As a business owner, you know quite well that equipment breakdowns of any type can have a devastating impact on your company. If a crucial piece of manufacturing equipment suddenly stops working, you will have to halt production, which in turn leads to delayed shipments, unhappy customers and ultimately, a negative effect on your profits.
Fortunately, by embracing the concept of predictive maintenance for all of your equipment, you should see a drastic decrease in equipment failures.
For more on what this term means and how to improve it in your business, consider the following.
Predictable Maintenance, Defined
In a nutshell, predictable maintenance refers to maintaining your equipment and machinery before they break down. Unlike preventive maintenance, which happens at pre-set intervals or times, predictable maintenance involves knowing how much wear and tear machines go through and being proactive about fixing them before they have a chance to break.
Using a vehicle as an example, preventive maintenance would advise you to get a tune-up maybe every six months. Predictable maintenance would suggest you get tune-ups depending on how much the vehicle is actually used; if it is rarely driven you, can probably extend this timeline, but if you are on the road constantly, you may have to bring it in at least every three months.
Predictable Maintenance Requires Constant Monitoring
As Reliable Plant notes, predictive maintenance involves continuous monitoring of your equipment. To help create a solid predictive maintenance program, you should review the times a piece of machinery was down in the past, including what caused the issue, analyzing the history of the equipment, assessing the current condition of the equipment and then organizing the program and making it a regular part of your scheduling system.
As you examine your equipment, be sure to take the working components into consideration, no matter how small. For instance, if your machinery uses o-rings to create a tight seal or other use, do not ignore this seemingly small piece of equipment. Grommets, rubber fasteners and seals have a definite impact on the reliability of your machines, so each one should be monitored to ensure it is working as it should be. If you keep a supply of o-rings on hand, consider working with a company like Apple Rubber; they not only offer a huge selection of o-ring sizes and materials, they can also make custom sizes as needed.
How the Internet of Things and Software Can Help
Since you probably don’t have the time to sit and monitor each piece of equipment all day long, Business News Daily suggests turning to the internet of things sensors to help with your predictive maintenance program. These sensors collect and analyze data from the machine; this includes temperature and vibrations and ultrasonic detection. The sensors will catch subtle changes, like maybe too much friction on moving parts, and by looking at the collected data on a regular basis, you can see where issues are popping up and fix them before they become an issue.
You can also use software to document and track your equipment maintenance. For instance, FTMaintenance offers a wide range of features for managing, documenting and tracking maintenance, all in a user-friendly platform.
Reduce Stress and Increase Profits
You take pride in your outstanding customer service and thriving company. The last thing you want is to have to put either of these things at risk due to equipment malfunctions. By adopting a predictable maintenance program and getting to really know each piece of manufacturing equipment and then taking tangible steps to monitor everything closely, you should not have to worry about losing time or money due to unexpected breakdowns.