Predictive Maintenance Details
Predictive Maintenance (PdM) uses high-tech diagnostic tools to detect if an asset is entering a failure mode or losing efficiency. These tools find faults and help to predict that a failure is approaching. Just as a medical test can tell if a person is developing a disease, PdM tools help you to find if problems are developing in your equipment.
It is called Predictive Maintenance (PdM) when you are monitoring and trending the condition of your equipment using these high-the diagnostic tools.
The monitoring of the trend of an asset helps to predict when the best time to render maintenance actions would be. These actions are usually less costly in terms of collateral damage, parts, downtime and man hours.
After a company installs its equipment the job is thought to be done. The equipment is supposed to run for its life cycle and wears out after a long period of time. Most maintenance departments are set up to operate in a “run-to-failure” mode. Which is really saying they have no idea when something will break down until it is obvious the asset is having a problem or it just stops working.
Several industries have been studied to find out what the pattern of failure looks like. It has not surprised maintenance managers that the majority of failures comes from random events with age related failures creating only 11% of the total number of failures. These curves have been found in the paper industry, airlines, and the US Navy and a wide variety of industries continue to exhibit the same patterns of failure.
Several industries have a great history of using Preventative Maintenance (PM) procedures. But this is a time based approach that can violate the maxim “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. But additionally, PM does not have a way to discover when failure is imminent due to a random event, an infantile part failure, an installation that was not within spec or other non-time based approach.
Having the knowledge of how healthy or ill your machines are, places you in control over planning when the best time to repair or replace components. Pdm can help on a production line in a manufacturing environment, a waste water treatment plant, in power plant, a mine, a bakery to name some examples.
Just like a doctor checks your blood pressure, temperature, lung sounds, etc, maintenance personnel can use PdM tools to collect valuable information about the health of your machines, both at installation and farther along in time.
Repairs take less time and money compared to replacement of failed equipment.