The way in which organizations conduct maintenance for their manufacturing equipment varies per organization. In most cases, a majority of organizations default to the preventive maintenance approach. However, some organizations opt to utilize the predictive maintenance approach, which is much more sophisticated.
Preventive maintenance is a long-standing strategy in the manufacturing industry. This strategy is rather simple: schedule routine maintenance to each individual piece of manufacturing equipment within an operation and perform maintenance on them at those scheduled intervals. Some intervals will be different for different sets of equipment. For example, older pieces of equipment may require additional maintenance than newer pieces of equipment over the same time period. As such, the intervals for these older pieces of equipment may be shorter than the newer pieces of equipment in a particular operation. The same could potentially be said for pieces of equipment that see more use than other pieces of equipment.
A newer, much more sophisticated strategy to maintenance is predictive maintenance. In contrast to preventive maintenance, rather than having set scheduled intervals, why not let the machines notify you when they require maintenance? This is the approach of predictive maintenance. Through highly integrated systems, organizations are able to monitor important precursor data from their equipment that would then indicate when that piece of equipment would require maintenance. Seems perfect, right? Except for the fact that these systems aren’t cheap. More often than not, they’d cost the same as if organizations just deferred to preventive maintenance for each piece of their equipment.
As mentioned previously, a majority of business owners have come to understand that the barriers to entry for transitioning to a predictive maintenance strategy are quite high. Not only do these systems cost an exuberant amount of capital, they also require a highly customized set of training protocols that organizations must educate their employees on. No matter the status of your organization, this can be challenging. Whether it be trying to teach long-standing employees new systems and protocols that go against everything they may’ve known previously in their time with an organization, or new employees completely unaware of what they’re getting themselves into, you’re bound to face some challenges. Regardless of this, if your organization has the available capital to invest in these systems, it is worth the investment. While the training might not be easy, your employees will eventually transition more smoothly and the benefits would outweigh the costs.
If your business is currently considering the switch, be sure to review the featured resource below for more information regarding predictive and preventive maintenance. The infographic contains additional details regarding the advantages and disadvantages of each approach, and what that can mean for your business. All courtesy of Industrial Service Solutions.