We’ve all heard the old saying, “Work smarter, not harder.” This carries over to the maintenance industry, one field that is in constant search of ways to decrease asset downtime without increasing the needed manpower.
But without broadening our range of strategies, how can any maintenance team improve if they’re following old, reactive ways? As FacilitiesNet states, one of the hardest parts of implementing a new maintenance strategy is simply getting started.
Our recent webinar, “Predictive Maintenance — Smart Tools for Smarter Maintenance,” explains how maintenance teams can adopt the smartest strategy and tools to best fit their needs.
Check out our webinar with guest presenter John Rimer, president of FM360, to learn about different types of maintenance strategies, as well as when to implement each to increase your asset uptime and team efficiencies.
1. Preventive Maintenance
What if you could gather data on your aging assets’ health and decrease the chance of downtime before it occurs? With preventive maintenance (PM), you can.
According to Plant Engineering, aging equipment is the leading cost of unscheduled downtime. And, 31% of maintenance teams use PM schedules to decrease that downtime.
As Rimer describes it, PM is a calendar- or time-based strategy. By using a CMMS, you can easily program a PM schedule and organize all asset information in one place. A PM schedule on a CMMS also can trigger automated reminders, so that technicians know when to proactively service assets based on historical data.
2. Predictive Maintenance
As Reliable Plant explains, predictive maintenance (PdM) uses condition-based monitoring technologies to detect and eliminate equipment failures. PdM-based strategies use specialized tools for data collection.
Rimer states that PdM technologies help decrease machine downtime, reduce maintenance costs and support energy savings.
Our webinar shares several PdM technologies that plants can implement, including:
- Vibration analysis: Measures machine vibration to identify faults and potential failures. Vibration analysis can identify unbalances, failing belts, electrical issues and more.
- Infrared thermography (IR): Uses infrared imaging to detect radiation to measure and visualize the heat of objects. Infrared thermography may be appropriate for mechanical systems, transformers, breakers, or switches.
- Ultrasound: An acoustical analysis at an ultrasonic level to ultimately help us hear issues that we normally cannot. Examples include a steam, air or gas leak.
- Tribology: Analyzes the particles present in fluids that indicate mechanical wear.
- Motor circuit analysis: Measures motor health through the detection of electrical imbalances and insulation. Motor circuit analysis can be used to measure defects in windings, cables or rotors.
- Laser alignment: Helps assist in the aligning of rotating equipment like couplings, belts or pulleys.
By using one of these technologies above, you can implement a PdM strategy while machines are running, which means virtually no downtime will occur.
3.Run to Fail
While totally preventing or predicting a machine failure is beneficial across the board, there are some assets that may not require such a maintenance strategy. Instead, Rimer suggests a run-to-fail plan, which allows assets to operate until a breakdown.
Keep in mind that any assets operating on a run-to-fail strategy should not be mission critical to your facility. Rimer suggests an asset such as an exhaust fan — one that can have an easy visual inspection — does not take much budget to replace and would not cause a complete facility shutdown if downtime occurred.
In addition, ReliabilityWeb encourages teams to have a plan for any assets on a run-to-fail strategy. For example, the plan should include details for the skills, materials, manpower, and procedures necessary to get that equipment back up and running as quickly as possible.