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How does preventive maintenance assist in reducing downtime?

Gaurav Bali
Gaurav Bali

1st September 2022

Introduction

Across numerous industry sectors, machine breakdowns or downtime potentially result in losses of thousands of millions of dollars. According to a recent Deloitte research, unplanned downtime costs manufacturers $50 billion yearly. In addition, businesses must deal with lost productivity and missed deadlines. In order to prevent such circumstances, preventive maintenance helps out and serves as a safeguard to lessen the possibility of unexpected downtime with digital solutions. Preventive maintenance software is necessary for manufacturers who wish to provide a seamless client experience while preserving the caliber of their goods and services. This is due to the fact that even a small unintentional outage can seriously harm procedures and even the reputation of the business. Companies can reduce the risk of machine malfunction and outage by remotely monitoring the equipment on a regular basis. In this blog, we will look into what is preventive maintenance and how it is useful for businesses to reduce asset downtime.

What is Preventive Maintenance?

Preventive maintenance is frequent, routine maintenance that keeps equipment operational and helps avoid unwanted downtime and high expenses from equipment breakdown. In the event of a potential machinery breakdown, predetermined processes can be adjusted as part of preventive maintenance. By taking this precaution, you can improve equipment safety and dependability, boost performance, and lower operating and downtime costs. 

Manufacturers must use advanced maintenance strategies like preventive maintenance if they want to enhance the customer experience and deliver high-quality services. Monitoring the equipment at regular intervals can assist reduce risks related to malfunction and outage because an unexpected outage can cause a substantial amount of harm. The solution may involve cleaning, repairing broken pieces, or just lubricating the machinery.

Types of Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance tasks are carried out to predict, stop, and delay the equipment breakdown process. They ought to be carried on on parts and components that have age-related failure tendencies. Preventive maintenance itself can be approached in a variety of ways, but they are all used to make sure that your equipment is functioning properly and that any possible issues are found. It’s not always easy to decide which preventative maintenance technique to employ. You might employ more than one approach, depending on the complexity, value, and potential compliance needs of your equipment. The five most typical types of preventative maintenance used at commercial facilities today are shown below, along with some examples of preventive maintenance.

Time-based Maintenance

In time-based maintenance, a preventative maintenance task is scheduled using a time-based strategy on a regular basis, like every 10 days. Other instances include starting preventive maintenance (such as a regular critical examination) at the beginning of each month or once every three months. According to a schedule and in accordance with the asset requirements, scheduled-based maintenance entails routine equipment inspection. Long-term catastrophic damages will be avoided by taking into account and closely monitoring the fundamental equipment-specific factors like production cycles, sensor temperature, life-span, etc.

Usage-based Maintenance

Utilization-based preventive maintenance initiates a maintenance procedure when an asset utilization benchmark is reached. This may be the case following a specific number of miles, hours, or production cycles. This kind of maintenance forecasts a future inspection or maintenance task’s due date by taking into consideration an asset’s typical daily usage or exposure to external conditions. An example of this trigger is routine maintenance being scheduled for a car every 10,000 kilometers.

Predictive Maintenance

Predictive maintenance, which is typically associated with technology that can prompt service requests if a machine or appliance needs an examination or an upgrade, depends on sensors to gather information about equipment (such as temperature sensors or vibration sensors). 

Predictive maintenance involves keeping an eye on the operation of critical equipment and looking for any potential flaws that could cause a system crash. Predictive maintenance may be particularly important for the manufacturing, food production, and energy industries since it enables maintenance managers to schedule maintenance tasks to prevent crashes on vital operational equipment and make predictions about when system downtimes might occur based on historical patterns.

Condition-based maintenance

A type of proactive maintenance is condition-based maintenance. It’s an approach for maintaining equipment that keeps an eye on the real state of a piece of equipment to identify what maintenance work has to be done. Condition-based maintenance concentrates on the equipment’s present/running condition or a specific component that is most likely to fail. By concentrating on the possible outcomes and obtaining the required resources in advance to address the problem, forecasting helps to lessen the impact of failure. According to condition-based maintenance, repairs should only be made when specific indicators indicate a system’s performance is deteriorating or a failure is imminent. 

Benefits of Preventive Maintenance

1. Increased Asset Life

In addition to prolonging the life of the system and equipment and saving money by postponing unnecessary maintenance or equipment replacement, a successful preventive maintenance programme will also enhance their utility. Daily wear and tear on equipment can have a significant impact on its efficiency. Maximizing ideal working conditions is the goal of a preventative maintenance schedule. By conserving your resources, you can cut back on utility bills, which make up a sizable portion of operational expenses. Increased equipment life expectancy can result in lower operating costs for you if you implement a preventive maintenance strategy or programme.

