Why Do Manufacturers Need Predictive Maintenance?

Predictive maintenance is a core evolution in the process of building better uptime of machinery, functionality of the production floor more broadly, and safety inclusions that make workforces feel more valued and secure in their roles.

Manufacturing predictive maintenance is something that more and more industrial brands are bringing on board these days. With the help of this proactive approach to maintenance needs throughout the floor (also sometimes called condition-based maintenance), businesses are able to engage with monitoring solutions that are simple and intuitive to predict when breakdowns are beginning to form in the ongoing manufacturing process. From early beginnings in the 1990s through to the modern means of preventing failure in key equipment, a lot has changed. Today, brands utilize specialized vibration, acoustic, and infrared monitoring solutions (among others) to gain the maximum efficiency out of the overall manufacturing processes that go on in any given factory setting.

Continue reading to learn more about why and how manufacturers utilize predictive maintenance techniques to increase profits and boost the overall effectiveness of their processes.

Predictive maintenance utilizes state-of-the-art solutions to detect and resolve incoming failures.

Every mechanical part will eventually break or see some other kind of fault that requires downtime and a fix of some sort. With the help of infrared thermography, which utilizes a non-intrusive testing option that measures heat and heat density changes within and across essential systems and parts, maintenance and monitoring teams are able to identify malfunctioning circuits, shielding (in factories that use heat sources to forge, weld, or cut, for instance) and other issues in real time. Infrared monitoring is one of the most common options for teams tasked with the preventative maintenance of systems within manufacturing settings.

Likewise, the rollout of acoustic monitoring is a great addition to any preventative option in the factory. Using ultrasonic technologies, it’s simple to home in on the nuanced sounds that are created through the routine operation of each one of your machine parts and manufacturing phases. Changes in the sounds produced can be minute, meaning that the human ear is incapable of detecting these potential issues. But highly sensitive equipment can clue maintenance workers into the subtle change and provide them with the data necessary to identify the source and make any necessary adjustments. Sonic changes can alert you to a loosening bolt or screw, system leak, or gearbox issue in a moving component.

Lastly, vibration analysis is great for manufacturers that utilize moving parts in their processes. The vibrations produced in an engine or mobile belt are typically uniform across the production cycle because they perform the same functions at the same speeds over and over again. In the same way that change-detection in aural and thermal mediums can alert your team to an anomaly and possible looming failure, vibration pattern alterations work the same.

With the help of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) making these integrated sensor arrays possible, manufacturing centers have become smarter, and their processing power translates into better profit margins and uptime across the board.

When linked in with powerful cloud-based systems, data leveraging becomes a simple task that helps businesses continue to head off problems before they arrive and create chaos. Sensors are growing in sophistication, and in many instances, they are built directly into the components that are used to produce the goods that you push out of your manufacturing center. This has reduced the cost even more, making for a single purchase rather than two complementary tools when replacements are needed.

Consider utilizing this framework for the greatest business agility possible.

Manufacturers are able to boost profits, uptime, and more with the use of this approach to systemic maintenance.