How Predictive Maintenance Is Changing the Manufacturing Landscape

Equipment maintenance is a critical but often underserved need in manufacturing. Regular repairs prevent costly breakdowns, improve machine lifespans and protect workers, but conventional approaches often have inefficiencies of their own or fail to address all issues. Predictive maintenance (PdM) provides a solution.

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What Is Predictive Maintenance?

Predictive maintenance uses Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to monitor equipment health in real-time. When vibrations, temperatures or other maintenance-related factors fall outside of normal parameters, these sensors alert relevant employees that the machine needs inspection. Manufacturers can then schedule timely maintenance stops according to each machine’s specific needs.

As IoT technology improves and becomes more accessible, these data-driven repair strategies are quickly gaining popularity. As of 2021, 31% of manufacturing companies were actively using PdM, with another 48% planning on implementing it in the near future. If adoption continues to follow this trend, predictive maintenance will become the norm in manufacturing before long.

Impact of Predictive Maintenance

This rapid growth stems from several tangible business benefits. As manufacturers face increasing pressure to optimize operations, predictive maintenance’s advantages become all the more valuable.

Improved Uptime

One of the most impactful benefits of predictive maintenance is how it extends equipment uptime. Since PdM uses on-machine sensors, it can catch issues early. Consequently, manufacturers can prevent breakdowns more effectively and spend less time repairing equipment.

Traditional preventive maintenance can prevent malfunctions, but since it doesn’t account for real-time needs, it may also introduce unnecessary repair stops. PdM’s need-based repair schedules reduce downtime from both breakdowns and unneeded maintenance. These savings can add to a 10%-20% increase in machine uptime and availability.

Reduced Costs

Predictive maintenance will also make manufacturing operations more cost-efficient. Even a conventional preventive strategy can reduce repair costs by 25%, and PdM takes those savings further by eliminating superfluous maintenance-related downtime.

Repairs cost less when workers can catch issues earlier, as they can fix the problem before it damages more components within a system. The increased uptime PdM provides over preventive programs leads to further cost reductions by letting manufacturers run machines longer. As a result, PdM enables savings of up to 40% over reactive maintenance and 12% over standard preventive approaches.

Higher Efficiency

As manufacturers employ predictive maintenance across more machines, this equipment will perform better. Data-driven insights from the IoT sensors in these systems let facilities ensure their machinery runs as accurately and efficiently as possible. Those improvements, in turn, will translate into fewer production errors and longer operating cycles.

This optimization reduces material waste by preventing errors and enables higher output. In addition to enabling more cost-effective operations, these improvements help manufacturers become more sustainable. Consumers are more likely to purchase from sustainable brands, which can boost companies’ revenue.

Improved Safety

Rising PdM adoption will also help make manufacturing a less hazardous industry. Incidents involving contact with equipment accounted for more than 39,000 manufacturing injuries in 2020 alone. While some of those cases may arise from operator error, machine malfunctions play a significant role in these hazards.

Predictive maintenance can reduce these injuries by ensuring all equipment works as it should. Eliminating malfunctions allows manufacturers to prevent incidents in which the inability to control a machine or an equipment error endangers operators or other nearby employees. These safety improvements will protect workers’ health, reduce related costs and could improve workplace morale.

PdM Will Change the Manufacturing Sector

Since manufacturing relies so heavily on equipment, optimizing machinery through predictive maintenance has far-reaching effects. As more organizations learn of these potential advantages, PdM adoption will continue to surge.

This growth will substantially alter the manufacturing industry. If enough key players in the sector embrace this technology, manufacturing will become safer, more cost-effective and more efficient. Those that capitalize on this movement early could reap significant benefits, while those that don’t may soon fall behind the competition.

The post How Predictive Maintenance Is Changing the Manufacturing Landscape appeared first on Datafloq.

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