2. Cost-Effective

Unplanned downtime can waste a lot of time and money since it could interfere with your facility’s efficiency and goals. Businesses must eliminate or drastically reduce delays and interruptions. Unplanned downtime is viewed negatively by many people, and many functional operations find the constant monitoring and inspection of equipment to be a nuisance. However, it is a necessity for business and frequently provides a competitive advantage. Because of the high levels of operational efficiency, scheduling a preventative maintenance program for your machinery and equipment will result in less energy consumption and lower utility costs.

3. Increased Productivity

By minimizing reactive work and enhancing management’s capacity to regulate workload, preventive maintenance boosts productivity. It enables early problem detection, greatly lengthens the life of equipment, reduces the need for capital expenditures, and improves capital budget planning. Additionally, workflow efficiency is greatly boosted when handheld technologies are combined with asset management, work order management, and inspections.

How Does Preventive Maintenance Work?

By planning preventive maintenance, businesses can avoid costly overruns. Additionally, the process can be streamlined by planning and accounting for all parts and maintenance resources. Setting up and implementing preventive maintenance is a rather simple method. Preventive maintenance is typically scheduled by managers according to usage or dates on the calendar, frequently as per the manufacturer’s advice. At a particular time and day, teams turn off their equipment. They then do the specified activities using that piece of equipment. PMs with breakdown and time-based triggers can be configured by managers. Alarms are set off by CMMS software to notify staff of needed maintenance. When equipment cannot be utilized until maintenance is performed, software initiates a breakdown PM. When the calendar advances to a set date with a time trigger, scheduled maintenance is initiated.

For instance, experts would advise servicing the equipment after 150 to 200 hours of operation, creating a time-based trigger. By carrying out this maintenance, you may be able to lengthen the useful life of your assets, boost output, boost overall effectiveness, and cut maintenance expenses. The only resources required for preventive maintenance are the manufacturer’s instructions and a team that is receptive to implementing new maintenance practices. It’s crucial to explain the advantages of a preventive maintenance programme and demonstrate how a preventative maintenance schedule will make the duties of technicians, mechanics, and engineers much easier to handle in order to get support from the group.

What are the Four Primary Preventive Maintenance Tasks?

Four fundamental actions are included in preventive maintenance, which takes a proactive approach to maintenance: inspection, detection, correction, and prevention. Let’s examine each idea’s importance to a good preventative maintenance programme in more detail.

Inspection: Inspections help companies in two ways and are a crucial component of preventive maintenance. Equipment safety is first ensured through facility inspections. Regular inspections strengthen a company’s liability protection while also assisting in the prevention of workplace accidents. Regular inspections also safeguard property. Furthermore, inspections guarantee that equipment is operating as planned by the manufacturer.

Detection: Running a facility department on a run-to-failure strategy might wind up costing a lot of money, which is why numerous facility managers opt to use a preventive strategy for maintenance. Preventive maintenance assists facility managers in identifying difficulties early on, when solutions are still comparatively simple and affordable.

Correction: Facility managers are encouraged by preventive maintenance to be proactive with equipment care and address problems before they arise. When a problem (or prospective issue) is identified, facility managers act quickly to fix it before it gets worse or causes a shutdown of operations.

Prevention: In order to learn from past errors and address recurring equipment problems, facility managers might combine inspection notes and data with maintenance logs. For facilities teams, preventing equipment failure lowers stress and boosts productivity. When equipment functions as it should, staff members can concentrate on preventative (as opposed to reactive) maintenance chores.

When is Preventive Maintenance Essential?

Depending on the machinery and the function it is carrying out, different preventative maintenance procedures will be needed. In order to prevent assets from failing prematurely, industry employs standards to help decide maintenance schedules. The kind of maintenance or repair that is required will also be covered by these rules. A PM schedule should ideally ensure proactive maintenance by adhering to specifications established by manufacturers or standards rather than forcing the use of reactive maintenance when something has already started to fail. Following this kind of predictive maintenance schedule necessitates correct recording of inspections and services against an awareness of the lifespan of a specific piece of equipment through duties like condition monitoring. When preventative maintenance is necessary, these records will aid in determining the timing.

How does Preventive Maintenance Assist in Reducing Downtime?

