Concepts of Predictive Maintenance

Concepts of Predictive Maintenance

By Dave McWilliams, Predictive Maintenance Coordinator, Whelco Industrial Services

Dave McWilliams, Predictive Maintenance Coordinator, Whelco Industrial Services

The approach to maintenance is the key to a maintenance & reliability strategy to avert the consequences of machine failure. Despite best efforts, equipment will ultimately fail. Where preventative maintenance and predictive maintenance strategies, Vs. Run to fail maintenance types are designed to control the failure and to prolong the life of the machine. By redesign of equipment or adjusting conditions using an approved method pf change management process, equipment life can be extended by understanding that it is more important to control the failure than to eliminate the failure. So, before adopting any maintenance management strategy, it is essential to understand the nature of failures and their diversities to break down maintenance functions.

"Transition or evolution requires commitment at all levels of an organization and are the best practice that’s available to help tremendously once the commitment is made"

Preventative maintenance and predictive maintenance combined used uniformly are the best practice to evaluate and identify maintenance improvement opportunities in the industry around the world. These practices were the same 30 to 40 years ago, as they illustrate what the specific best practices are and how they can differ between and within facilities. Best practices help organizations delve into some of these practice details and help understand the complete maintenance policy and strategy to consistently evaluate the essential reliability and maintenance processes. Best practices can evolve to become better as new improvements are discovered. Maintenance is not about repairs but doing things that will make sure the assets continue to do as designed and maintenance practices must provide the means to reduce the likelihood of a failure to make equipment reliable. It is a fact that failures start from simple things, sometimes the most obvious things, yet no one takes the responsibility or acts on those things in reality. We rely on failure analysis after the complication, and the obvious things are commonly ever addressed. Failure analysis is only looking back at the root cause of the failure and how the failure manifested itself. We should be using these tools to learn and develop our minds to a better understanding of these practices.

Surprisingly, the mindset in many organizations is still I operate and fix, whereas the right mindset should be, we are all responsible for the equipment no matter if you’re an outside contractor or to the president of an organization we need to take care of our equipment. Those who want to develop individualized current best practices must realize the primary maintenance discipline, which is nothing more than the fundamental activities. Such as alignments, balancing, lubrication, startup and operating practices, loose hardware, etc. that should be performed on our equipment before going to specialized tools or controls, such as vibration analysis, ultrasound, motor testing, etc.. They serve as a foundation of any maintenance strategy and wouldn’t be meaningful to advance into any sophisticated diagnostic maintenance if a simple problem is left to exist. It is worthwhile to emphasize primary equipment care, such as autonomous maintenance. Where this is one pillar to total productive maintenance. Primary equipment care by an operator doing a daily inspection, lubrication, cleaning, and minor repairs or troubleshooting is a simple activity to keep equipment in good quality condition. This transition or evolution requires commitment at all levels of an organization and are the best practice that’s available to help tremendously once the commitment is made.

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