Reactive maintenance dominated manufacturing maintenance for decades before. Thankfully, technology has introduced two predominant methods to maintaining critical equipment–predictive and preventative maintenance. You’re probably more familiar with preventative maintenance, but your business would likely benefit from transitioning into a predictive process. Continue reading to learn some of the primary differences between predictive and preventative maintenance.

Preventative Maintenance

Let’s break down what preventative maintenance is

  • Setting a due date for routine maintenance to prevent the breakdown of equipment
  • Planned downtime even if the equipment is working fine
  • Requires sophisticated recording of equipment history, previous maintenance work, maintenance reminders
  • Can require maintenance of parts that are not mandatory to attend to often
  • Scheduling determined by the historical failure of equipment. Guesswork on when equipment may begin breaking down
  • Saves costs relative to reactive maintenance as downtime is shorter and the chance of unexpected equipment failure decreases
  • Increases the life of the equipment

Predictive Maintenance

  • Costs less because maintenance is only completed when necessary
  • Least amount of downtime
  • Easier to organize maintenance as you do not have to manage regular maintenance of possibly hundreds of assets
  • Uses smart technology like IoT and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to make data-informed estimates on when repairs should be performed
  • Proactive method that seeks to attend to issues before asset failure
  • Utilization of sensors allows for targeted maintenance and prevents time wasted on figuring out what the problem is

Predictive maintenance involves technology that is already an essential part of manufacturing digital transformation. The return on the investment is significant when you begin considering how many hours are put into maintaining equipment at regular intervals and how much you could have done away with.

The Benefits of Predictive Maintenance

In general, most businesses benefit from employing predictive maintenance over preventive. The US Department of Energy did the research and found that a predictive maintenance program reduced maintenance costs by 25-30% and 70-75% decrease in breakdowns. The benefits extend beyond the equipment itself.

Employees in the office can swiftly handle equipment issues without much work with predictive maintenance technology. With sensors detecting problems with specific parts, a connection with software like an ERP pushes a notification to relevant employees and can even trigger an automatic ordering of the faulty part. Here, we see that predictive maintenance methods actually removes data blockages and allows different parts of the business to work in sync without added time or effort. It’s a cost-effective solution!

You have probably heard a lot about performance analytics and why it is so important for your manufacturing business. It comes into play here because all the data produced by predictive maintenance technology enable you to make better business decisions. Perhaps there is an asset that breaks frequently or some other process is triggering a break. A record of all this is kept in the cloud for you to access. With the help of an ERP system, you can perform some advanced analytics to make predictions about the future of your business.

Putting It All Together

Implementing predictive maintenance is no small feat. Professional consulting, expertise in IT, training in ERP systems, and education on how to best use all of the complex elements are required to make use of predictive maintenance. Contact us to learn how we can help you.

In the past, we’ve run educational webinars for our subscribers on how an ERP system can help you better employ predictive maintenance. You can subscribe to be notified of future events here