Delivering high-quality goods and services on a constant basis necessitates being aware of significant risks and creating a backup plan to handle them. In order to ensure that their business thrives and prevent unprecedented loss, successful companies should ideally have an expected preventive maintenance percentage that is greater than or equivalent to 85%. This clever approach is already being used by numerous demanding businesses across numerous industries to outperform their rivals.

Downtime is the entire amount of time a machine is offline throughout a manufacturing cycle, or the time the equipment is not in use. This encompasses both planned and unscheduled downtime, where planned downtime refers to scheduled maintenance stops while unplanned downtime refers to unanticipated failures or breakdowns. Unplanned outages might result in significant income losses. Top firms in the world lose billions of dollars in revenue each year due to downtime. According to one study, firms lose between $84,000 and $108,000 USD for each hour when their IT systems are offline. Manufacturing is not an exception. Most people are aware of how preventative maintenance lowers scheduled and unplanned downtime. But what additional actions might you take? Let’s examine how a preventative maintenance strategy influences the company’s ability to increase production while keeping costs under control.

1. Frequently maintain the condition of your equipments

Regular maintenance is what makes your equipment last longer. For example, this is equivalent to regular automobile maintenance. At first, you might not notice any effects if the oil is not changed frequently. However, as the car ages and requires a little more maintenance, the consequences of skipping oil changes will accumulate and start to affect its performance and the amount of work needed to keep it running. Eventually, the car will stop working before it should, costing you more in the long run. 

Equipment management and asset lifecycle management are fairly similar concepts. At first, skipping your scheduled preventative maintenance work orders might not seem like a huge concern and might even save you money, but over time, it can have a substantial effect on the quality and lifespan of the equipment. No matter how simple it appears, make sure you are taking the time and performing the necessary inspections on your machinery. 

2. Address problems before they turn into disasters.

Performing a quick inspection of a piece of equipment is simple when performing normal preventative maintenance. Even if you are only evaluating one piece of the equipment, this thorough attention can help you spot emerging problems before they turn into major catastrophes that force the equipment offline.

3. Take Data-Driven Decisions

As soon as you begin a routine of planned, recurring maintenance, you have access to vital information about the equipment and its operation. You now have information or historical data at your fingertips to guide your choices. When making the proper choice, you can be confident of it by using information acquired from preventative maintenance work orders.

4. Gain visibility into performance problems and the reasons behind them.

The repaired device might be on your premises for a long time . Although it can initially seem impossible to overcome its obstinate inclinations, a closer examination reveals some explanations for why it is misbehaving. It might need maintenance more frequently—every 300 hours rather than every 500—or there might be a damaged component that has to be replaced. With a strong preventive maintenance programme in place, you can recognise these performance issues and understand their underlying causes, providing you the opportunity to remedy them before they have a negative impact on your operations.

5. Reduce Costs

Establish a preventive maintenance programme, if for no other reason than to lower your maintenance expenditures. Repairing broken equipment might cost up to five times as much as doing the identical repair before failure. Additionally, if you don’t have the necessary parts on hand or have to take the machinery out of service for a longer period of time than anticipated, it could dramatically increase your costs. Preventive maintenance results in financial savings on unexpected costs. Preventive maintenance that is planned can help you save money, learn more about the lifecycle of your assets, and maintain the efficiency of your machinery.

6. Back-up Plans

Machines can malfunction suddenly, even with a strong preventative maintenance programme in place, as any business owner is aware. Even though a thorough maintenance schedule will minimize downtime, having repair tools on hand is still vital. Businesses should also have a steady supply of essential machine parts on hand at all times to reduce turnaround times for repairs and prevent the need to quickly locate replacement parts. In addition, businesses are able to anticipate equipment-related problems by fusing an automated preventative maintenance programme with the human touch of a responsive and trained workforce, leading to more reliable and consistent contract manufacturing services for customers.

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Conclusion

The use of AI and IoT innovations in business operations has increasingly led to ongoing optimization of the resources and processes that power the industrial sector. When contemplating the future of preventive maintenance, it is evident that the use of analytical modeling and remote monitoring has already led to a net decrease in the resources allotted to carrying out preventive maintenance duties.  In terms of assets, more thorough data gathering and analysis, made possible by modern AI and IoT technologies, has given manufacturers access to useful information that has increased the dependability of their operations and goods. In order to implement new asset lifecycle approaches that remove underperforming assets from their operations and eventually reduce downtime and costs, asset operators must have a thorough understanding of the quality of the resources they are deploying into operations.


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