Are you utilizing predictive maintenance in your business? If not, it’s something to consider if you use equipment that needs routine maintenance. Predictive maintenance will give you early warning about potential breakdowns and other issues that may occur unexpectedly.
Predictive maintenance is useful in just about every industry
Predictive maintenance is popular in manufacturing industries, but it’s useful in any industry. Whether you’re running heavy machinery or electronics, you can’t escape regular maintenance.
For instance, if you run a flower delivery company, you’ll need to maintain your vehicles on a regular schedule throughout the year. If you run a local mail center, you’ll need to maintain your copy machines and other computer equipment.
If you fail to keep your equipment in good shape, you’ll end up paying for excessive repairs or a total replacement. This can get expensive. However, when you use predictive maintenance, you’ll be protecting your most expensive business assets and your cash flow.
1. Predictive maintenance eliminates some surprises
Even when you stay on top of routine maintenance, you can still end up with some surprise breakdowns. Predictive maintenance can help prevent some of the more damaging surprises by alerting you about conditions that indicate there’s a problem.
For instance, you can connect various sensors to a piece of equipment designed to alert you when it senses the slightest bit of friction. That small amount of friction might indicate a belt is wearing out or there’s some other mechanical problem. By catching this friction ahead of time, you can inspect and make the repair before the issue catches you by surprise, potentially causing more damage as a result.
2. Predictive maintenance trumps prevention
Predictive maintenance completely overshadows preventive maintenance. While there are definite benefits to preventive maintenance tasks, it’s not the same. For instance, preventive maintenance estimates outcomes based on the past, while predictive maintenance uses real-time data to calculate accurate outcomes.
With predictive maintenance, you’ll finally have an efficient approach to maintaining your equipment. Once you switch, you won’t need to waste any money on inefficient strategies and tasks.
3. You’ll get insight into other issues
The best thing about predictive maintenance is that you can program your sensors to pick up on subtle nuances you wouldn’t be able to manually identify. This can give you incredibly deep insight into other issues you might never have known about otherwise.
This alone makes predictive maintenance worth using in your organization. Imagine being alerted to several issues as they arise in real time, and you never knew these particular issues were even affecting your operations. That’s powerful.
3 tips for applying predictive maintenance
If you’re ready to start using predictive maintenance in your organization, you’re making the right choice. Here are several tips to get the most out of your efforts.
1. Monitor the correct data
With today’s sensors, you truly could monitor endless forms of data, and that is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it’s great to be able to monitor anything. On the other hand, you could get lost in the minutia.
Think hard before you choose which data to collect. Make sure that data is both useful to you and that your analysis will make a difference in your business outcomes. For instance, if you measure something that will give you interesting insight, but that insight won’t affect your overall business goals, skip it.
Only monitor data that will give you actionable insights you can use to improve your business. If you’re not sure what to start monitoring, you can always start collecting data you believe is important and see how that plays out. You’ll know right away if the data will be useful.
2. Maintain a flow of data
Once you’re set up to collect data, you need to make sure that data stream flows. Keep your system running and up-to-date. Make sure your data is being updated regularly because your entire system will be using the stored data to run. If you’re stuck using old data, your results won’t be accurate.
3. Train your employees
Training can go a long way to maintain a predictive maintenance system. Make sure your employees get thoroughly trained if they need to work with your system. When your system sends alerts to key personnel, for example, make sure they know how to respond to those alerts.
Predictive maintenance is a great tool
When your goal is to streamline your business processes, eliminate expensive surprises, and improve efficiency, predictive maintenance can help you achieve all that and more.