There are many strategies to keep industrial equipment maintained, and each approach has its merits and challenges. Preventative maintenance is by far the most discussed plan for industrial equipment organizations who want to keep their equipment and machinery in top working order, and it requires equipment to be temporarily taken offline, whether a fix is needed or not, to perform maintenance to avoid any lengthy downtimes.
It’s a common strategy, especially when using an industrial equipment maintenance software to automate the process and ensure the scheduled times for the maintenance is never missed. But it does require the equipment to be shut down and removed from the tasks it needs to perform, which could cause delays if a replacement isn’t brought in. But in the long run, most industrial equipment operators would prefer their equipment to be running at peak efficiency and to avoid major break/fix repairs that would take their equipment offline for extended periods of time.
Here are other strategies utilized in the industrial equipment maintenance space and how industrial equipment maintenance software helps in the maintenance strategy.
This kind of strategy works best when the equipment isn’t essential to the operation, or the cost to maintain it is low. In this strategy, maintenance isn’t called for until there is a problem that needs fixing, and not a moment before. It can take equipment offline, but it also can be simple repairs that don’t take a lot of time and don’t require the equipment to be totally removed out of service. When service is required, industrial equipment maintenance software can handle the simple work order creation and have a technician immediately dispatched. Parts can be assigned based on warehouse inventory levels, and new parts can be purchased through the field service software by the service manager when the time is needed for them, so inventory isn’t sitting around waiting to be used.
But some equipment can’t afford to be taken off the line of duty for preventative maintenance schedules and need to run constantly until they break, and a replacement is brought in while maintenance is conducted. In that case, short downtimes are required, and an industrial equipment maintenance software can ensure quick scheduling and dispatching of a technician to the job site to conduct repairs. The strategy with run-to-failure is to wait for a problem to occur and address it then.
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Predictive maintenance is based on predicting when failure will occur before it happens, rather than on the average life cycle of an asset, which is more preventative. In industrial equipment with plenty of moving parts, a preventative maintenance schedule can be set up in an industrial equipment maintenance software to prevent the wear and breakdown of parts, based on lifecycles of those parts. Predictive maintenance, however, relies more on tracking the usage of equipment and how it is used, as opposed to relying on averages. If a piece of equipment is supposed to be maintained every 1,000 hours of service, and historically that takes three months, a preventative maintenance schedule would have a technician on site every three months, regardless of the equipment has used that amount of run-time or not. Whereas, predictive maintenance, tracking of the actual hours will give a better estimate of when maintenance is required, saving time and costs of unneeded repairs, especially if the industrial equipment is not being heavily used.
In your industrial maintenance software, you can track the repair history of each individual piece of equipment and the type of service that was performed, giving you a better ability to predict when the next scheduled service call will be needed. And if you notice a history of repairs on a piece of equipment, you can inform your customers to keep a better eye on that equipment and do more visual inspections to predict the next time it will need maintenance.
No matter if you are running a preventative, predictive or run-to-failure maintenance strategy, using an industrial equipment maintenance software will automate the strategy, provide greater insight into equipment repair history, inventory levels for parts needed for repairs, and make it simple to create work orders or a maintenance schedule that will fit your customer’s needed, saving them time and money on their equipment maintenance.