Predictive maintenance is ever-evolving in terms of the technologies and tools available to support a proactive, anticipatory maintenance strategy. But there are also core principles and practices that are foundational to success with any PdM program. Here, insights and reminders from four industry experts to help you achieve maintenance efficiencies and cost savings via PdM.
“PdM technologies in and of themselves will not advance you to top-quartile performance. A parallel effort of implementing precision maintenance practices has to occur to fully realize the value of predictive technologies. The frequency of failures may well remain the same if you do not also address the underlying causes.”
Bruce Hawkins, director of reliability excellence, Emerson
PdM: Plant by numbers
"Predicting imminent motor failures requires knowledge, experience, and as many 'tools' as are feasible to use. The more tools a technician has and uses properly, the more likely it is that he or she will be able to predict the health and longevity of the assets in use. Motor monitoring has become a vital tool with two facets that must be considered and fully utilized to obtain a successful diagnosis of the motor’s condition: offline testing and online monitoring."
Timothy M. Thomas, senior electrical engineer, HibbsElectroMechanical
Why motor monitoring matters so much
“Two technologies that I think work wonderfully together are ultrasound and IR. Both can be the lead technology. I just recently had a couple of major examples where one technology found an issue and the other one didn’t, and vice-versa, but all during an electrical inspection. So when you see those situations where I wouldn’t have heard this or I wouldn’t have seen that without the other technology, how can you not go into the field without both of them if you only have access to these electrical systems on a monthly, quarterly, or semiannual basis? Some condition monitoring programs might use infrared on assets that are not currently on the vibration route – so, (those) not critical enough to make the vibration route but still important to their manufacturing process or safety.”
Roy Huff, vice president, The Snell Group
Hot take: What's next for infrared
“Staying on top of issues before they snowball into larger problems is the name of the game today. There is momentum to be gained by leveraging advanced tools to provide insight into equipment health. At the apex of the shift in new workflows are new computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) in the cloud. Add in wirelessly enabled vibration meters and thermal imagers plus remote condition monitoring tools, and you see an upending of traditional maintenance roles. Some experts advocate for a new class of workers who might be called ‘semi-skilled’ who primarily collect data and manage it through to the CMMS. And even more, maintenance managers are learning how data from their machinery can be used to extend equipment life.”
Frederic Baudart, Fluke Corp.
New tech upends familiar job roles