Taking A Proactive Maintenance Approach

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While every organization’s maintenance approach may not be flawless, it needs to ensure the health of every piece of equipment at the very least. Two of the major approaches that contribute to maintaining the health and effectiveness of an organization’s equipment are preventive and predictive maintenance.

In order to understand how most organizations view maintenance, it’s important to begin with the more basic of the two approaches. Preventive maintenance is the standard approach to maintenance for countless organizations. In this strategy, every piece of equipment in an organization’s fleet receives regularly scheduled maintenance throughout the year. This maintenance is spread across a number of intervals throughout the year, largely determined by status of equipment. Meaning older pieces of equipment will likely receive more maintenance throughout the year than newer pieces of equipment. It goes without saying, then, that pieces of equipment with a higher average run time will also require more maintenance than their lesser running counterparts. While these schedules may differ, the core philosophy is the same.

A contrasting maintenance philosophy comes from the predictive maintenance approach. Rather than offering blanket maintenance throughout the year on each piece of equipment, this approach relies on integrated systems that collect performance data from each piece of equipment to determine the most optimal maintenance schedule. While this approach is certainly more effective in regards to an organization’s maintenance resources, it has its flaws. Namely the costs associated with implementing these systems into equipment.

As previously mentioned, the cost for these systems is typically what stops organizations from relying on them. The organizations that can afford these systems, however, are contributing to the betterment of these systems for organizations that plan to switch in the future. As the number of machines connected to the Internet of Things increases, so do the capabilities that these systems can offer. More accurate capturing, reporting and analysis comes as a result of more and more equipment joining the network. The more accurate the data, the more likely that organizations can improve efficiency and decrease the amount of downtime their equipment experiences.

While it may seem as though predictive maintenance has been made out to be the obvious choice between the two maintenance approaches, that’s not entirely true. Organizations struggling in the maintenance department will not magically be cured of any issues simply by transitioning into predictive maintenance. High barriers to entry makes the investment for less established businesses much more risky. Not only do they require capital investment, they also require highly sophisticated digital platforms that must be integrated into an organization’s existing operation. These systems will then have to be taught to employees, who will have the pleasure of essentially redefining what they previously knew about maintenance. Organizations comfortable with the amount of investment and work necessary to make these systems perform at their highest level will find the most success with these systems.

No matter the size or scope of your organization, considering your maintenance alternatives is always a good idea. For more information regarding these two maintenance approaches, be sure to review the infographic accompanying this post. Courtesy of Industrial Service Solutions.

Author: Nina Mdivani