Preventative maintenance is being practiced by almost every industrial manufacturing company in the world. The thought being that if you routinely maintain the equipment, it will last longer and ultimately you will spend less time and money repairing or replacing it, as well as improve your overall operational costs.
The trend we are seeing today is a movement from preventative maintenance to predictive maintenance, or a combination of the two. Predictive maintenance is the process of monitoring the critical assets in a plant to determine when the product will fail or needs to be replaced. This is done in a variety of ways, but typically involves mounting a sensing device on the critical asset such as an electric motor and establishing a trend for normal temperature and vibration performance, then monitoring for trend changes. In doing so, a changing trend allows the plant maintenance manager to determine whether or not the motor needs immediate attention - which could lead to costly unplanned downtime - or let the motor run until the next planned maintenance outage.
There are many new technologies and companies that now offer predictive maintenance products. Motion Industries is currently working with several of our key suppliers to determine which predictive devices are the right fit for the various applications in the plants the company serves. The addition of the Industrial Internet of Things (IloT) is now making monitoring of the predictive devices more feasible than ever from inside the plant to somewhere around the globe.
Predicting the future of product failure is not years away; it is now, and will ultimately lead to improved plant productivity and reduced operating costs or those manufacturers that adopt predictive maintenance plans, rather than rely on preventative maintenance plans.
Randy Breaux is the CEO of Motion.