25 Jun

What is Predictive Maintenance?


Maintenance is a tough and hectic job for the maintenance personals in the plant premises across all industries. There is a constant fear of unexpected breakdown with the conventional maintenance schedule commonly known as Preventive Maintenance - Run hour or Periodic. Unexpected breakdown leads to high downtime of critical machines affecting the production process and causing huge financial losses for the industrial firms worldwide. Fortunately, the solution for these incurring obstacles is found in the new and better way of maintenance that we call the "Predictive Maintenance”. With said that, let's dig deeper to know what is predictive maintenance and why industries should adopt it?


Predictive Maintenance Definition

Predictive Maintenance can be defined as a type of maintenance method that uses condition monitoring tools to create a maintenance or repair plan prior to the full machine failure or breakdown. The assets are wirelessly monitored to detect the developing faults or early failures in them. The maintenance or repair of those assets is then planned accordingly.


What are the conventional maintenance methods used in industries?

The conventional Maintenance methodology that is currently followed across the manufacturing industries is the Preventive Maintenance, which comprises run-hour maintenance and Periodic (Scheduled) Maintenance.

Breakdown Maintenance or repairing an asset after its total failure is also performed but on smaller or non-critical machinery.


How Predictive Maintenance differs from Conventional Maintenance strategies?

The Predictive or condition-based maintenance method differs from the conventional Preventive Maintenance as here the repair activities are only performed when a piece of machinery shows major signs of its deterioration either due to its constant operation or in case mishandling by its operator. The system provides the observer with essential alerts with the help of which the maintenance or repair work is then performed.


How Predictive Maintenance is done?

Predictive Maintenance utilizes the Internet of Things (IoT) for its existence and functionality.

IoT or Internet of things, in a brief, can be defined as an ecosystem of interrelated physical devices provided with unique identifiers (UIDs), which makes them capable of communicating within themselves without any human-to-human or human-to-device interaction. Read more on The Internet of Things.

Predictive Maintenance technology uses a combination of sensors and software. A sensor or combination of two or more sensors is required to accurately monitor essential parameters like Vibration, Temperature, Magnetic Flux, Ultrasound, etc which are later stored and analyzed with the help of software modules integrated with the sensors. The acceptable boundaries of parameters for a healthy machine operation are defined within the system. This allows the system to generate an alert or trigger an email notification whenever those values exceed their threshold limits.


Where Predictive Maintenance can be deployed?

All types of critical rotating or reciprocating machines displaying high downtime impact either due to planned or unplanned maintenance, resulting in high maintenance costs involved and decrease in productivity, are good candidates for the Predictive Maintenance Solutions. The machines comprise of motors, pumps, compressors, fans, gearboxes, etc.


What are the benefits of utilizing Predictive Maintenance Technology?

The benefits of using the Predictive Maintenance strategy is that it reduces the downtime impact of the critical rotating machines. This, in turn, reduces overall maintenance costs and also increases the productivity of those assets.

It also helps in maintaining the spare parts or inventory which would be required during the repair works. This all is made possible because maintenance here is only performed when it is required that is, on receiving alerts indicating the faults developing in those assets. This eliminates that sudden unplanned machine maintenance as now maintenance will always be scheduled and when needed.

Recent studies have shown that using Predictive Maintenance programs can provide up to 10 times of ROI, as it reduces maintenance costs by (25-30) %, sudden breakdown chances by (85-90) % and downtime of machines by (30-35) %, as compared with the conventional run-hour or periodic type of maintenance. Read more about the Advantages of Predictive Maintenance.


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