The one thing that you fear like any other business is downtime, as it is one of the significant threats to your bottom line. Your assets need to be in optimal working condition to get your desired return on investment or ROI. It can only be possible with proper maintenance.
Reactive maintenance does not prevent downtime since it occurs after the asset fails, and your production gets hit. What you need is maintenance that is done regularly that prevents your assets from falling.
Maintenance that gives you the highest mileage from your investments is preventive maintenance, where assets are monitored based on a predetermined maintenance schedule.
The next level of preventive maintenance is predictive maintenance that is a more efficient version of the former.
We will find out about both these types of maintenance and how you can benefit from them.
What Are the Benefits of Preventive Maintenance?
Maintenance is generally of two types, planned and unplanned. Preventive maintenance falls under the planned maintenance category. The goal of preventative maintenance is preventing your asset from failing and keeping downtime to a minimum.
Preventive maintenance takes into account the past performance of the asset, including the frequency of breakdowns. This data is entered into the preventive maintenance schedule for carrying out repairs or replacements. The actual operating condition of the assets is not considered.
There are specific parameters that decide the maintenance, like frequency (every quarter) or meter readings (every 1000 miles).
Here are some benefits of preventive maintenance:
When your assets are in optimal condition due to scheduled repairs and replacements, there is less downtime due to machine breakdowns. It also ensures worker safety.
Maintain a Budget:
With preventive maintenance, you know the amount and frequency of funds needed for repairs and replacements. It makes it easier to have a budget for maintenance issues. Monitoring your equipment for repairs is convenient.
Longer Equipment Life:
Your equipment life will be extended, and you get superior performance with a preventive maintenance schedule.
Preventive maintenance minimizes the possibility of sudden equipment breakdown. Your production schedule carries on smoothly, and you generate higher savings and profits.
Lower Energy Consumption:
Poorly-maintained equipment consumes more energy compared to well-maintained equipment. Higher energy consumption means higher overheads. With a preventive maintenance schedule, your equipment consumes less power, and you have lower overheads.
When your equipment is regularly maintained, you know what can go wrong. If there is a problem, troubleshooting is easier since you know exactly what to fix.
You will have to invest in a maintenance team and equipment, increasing your upfront costs.
Since the condition of the equipment is not essential, there is a cost you will incur at regular intervals in terms of unnecessary downtime for checking the equipment.
What Are the Benefits of Predictive Maintenance?
The significant difference when it comes to preventive vs predictive maintenance is that predictive maintenance considers the current condition of the asset. Predictive maintenance does not go by statistics or the breakdown history of the asset.
The occurrence of failure of the asset is predicted in predictive maintenance with monitoring equipment. The performance and condition of the asset are tested by techniques like oil analysis or vibration analysis.
If there is general wear and tear detected in the machine, a repair is scheduled before the breakdown. Repairs are done on time and not before time, as in preventive maintenance.
Here are the benefits of predictive maintenance:
Unlike preventive maintenance, the condition of the asset is vital in predictive maintenance. There are no unnecessary maintenance costs, and repairs are undertaken only when required. The long-term maintenance costs are lowered, including overtime and labor costs.
With predictive maintenance, downtime due to equipment failure is less. Downtime is costly for the business that follows reactive maintenance after the asset has failed.
The maintenance tasks are performed when equipment failure is anticipated shortly. It keeps downtime to the minimum and improves equipment uptime.
There are no unnecessary repairs or replacements with predictive maintenance. Data on critical operations of your machinery are analyzed for maintenance. Machines are not shut down for maintenance like in preventive maintenance.
Protection of Assets:
Your assets are protected with predictive maintenance. Since the condition of the equipment is regularly monitored, your company has an efficient maintenance plan. The equipment is always in peak working condition.
Longer Equipment Life Cycle:
The lifecycle of your equipment goes up with predictive maintenance, and you can replace it after a much more extended period than the average life of the equipment. The long-term equipment costs also go down with predictive maintenance.
Improved Final Product Quality:
If your equipment is not functioning optimally, the end product that it produces also is below the standard quality. With continuous monitoring through predictive maintenance, your equipment function efficiently, and the end product meet the quality standards.
Drawbacks of Predictive Maintenance:
Monitoring Equipment Required:
To ensure that your equipment’s condition is monitored continuously, you need monitoring equipment for data collection and storage. The maintenance technicians later review this data for deciding when to perform maintenance.
The monitoring equipment would depend on the functions performed by your machine. You could need equipment like vibration sensors, imaging equipment, or sonic equipment. The cost of such equipment could make predictive maintenance costly.
You will have to train your staff on how to interpret the data from the monitoring equipment. Data presentation skills will be required. The technicians will need to assess when equipment failure is likely to happen or when maintenance will be required.
Your staff would need to understand your machinery and the monitoring equipment. You might have to hire new staff who have experience handling the monitoring equipment if your team can’t understand the technology. While there will be long-term benefits, the upfront cost of implementing predictive maintenance will go up.
Both preventive maintenance and predictive maintenance help in reducing downtime and improving the productivity of your company. What you need to keep in mind is the type of machinery you have, your company’s size, and your budget.
If you have sophisticated machinery that is compatible with monitoring equipment, large-scale operations, and a high budget for staff training, you could go for predictive maintenance. Otherwise, you can opt for preventive maintenance.