Simplifying Two Major Maintenance Approaches For Businesses

No manufacturing operation can be successful with equipment experiencing consistent failure. Avoiding this failure is only possible through proper maintenance. What does this entail for most organizations, though? Maintaining any equipment is usually done in the form of one of two maintenance approaches: predictive or preventive maintenance. Each unique in their approach to ensuring an equipment’s health, this post will detail both methods.

Finding the right strategy for your organization can be tricky, so it’s imperative to understand how these strategies operate and how they can potentially benefit your business. Preventive maintenance seems like the best place to start as it is the more common of the two. This strategy approaches maintenance as a one-size-fits-all dynamic. Meaning that each piece of an organization’s equipment will possess a maintenance interval derived from its characteristics and flaws. So, while every interval is bound to be different, they’re derived the same way. For example, newer pieces of equipment will likely require less maintenance than older pieces of equipment, perhaps one check-up throughout the year. Whereas the older pieces of equipment an organization owns will likely require more check-ups throughout the year.

The latter, on the other hand, is much more refined. Predictive maintenance disregards scheduled maintenance intervals. Instead, through reliance of the equipment itself, this strategy is able to determine optimal maintenance scheduling. This is accomplished through highly integrated systems that connect to an organization’s equipment. Through the Internet of Things, organizations can monitor their equipment and perform analyses that can indicate when their equipment will fail and what maintenance it requires to reduce the chance of failure. With how effective this seems, why wouldn’t every organization employ these systems? Incredibly unforgiving costs are what keep organizations from these systems.

It’s worth nothing, though, that not every organization will blend well with a predictive maintenance approach. Not only can the cost keep certain organizations from being able to invest, these systems also require a retraining process for new and existing employees to get the most out of them. Even after initial investment and retraining, there’s no way to guarantee eliminating all downtime from any piece of equipment. There are going to be situations where predictive maintenance systems may fail the same way preventive maintenance approaches fail. Finding the right approach for your organization will take time.

While it may seem as though predictive maintenance has been made out to be the obvious choice between the two maintenance approaches, that’s not entirely true. Organizations struggling in the maintenance department will not magically be cured of any issues simply by transitioning into predictive maintenance. High barriers to entry makes the investment for less established businesses much more risky. Not only do they require capital investment, they also require highly sophisticated digital platforms that must be integrated into an organization’s existing operation. These systems will then have to be taught to employees, who will have the pleasure of essentially redefining what they previously knew about maintenance. Organizations comfortable with the amount of investment and work necessary to make these systems perform at their highest level will find the most success with these systems.

Any organization, regardless of scope or stature, will require some form of regularly schedule maintenance. No organization should settle for run of the mill maintenance, though. For some additional information on both maintenance approaches detailed in this post, spend some time checking out the infographic featured alongside this post. Courtesy of Industrial Service Solutions.