• Monday, March 04, 2024

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A Complete History Of Predictive Maintainence & Its Place In The World Today

By: Eastern Eye Staff

Companies that maintain a large number of assets like industrial machinery often encounter faults that call for immediate attention. If the faults in the assets are large, they might break down and have to be repaired. This would cost the company large sums of money and also a lot of time.

So, is there a solution that could help enterprises correct the faults and defects before they cause catastrophic damage to the assets? Yes! It is “Predictive Maintenance”.

What Is Predictive Maintenance?

Predictive maintenance is a technique that detects any irregularity or inconsistency in the equipment and will prevent accidents before they occur. The equipment and operations are constantly analyzed using real-time information, and this helps in predicting any possible failures.

It is one of the most popular techniques for the numerous benefits it offers. It is preferred by organizations, because of the effective cost-cutting method. Adopting predictive maintenance techniques will be a wise decision for any asset-intensive organization.

Why Is Predictive Maintenance Needed?

Predictive Maintenance, time and time again, proved that it is one of the most advanced techniques for optimizing productive operations.

It helps with enhanced quality production, decreased downtime, cutting down costs, and more by providing a course of action. It provides real-time data, which is considered the most essential for running any operations, because of the accuracy it provides. It will perform in-depth analyses and will give information, as to when maintenance will be required for any equipment.

A Brief History Of Predictive Maintenance

The predictive maintenance technique was created by C. H. Waddington and it is believed that the organizations had begun implementing these techniques roughly around the 1990s. An offline approach was adopted, towards Predictive Maintenance Techniques, during the initial stages of the early 21st century. Its usage was restricted to certain fields alone such as aeronautical engineering and industries involving the usage of heavy machines and was never expanded beyond that.

The Waddington Effect

This term was coined after implementing the predictive maintenance techniques in an organization. This connotation was pointed at the irony, for the predictive maintenance techniques did exactly the opposite of what it was supposed to do. The breakdowns and failures in the pieces of machinery increased two-fold instead of preventing it from taking place.

But later, the maintenance process was changed to suit the actual workings of the machinery.

Introduction Of Condition Monitoring

The condition monitoring planning was framed around the failure which was termed as the Waddington effect. Condition monitoring looks over the conditions of the machinery such as the temperature and vibrations and develops a pattern from it. Based on the pattern developed, an analysis will be done for a better understanding, through which predictions were developed to prevent any possible failures.

The Conventional Techniques Of Predictive Maintenance 

The conventional techniques were slow-phased and would not have been able to match the fast-phased progression which took place later on because of the new waves of Industrialisation. The machine’s vibrations were measured and noted down manually but were only done occasionally and a comparative analysis was done by reading the previous vibration measurements. This technique was regressive as there was no continuous analysis done to prevent any impending failures.

Since then the predictive maintenance has progressed into a more advanced and complicated tool, which owes it to technological advancement. It has brought about many significant changes, which have proven to be more advantageous than disadvantageous.

Predictive Maintenance In Today’s World

Predictive Maintenance has become more accurate and advanced to suit the current market conditions and to face the more complicated problems that have arisen along with industrialization. The technique which was once restricted to only heavy machinery industries has now been streamlined with the help of technology, to enable its usage in every possible way. Here are a few ways the advancing technology has managed to lift the industry:

Changed To An Online Approach

The conventional technique was all about manual work which was time-consuming and considered to be not very accurate. But with the advancement in technology, had opened up new avenues and the online approach was adopted soon. The conditions of the machines can now be accessed and measured consistently online, and it can be said with confidence that the data provided will be accurate. This has effectively reduced the maintenance cost and the unnecessary workforce.

Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) 

Overall equipment effectiveness is a performance indicator providing accurate predictions considered crucial in production operations. The tool strives to prevent any possible failures in the machine and also gives predictions to prevent any such problems from occurring in the future. Most importantly, it allows cost reduction while optimizing production equipment maintenance to keep costs down.

Availability Of Real-Time Data

The availability of real-time information plays a tremendous role in making sure of timely production, and in being prepared to meet the fluctuations in the market at any time. It has enhanced the quality of production in that process as well.

With the help of sensors, it is easy to detect any possible irregularities or failures. It even has a setup that will immediately transmit and receive data for analyzing and deciding on a corrective course of action. Without the availability of real-time data, predictive maintenance techniques can not be performed, especially in today’s world.

Reduction In Downtime

Downtime in assets can affect the business tremendously, and will even cause unpredictable amounts of losses, which makes it too risky. The one best way to avoid such risks is to implement predictive maintenance techniques, as it will give the information about the downtime in prior. Although a permanent stop can’t be found for the downtime in assets, there will certainly be a decrease in the number of times it will happen, and lets the organization be prepared for it.

It also possesses the ability to increase the lifetime of machinery, this prolonged lifetime will be a result of the reduction in breakdowns and downtimes of the asset.

Helps In Cost-Cutting

The modern predictive maintenance technique will also help in cutting down on the cost of maintenance. Since sensors have been installed in the assets, it has become easy to determine when exactly the machine will require maintenance. By doing the maintenance process only when necessary, helps in reducing unwanted expenditure and the time put into it. This way there is optimum production, and the quality of the products is also maintained without any compromise.

Conclusion

Predictive maintenance methods play a role of paramount importance, especially in the operation manufacturing business. Absence of which can push any organization to the curb. Predictive maintenance has only been growing and evolving over the years with the rampant intervention of Artificial Intelligence (AI), which has given a complete makeover to the manufacturing business.

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