Predictive Maintenance technology has long been used to prevent unplanned downtime event that rob your production efficiency. These non-destructive techniques have been credited in massive savings in maintenance costs and loss production. The theory behind the program is assessing the condition of a critical asset utilizing PdM technologies to determine current state and to predict its future state based upon current and historical trends.

Planning maintenance activities around this valuable and timely information, allows for the “right sizing” of the maintenance effort proportional to the asset’s conditions and needs. Designed and deployed properly, this type of programmatic approach towards maintenance can significantly eliminate unplanned failures, most of which you would never see coming.

One recent example of the effectiveness of predictive maintenance technology came from a manufacturer who commissioned an electrical infrared inspection. Upon completion of the inspection 54 problems were detected of which 19 were considered critical. One such critical issue was found on an in-service 100 amp, two-pole breaker that fed a production panel. Once the thermal anomaly was detected, further problem investigation found 646-degree F temperature on the connection side of the breaker.

Unchecked, this asset would have certainly caused a failure and an unplanned interruption in production. Additionally, an electrical fire may have resulting in a collateral damage to other assets or systems being adversely effected.

A proactive approach to their maintenance, allowed this client to control and minimize the potential damage of this example and the others problems found. Once they reviewed the inspection summary web-based report, they were able to prioritize, plan and schedule the repair action in an orderly, effective fashion.