The best time to repair or replace something is just before it starts to break down. Doing so unerringly would require a crystal ball, but modern predictive maintenance technology offers the next best thing.
Hardware and software are available that can constantly monitor equipment and, by applying machine learning to historical data, warn when a breakdown or other problem is imminent. Bolstered by wireless technology and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), these customizable systems have the potential to bring predictive maintenance to a new level.
Predictive maintenance is a step beyond preventive maintenance, the latter of which basically sets a schedule for equipment to be serviced or replaced, based on estimated time between failures. Predictive maintenance takes that further by applying data gathered through constant monitoring to determine how much actual wear and stress the equipment is going through.