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Why Predictive Maintenance (PDM)?

Steve Cormack, Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) Operations Director at SEAM Group, joined us during our recent webinar to dive into the details of Predictive Maintenance (PdM) and the benefits it can provide to your facility. Condition-based monitoring, one of the four major service groups that SEAM Group provides, is also known as Predictive Maintenance. The goal of PdM is to bring you a return on your investment (ROI) in two ways.

The first of these is by increasing throughput, which is the rate of production or the rate at which something is processed. The biggest area monitored in tracking throughput is typically found in Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE). There are three components to OEE. First is the quality of the product itself. Second is the availability of the equipment, and third is the rate at which the equipment is being run.

The second way in which PdM is intended to bring you an ROI is by reducing operating expenses such as labor, parts and materials, outside services, and having things done right the first time. Predictive Maintenance, in general, helps position you to effectively monitor the ongoing condition of your equipment in a very non-intrusive way, which is very different from the more labor-intensive preventive maintenance (PM) strategies commonly seen in the marketplace.

PMs are not only intrusive but can cause additional anomalies to your operating equipment, which can be very counterproductive. Predictive Maintenance allows you to improve the reliability of your operating equipment at a controlled operational cost. And doing so improves ROI.

Embracing predictive maintenance technology is important as it’s used to identify equipment issues as early as possible and calculate the potential downtime or anomalies in the operation of the equipment. As you monitor your equipment continuously, you can develop and generate a corrective maintenance work order and plan effectively for the future.

It costs an organization three to five times more in terms of operating expenses to conduct an unplanned maintenance corrective work order than to conduct a planned one. Predictive Maintenance is at the head of the charge when it comes to controlling your operating costs (avoiding or reducing unplanned work going on in your facility ) and increasing your ROI.

It also increases the reaction time to planning without causing hardship for a production group. Functional failure is when your equipment may not have failed physically, but it may not operate at the designed characteristics it intended.

Setting Up a Predictive Maintenance Strategy

It’s important for facilities to implement a Predictive Maintenance strategy into their facilities. To begin this process, it’s helpful to rank the risk of every piece of equipment in your operation. This allows you to identify high-criticality assets versus low- and medium-criticality assets. It also helps you determine what type of maintenance strategy you want to utilize.

You’ll want to upload this information into a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS). Loading your asset criticality ranking into a CMMS helps position your maintenance planner on prioritizing backlog and maintenance work orders. There are many advantages to taking the time to rank the criticality of all your equipment. Once you finalize your maintenance strategy, the workflow process allows you to plan everything out, schedule the work, do the work, and finally, analyze the results.

When it comes to implementing a PdM strategy, an important step is ensuring that you’re alerted to potential issues as early as possible for any operating equipment in your facility. This positions you to increase overall equipment effectiveness due to higher equipment availability, higher quality, improved line speed, reduced maintenance costs, reduced overtime hours, less emergency work, and lower energy bills.

Industry experts project a 15–40 percent reduction in equipment failures when using PdM. They also project a 5–15 percent reduction in energy consumption when utilizing PdM. A 10-year study by Hartford Steam Boiler Insurance determined that an infrared PdM program can produce up to a 400 percent return on investment.

Moving Toward PdM

There’s a cycle of evolution that comes with moving toward PdM. It’s important to go from a mindset where equipment runs until it fails and then gets fixed. This is referred to as reactive maintenance. Reactive maintenance is an old-school mindset and sets you up for repeated failure.

This progresses to planned maintenance, where equipment is repaired before breaking based on how quickly you can identify potential anomalies in operating equipment. Defect elimination takes things a step further, as the goal is to eliminate the root cause of equipment failure. There will still be some level of unplanned downtime, no matter how well you went from reactive to planned maintenance for various reasons.

This step involves a culture change where you stop long enough to conduct a root-cause-failure analysis. And lastly, by having conversations with your maintenance organization and planner schedulers, you can look at the existing PM strategies that you have in place to see if you have tasks implemented to address potential future failures, which is how you end up at world-class maintenance. Optimizing your assets and equipment to function at the highest level allows you to save time and money while ensuring your employees are kept safe.

What’s Next?

You’ll want to assess your current situation. SEAM Group offers a maintenance reliability assessment to look at the entire footprint of your asset management program. We provide an analysis to define the current state of your asset management program. Once the assessment is completed, we develop a strategic asset management plan to get better control of your program.

After you assess your current situation, you’ll want to identify key focus areas. You’ll take the report from your assessment and map out a multi-year strategic asset management plan that takes you to the state of a controlled proactive maintenance program. From here, you’ll want to get to a continuous improvement stage where you’re improving equipment performance.

Next, you’ll want to develop a business case, which then helps you create a prioritized plan. This helps you to project or calculate the financial effect of failures in your equipment. By extracting information from work orders and other sources, you can determine how much downtime you’re experiencing, your maintenance costs, and overall equipment quality.

By developing this business case, you can project the benefits or added productivity and implementation costs. This also helps you justify the costs of a maintenance plan by determining the savings.

Develop a Course of Action

Once you’ve determined equipment criticality, you must decide whether PdM is applicable. If not, you can apply other maintenance strategies. If so, does PdM technology provide a cost-effective means to address primary failure modes? If yes, then you should implement PdM.

PdM technologies include infrared inspections, visual inspections, vibration monitoring, oil analysis, motor testing, and ultrasound. If your PdM program is new, you’ll want to benchmark the current state of your pieces of equipment based on findings from PdM analysis. This will dictate how often you do PdM inspections.

Set Up a Long-Term PdM Program

This can be done in six steps. The first and most important is to rank the criticality of each piece of equipment in your facility and insert this information into your CMMS database. Then develop a PdM equipment list and scope. Next, insert failure codes into your CMMS. Choose the right PdM technology for you and your facility, as well as frequencies. You’ll need to know your ideal amount of coverage. Once you’ve determined which PdM technologies you’ll use, build a database for each. Lastly, determine your PdM staffing levels. How many people will you need in-house? Will you outsource this work?

Finally, to be successful with PdM, you’ll need to develop a continuous improvement process. SEAM Group offers a web-based tool called ViewPoint that you can utilize to access all key information and results. It helps position you to avoid unneeded downtime.

Contact us to learn more about our PdM services and support.

Call 866.772.6770 for more information.

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