Reduction of overall costs

  • Reduces unnecessary maintenance as machines are repaired only when their performance is less than optimal
  • Reduces overtime required to make up for lost production due to mechanical failures
  • Facilitates just-in-time inventory practices for maintenance items
  • Reduces capital expenditure on machinery as well-maintained machinery will last longer

Better customer service levels

  • Reduces the number of late deliveries due to unscheduled downtime
  • Allows for faster production timelines
  • Increases overall quality by eliminating issues caused by poorly performing machinery

The cost to establish an effective predictive maintenance program is minimal and can provide one of the largest returns on dollars expended. Most plants have much of the instrumentation needed to gain the necessary information already installed. Today’s test and measurement instrumentation offers many cost-effective opportunities to gather information without having to incur the expense of running conduit with power and signal cabling. The information gatherers are generally already on the payroll and in many cases, already gathering the needed information to be trended.

For the most part, establishing a trending program would require little more than using the information already gathered and currently collecting dust. When portable test and measurement equipment with datalogging systems are purchased, the payback for the little extra money spent is quickly recovered in increased machine efficiency and decreased energy cost.

Do you have a predictive maintenance strategy? If so, please tell us about it. If not, we can help you with the tools you need to get started on your predictive maintenance program. Contact our product support team to help you choosing the best products for your application.

Article written by Jason Malina, Manager, Industrial Product Marketing for Cole-Parmer.

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