Does your approach to facility management center primarily around preparing, scheduling, and delegating maintenance tasks at regular intervals? This type of planned preventive maintenance is still widely practiced, but at many facilities, it’s now giving way to a new, more effective method: predictive maintenance.
This article covers the difference between the two approaches, and notes three specific scenarios where predictive maintenance will produce better results than its more traditional counterpart.
Planned Preventive Maintenance Vs. Predictive Maintenance: What’s the difference?
The goal of any maintenance strategy should be to maintain a building’s equipment and systems in the best possible condition so that a business can continue to be profitable. Both approaches work toward this goal in different ways:
Planned Preventive Maintenance
A preventive maintenance plan aims to keep systems and equipment up and running by carrying out regularly scheduled inspections, identifying potential issues, and generating work orders to address them. To create the schedules, facilities managers rely on some combination of historical experience (how often has a particular HVAC filter needed changing in the past?) and a manufacturer’s recommended maintenance program. The theory is that consistent checking will reveal any impending problems, and allow enough time to fix them before failure occurs. Some preventive maintenance examples include:
- Cleaning evaporator and condenser coils regularly.
- Calibrating thermostats regularly.
- Inspecting compressed air lines regularly for leaks.
A predictive maintenance strategy aims to achieve the larger goal with the help of data. Essentially, it relies on collecting data around building systems/equipment and using data analysis to call out potential problems before they occur. Predictive maintenance has two main differences from planned preventive maintenance:
- It relies on real-time data collection to produce reliable and timely results.
- It allows you to prioritize work to address only necessary maintenance and repairs.
Let’s look at three cases where predictive maintenance works better than a planned preventive maintenance approach.
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3 Cases Where Preventive Maintenance Wins
1. You have equipment dispersed over different geographical areas.
Take the example of a food manufacturer that provides commercial refrigeration units to stores nationwide for its product retail display and storage. With a preventive maintenance plan, workers would periodically be dispatched to inspect the units on a regular schedule. This approach does not address the possibility of something going wrong between scheduled visits. Should something happen, the consequences could be costly, and may include emergency repairs, wasted food product, and loss of sales during downtime.
With a predictive maintenance plan, all units would be fitted with Internet of Things (IoT) sensors measuring various aspects of their operation: humidity level, compressor vibrations, the temperature of the refrigerant coming in and out of evaporators and condensers, the temperature inside the refrigeration unit, and more. When incoming data shows that one aspect of operation has deviated from the norm, it’s a good indication that something is about to fail, and a maintenance worker can be dispatched. Often, a breakdown can be prevented before it even occurs.
2. You have one or more pieces of equipment that are critical to meeting business objectives.
Not all equipment and systems are equally critical to business operations. Some are of low criticality, meaning the failure would have a limited impact on production or worker safety, while others are of extremely high criticality.
One example: An offshore oil platform has a number of machines critical to production, such as heat exchangers, pumps, and compressors. If a problem arises with any of these components between regular preventive maintenance checks it could halt production indefinitely, potentially costing the company millions. In contrast, a predictive maintenance strategy allows you to be more proactive, detecting any abnormality in the operation of these key components and alerting you to an impending breakdown immediately.
3. You’re looking for a more cost-effective maintenance approach.
Adopting the strategy of addressing equipment problems early on has a multitude of benefits—decreasing downtime, avoiding last-minute emergency repairs, and extending the useful life of your equipment by keeping it in optimal condition. In fact, McKinsey has estimated that predictive maintenance could cut equipment maintenance costs by as much as 40%. Plus, a predictive maintenance approach makes more efficient use of limited staff. So if you’re looking for a way to save your company money, predictive maintenance can help achieve that goal better than a preventive maintenance strategy.
Implement Predictive Maintenance With Real-Time Data Sensors
Saving money, avoiding downtime, extending the life of your equipment, and using your maintenance resources more efficiently—these are all clear benefits arising from a predictive maintenance strategy.
If you’re in search of a partner to help you get started with predictive maintenance, Iota can help. Our line of IoT sensors enables us to remotely monitor your systems and equipment so you can start identifying and addressing issues early. And you won’t be buried in data—our advanced analytics platform makes it easy to derive actionable insights from sensor data, so you’ll always have the exact information you need to make smart decisions.
Get in touch with us today to tell us more about your facility, and how we can help!