No manufacturing operation is complete without a proper maintenance approach. For most manufacturing organizations, they’re left to decide between two different approaches. Preventive maintenance or predictive maintenance.

It’s impossible to truly appreciate either of these philosophies without first differentiating between them. Beginning with preventive maintenance, which is by far the more common strategy. This approach has organizations scheduling routine maintenance on each piece of their equipment throughout the year. This calendar-driven approach can be different for each piece of equipment. Most organizations will be left to determine the most optimal periods of maintenance based on an equipment’s average run time or age on their own, which has proven to be difficult. 

Where preventive maintenance tends to fail, predictive maintenance shines. As mentioned previously, it can be challenging to determine when any piece of equipment requires maintenance short of it failing on the job. Avoiding equipment failure is the purpose of any organizations’ maintenance efforts. Predictive maintenance simplifies these efforts through integration with an organization’s equipment. The data fed from this equipment allows organizations to better understand their equipment and its possible failures rather than having to guess. May sound like the best choice for each organization, right? Of course, but not every organization will be able to afford these systems. 

Despite their costs remaining high, implementation of these systems is only becoming easier. As more and more machines become connected to the Internet of Things, the more capabilities these systems can provide organizations. More and more organizations utilizing these systems are receiving some of the most in-depth reporting and analyses conducted on the performance data their equipment is providing. Meaning organizations can better predict equipment failure and what maintenance is required to ensure a piece of equipment’s maximum efficiency. 

Ultimately, even with their incredible advantages, few organizations will see these systems ever integrated into their equipment. The barriers to entry, namely their cost, are much too high for many organizations. This goes beyond just the capital required. Sophisticated digital platforms must be integrated into existing operations. Meaning existing employees would have to be retrained to master these systems and new policies. Organizations capable of supporting such a drastic change could likely benefit as a result of these systems. If your organization fits that mold, predictive maintenance systems might be the solution you’re looking for. 

For additional information regarding the differences between these two maintenance methods, check out the infographic accompanying this post. Courtesy of Industrial Service Solutions.


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