What is Predictive Maintenance?
You may have the best of manufacturing ideas, strategies, and plans but, a faulty machine or an equipment failure is all it takes to distort your entire manufacturing process.
It is imperative to ensure that the machine and equipment being used in the manufacturing facility functions perfectly well. However, this task is easier said than done. Many times, the manufacturer may not see a machine downtime or equipment failure coming due to which the entire manufacturing process goes haywire. So, how can a manufacturer prevent machine downtime or equipment failure? Looks like Predictive Maintenance is the way to go!
What is Predictive Maintenance?
Predictive Maintenance has become a critical part of Industry 4.0 and is paramount to the manufacturing industry which is constantly facing glitches and inefficiency in the manufacturing processes due to machine and equipment downtime or failure.
Predictive maintenance or also known as “PdM” is a technique that monitors in-service machines and equipment using sensor devices. The sensor devices generate real-time data that can be used to predict future machine and equipment failure.
The manufacturing companies were able to invariably prevent machine downtime and equipment failure with Predictive Maintenance, leaving manufacturers intrigued with an interesting question…!!
How does Predictive Maintenance work?
Predictive Maintenance technology considers both, hardware and software aspects. First, the machine or the equipment to be inspected must be identified. Next, the data relevant to the machine/ equipment to be inspected is collected for comparative studies.
Predictive Maintenance monitors the asset and leverages on the data to generate a prediction of machine downtime or equipment failure via Vibration Analysis, Sonic Analysis, Infrared Analysis and Oil Analysis. The manufacturer now has pragmatic predictions about a possible machine and equipment failure at his disposal and he can take corrective measures, well in time to prevent the asset downtime or failure.
Let’s now address an important question regarding the deployment of Predictive Maintenance technology for smart manufacturing.
What are the Benefits of Predictive Maintenance?
- Reduction in maintenance costs:– Sudden machine or equipment failure requires massive cost allocation for repair and maintenance. The entire production process cannot be revoked and the manufacturer may have no choice, but to spend what it takes to repair and maintain the asset. PdM helps in reduction of maintenance cost because now, the manufacturer knows about the asset efficiency and maintenance requirements beforehand.
- Increased production capacity:– Ultimately, a machine that breaks down very often cannot produce the expected quantity and quality of the product. A lot of time is spent on repairing and maintaining the machine. Predictive Maintenance gives actionable insights on OEE (Overall Equipment Efficiency), allowing the manufacturer to enhance the same and maintain healthy production capacity.
- Better employee productivity:– Predictive Maintenance brings relief to labourers as they can engage in more productive work, than strain themselves in checking, and maintaining the machine and equipment which indeed is a time-consuming and at times, a hazardous process.
- Reduction in spare part purchase cycle:– The fear of abrupt machine downtime or equipment failure leads to unnecessary stocking up of machine and equipment spare parts. This also increases the expenditure. With PdM, the manufacturer can take an informed decision on stocking only the required parts at feasible timelines.
Apart from the above-mentioned benefits, Predictive Maintenance offers an excellent ROI
The Future of Predictive Maintenance
Gartner predicts that by 2022, spend on IoT-enabled predictive maintenance would increase to $12.9 billion, up from $3.4 billion in 2018, with improved operational efficiencies through predictive asset maintenance leading to substantial savings of up to 40%.
Predictive Maintenance has emerged as a crucial technology that significantly improves machine and equipment efficiency. The technology is surely setting a strong foothold in Industry 4.0 and is becoming the manufacturers’ natural choice to empower smart manufacturing.