Equipment Maintenance Approaches that Improve Results

July 22, 2020

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) considers preventive maintenance a hazard control that helps prevent injuries in the workplace. OSHA requires manufacturers to establish equipment maintenance schedules to mitigate these potential hazards. But that’s when it starts to get complicated.
Do you run your equipment until it fails, and then figure out how to manage the downtime this approach creates while new equipment is installed? Or, do you put your equipment on a maintenance schedule, which can lead to increased replacement costs over time and the need to manage the spare parts inventory? Both approaches have upsides and downsides.
Poor maintenance strategies can reduce a plant’s overall productive capacity significantly, and unplanned downtime is costing industrial manufacturers billions each year. That being said, it is critical for these businesses to decide how often and for how long machines can and should be taken offline for service.

Predictive Maintenance

We are living in a time of rapid evolution of both machinery and process in the manufacturing environment. To harness these constantly moving targets to maximize efficiency, limit downtime and manage maintenance proactively, many manufacturers have moved to Predictive Maintenance (PdM). 

PdM, which has been around for many years, integrates data from various sources, such as:

  • Critical equipment sensors
  • Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems
  • Computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS)
  • Production data with advanced predictive models and analytics to predict failures which lets manufacturers address them proactively

Over time, new machine-learning technology is expected to increase the accuracy of the predictive algorithms, leading to even better performance.
Potential Benefits of PdM
While this may sound straightforward, it requires manufacturers to harness their physical and digital information so both can feed analytic and predictive programs. The payback for doing so can be enormous, including: 

  • Material cost savings
  • Reduced inventory carrying costs
  • Increased equipment uptime and availability
  • Reduced maintenance planning time
  • Reduced overall maintenance costs

Don’t get surprised by unexpected machinery failure or continue to manage an inventory of spare parts. Consider the benefits of implementing PdM for your business to maximize maintenance management.

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