Boosting production and maintenance efficiency in manufacturing is a hot topic that is frequently discussed across sectors and platforms. In fact, timely maintenance of equipment in manufacturing units is essential to ensure their peak performance and efficiency. Without regular maintenance and servicing, machines may start to show signs of wear and tear, leading to costly breakdowns and reduced productivity.
In today’s highly competitive manufacturing industry, every organisation strives to enhance its performance while minimising costs. One of the key factors that directly impact the productivity of a manufacturing unit is the efficient management of its equipment. Building management systems (BMSs) have emerged as an effective solution to monitor and control various equipment, including HVAC systems and diesel generators, in a manufacturing facility. By utilising BMS’s timely management of equipment, manufacturing units can significantly improve their overall performance and productivity. Having said that, in this article, we will discuss how timely maintenance of equipment can boost the performance of manufacturing units?
“Timely maintenance” is a maintenance approach where equipment is serviced and maintained on a pre-planned schedule, using time as the determining factor for when maintenance is needed. This method ensures that maintenance activities are conducted in a timely manner, helping to prevent equipment breakdowns and reduce downtime. Since it needs to be scheduled in advance, timely maintenance is also called scheduled maintenance or planned maintenance.
In general, timely maintenance tasks can be divided into four groups that are listed below.
Preventive maintenance involves scheduled inspections, testing, and cleaning of equipment to prevent potential problems before they occur. This type of maintenance is typically carried out based on a set schedule or usage of equipment. Preventive maintenance can include activities such as changing filters, lubricating bearings and inspecting wiring connections.
With BMS, preventive maintenance tasks can be automated by setting up a schedule of regular checks and maintenance activities. BMS can also help in tracking the maintenance history of the equipment and generating alerts when maintenance is due. This ensures that equipment remains in optimal condition and can prevent unexpected downtime or costly repairs.
Predictive maintenance uses data and analytics to predict when equipment may fail or require maintenance. It involves monitoring equipment performance and identifying patterns of behaviour that indicate a potential problem. Predictive maintenance can include activities such as vibration analysis, oil analysis, and thermography.
One of the key advantages of predictive maintenance is its ability to identify issues early on, enabling maintenance teams to take corrective actions before they become major problems. This not only helps to extend the life of equipment but also ensures that it operates at peak performance, reducing the likelihood of unplanned downtime and improving overall operational efficiency.
Condition-based maintenance (CBM) involves monitoring equipment in real-time to detect signs of wear and tear or other issues. CBM is a data-driven strategy that relies on collecting and analysing equipment performance data to identify changes in equipment conditions that may indicate the need for maintenance.
By using CBM, maintenance teams can detect and address issues before they become major problems that could lead to unplanned downtime, equipment failure, or safety hazards. By identifying potential issues early, maintenance teams can schedule maintenance activities during planned downtime or before critical components fail, thereby reducing the overall cost and downtime associated with maintenance.
Reactive maintenance involves responding to equipment failures as they occur. While this type of maintenance is not ideal, it is sometimes necessary in the event of unexpected breakdowns. Additionally, it is important to conduct root cause analysis after each failure to identify the underlying cause of the failure and take corrective actions to prevent similar failures in the future. This may involve updating maintenance procedures, replacing faulty equipment, or providing additional training to maintenance personnel.
Having modern technology, however, not only supports a better maintenance programme but can also result in an overall competitive edge as companies accelerate their digital transition.
Deloitte claims that when businesses apply advanced analytics for preventative maintenance, asset “uptime” can rise by 20%. Companies need to evaluate each of the several routine maintenance programmes and choose the one that best suits their company. It also requires time and financial investment. Low entry barriers apply to both periodic maintenance and metre-based maintenance. Simply designate a worker or group of workers with the responsibility of tracking the metre or timetable. But there is a lot of space for error with any work that is powered by a human.
Many businesses invest a significant amount of money in acquiring new machinery or equipment. Although planning and coordinating timely maintenance requires a bit more effort, the advantages of establishing this routine greatly exceed the drawbacks. Here are some benefits of implementing timely maintenance of equipment in manufacturing units:
- Reduces Downtime: Regular maintenance of equipment helps to prevent breakdowns and downtime. If equipment fails unexpectedly, it can cause a production delay or even halt the production process altogether. By performing regular maintenance, potential problems can be identified and corrected before they cause a breakdown.
- Improves Equipment Efficiency: Regular maintenance ensures that equipment is operating at optimal levels. This means that the equipment is operating at maximum efficiency, which can help to reduce energy consumption and increase productivity.
- Increases Equipment Lifespan: Timely maintenance can extend the lifespan of equipment. Neglecting maintenance can lead to premature failure of equipment, which can be costly to replace or repair.
