Choosing The Right Maintenance Strategy For Your Start-Up

Business owners and managers are faced with one of their toughest challenges when trying to determine the most optimal maintenance strategy for their operations. Is it best to stick to a maintenance approach that’s been known to work for years in predictive maintenance? Or invest some additional capital in a newly developed strategy known as predictive maintenance? Prior to making any decision, these business owners and managers need to first learn how these two strategies differ. 

Preventive maintenance is the standard approach that businesses will take to ensure the health of their equipment. It’s tenure as the standard is largely in part due to its simplicity. In this strategy, maintenance is conducted on equipment in set intervals throughout the calendar year. These intervals are determined based on an equipment’s age, its run-time and other preexisting conditions that impact its productivity. Obviously some emergency maintenance may be needed, but for the most part, this strategy has equipment set to be checked throughout multiple parts of the year. Not necessarily the most effective in regards to maintenance resources. 

Preventive maintenance, on the other hand, is much more suited to effectively use maintenance resources. This strategy, through the help of integrated systems, allows businesses to conduct maintenance as needed and as indicated by the equipment itself. Through the interconnectedness with the Internet of Things, these systems are capable of collecting, interpreting and analyzing various performance data to more accurately predict an equipment’s need for maintenance. 

While the decision between these two strategies may seem clear, it’s important to know that predictive maintenance systems have some significant barriers to entry. Namely cost, as it’s been reported that these systems will cost more than following a preventive maintenance schedule throughout a calendar year. Organizations will have to carefully consider whether or not a predictive maintenance system is truly worth it. 

With that being said, more and more businesses continue to transition to predictive maintenance strategies. As they do, the capabilities of these systems connected to the equipment are continuously improving. As more and more data is fed through these systems, they become better at identifying signs that can lead to equipment failure and suggesting the most optimal maintenance solutions to avoid said failure. 

These systems’ sophistication certainly justifies their costs. However, cost isn’t the only thing organizations will have to invest to get the most out of these systems. Organizations and their employees will have to adapt to such a complex system. Which may require retraining of employees all throughout the hierarchy regarding these systems. Sometimes an entire organization’s outlook on maintenance will be reconsidered as a result of this transition. It takes a special type of organization and employees to be able to survive a predictive maintenance transition. If your business can handle it, the benefits are certainly there. 

For additional information regarding the many different approaches to maintenance in the manufacturing industry, check out the infographic shared alongside this post. Courtesy of Industrial Service Solutions