Nothing is everlasting. Equipment failure is inevitable. Machine parts will show wear and tear eventually. But you can create maintenance strategies to minimize unplanned downtimes, equipment failures and improve asset lifetime. Times have changed. Progressive organizations are leveraging the internet and technology and utilizing solutions like facility management software or computerized maintenance management system to simplify maintenance operations. These tools make it easier to implement different types of maintenance strategies.
Getting straight to the point, let’s look at a few main maintenance strategies popularly practiced by many organizations today.
The aim of preventive maintenance is to identify and fix a problem before they arise. Generally, it is carried out in the form of regular inspections, usually performed multiple times per year.
When inspecting a system, machine, or piece of technology, you should check for signs of any wear, tear, or defects that could result in a breakdown. Damaged parts should be replaced immediately. This will help you avoid going into “crisis mode” due to unexpected breakdowns or failures.
The main benefit of a preventive maintenance strategy is that it eliminates unplanned downtimes as you will ideally catch problems before they come about.
This maintenance strategy is sometimes considered a more advanced alternative method to preventative maintenance. Instead of carrying out inspections according to a schedule, machines and systems are carefully observed for variations that could lead to a breakdown or failure.
In this type of maintenance strategy, technicians identify variables that could affect functioning by observing a running system. For example, the temperature of the system, vibration speed, power, whether the system needs more moisture, and so on.
Predictive maintenance is another specific form of condition-based maintenance strategy. It involves observing systems constantly via sensor devices. These devices are attached to a specific part or component of the system, which constantly feeds real-time information into the software. The software then interprets the fed data and warns maintenance technicians of imminent dangers.
Predictive maintenance is the most advanced form of a maintenance strategy to date. It is also very intensive and complex because even the sensor devices need to be regularly checked and maintained.
This maintenance strategy is also commonly referred to as breakdown or reactive maintenance. Corrective maintenance tasks are performed to rectify and repair faulty systems and equipment. As the name implies, the goal is to restore systems that have broken down. Usually, these maintenance tasks are initiated when a problem is discovered while working on another work order. Ideally, issues are identified just in time. Because issues are caught just in time, it increases employee safety and reduces emergency repairs.
Unlike any other maintenance strategy, predetermined maintenance is performed using rules and suggestions made by the original manufacturer instead of the maintenance teams. Suggestions are created after conducting multiple experiments and the gathered data.
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Equipment breakdowns cannot always be prevented. But you can minimize the likelihood of breakdowns by taking proactive maintenance approaches. By performing preventative or condition-based or any other form of maintenance at the right time and working towards a better overall maintenance culture, you will have a much better chance at keeping your system and equipment in tip-top condition.