- Enhances Safety: Equipment that is well-maintained is less likely to pose safety hazards. This can help to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries in the workplace.
- Saves Money: By performing regular maintenance, manufacturers can save money in the long run. Preventative maintenance is generally less expensive than reactive maintenance, which can involve emergency repairs and replacement of equipment.
- Maintains Product Quality: Regular maintenance can help to ensure that the equipment is operating within the required specifications, which is essential for maintaining product quality. Equipment that is not maintained properly can cause quality issues, leading to product defects and customer complaints.
How can BMS enable timely maintenance to boost the performance of a Manufacturing Unit or Asset performance?
BMS can monitor the performance of equipment in real-time, collecting data on energy consumption, temperature, pressure, and other relevant parameters. This data can be used to detect anomalies or signs of wear and tear, allowing maintenance teams to schedule repairs before the equipment fails.
Real-time monitoring allows maintenance teams to quickly identify equipment issues and take corrective action before they cause major problems. By enabling real-time monitoring, BMS can help prevent equipment failures, reduce downtime, and improve overall efficiency.
BMS can use machine learning algorithms to analyse data from sensors and other sources to predict when maintenance will be required. By analysing historical data on equipment performance, BMS can identify patterns or trends that may indicate potential problems. This information can be used to develop predictive maintenance plans that address issues before they become critical.
Predictive maintenance can help reduce downtime and maintenance costs by enabling maintenance teams to schedule repairs before equipment failure occurs. By leveraging machine learning algorithms, BMS can continuously improve its predictions, resulting in more accurate maintenance schedules and greater efficiency.
BMS can generate automated alerts when equipment performance deviates from normal operating parameters, allowing maintenance teams to take corrective action before problems escalate. These alerts can be delivered via email, text message, or through a dashboard, providing maintenance teams with real-time information on equipment health.
BMS can provide remote access to equipment performance data to maintenance teams, allowing them to monitor equipment condition and make adjustments or repairs from any location. Remote access can be particularly useful for equipment that is located in difficult-to-reach areas or that requires specialised expertise to maintain.
Remote access can help reduce downtime and maintenance costs by enabling maintenance teams to quickly respond to equipment issues, regardless of where they are located. By providing remote access, BMS can help improve equipment performance and efficiency.
BMS can provide historical data on equipment performance, which can be used to identify patterns or trends that may indicate potential problems. Maintenance teams can use this information to develop proactive maintenance plans that address issues before they become critical.
Historical data analysis can help reduce downtime and maintenance costs by enabling maintenance teams to identify and address potential problems before they cause major issues. By leveraging historical data, BMS can help improve equipment performance and extend asset life.
By scheduling regular maintenance and repairs based on real-time data, BMS can help optimise equipment performance and extend asset life. BMS can provide information on the performance of equipment, including HVAC, lighting systems, and other building systems. This information can be used to identify potential issues with equipment, such as worn or damaged components, inefficient energy usage, or performance degradation.
BMS can also track equipment usage and provide information on how often equipment is being used, which can help identify maintenance requirements based on equipment wear and tear. Regular maintenance and repairs based on real-time data can help prevent equipment failure, which can cause costly downtime and repairs. By enabling timely maintenance, BMS can help improve equipment performance and reduce maintenance costs, resulting in enhanced asset performance.
BMS can help identify energy inefficiencies in equipment and systems, allowing maintenance teams to make adjustments or repairs that can improve energy efficiency. BMS can collect data on energy consumption from various sources, such as lighting systems, HVAC systems, and other building systems. This data can be analysed to identify areas where energy is being wasted or consumed inefficiently.
Based on this analysis, maintenance teams can make adjustments to equipment or systems to reduce energy consumption, such as by adjusting HVAC settings or upgrading lighting systems. By improving energy efficiency, BMS can help reduce energy costs and lower the environmental impact of the manufacturing unit or asset performance.
By detecting and addressing equipment issues before they become critical, BMS can help reduce equipment downtime and the associated costs of lost production, maintenance, and repairs. BMS can collect data on equipment performance in real-time and provide alerts when equipment is operating outside of normal parameters. Maintenance teams can then take corrective action to prevent equipment failure or malfunction.
By enabling timely maintenance, BMS can help prevent costly downtime and repairs, allowing the manufacturing unit or asset performance to operate more efficiently and effectively. By minimising downtime, BMS can help maximise productivity, which can result in increased profitability.
BMS can help identify potential safety hazards, such as malfunctioning equipment or environmental hazards, allowing maintenance teams to take corrective action before accidents occur. BMS can collect data on environmental conditions, such as temperature, humidity, and air quality, and provide alerts when conditions are outside of safe parameters. By enabling timely maintenance, BMS can help improve safety conditions in the manufacturing unit or asset performance, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries and promoting a safer working environment for employees.