Driving Down Maintenance Costs & Downtime In Industrial Machinery

Machinery maintenance can come at a significant price, in time and capital. What can be done to stay competitive and see a positive return on investment (ROI)? Below is a brief look into technological advancements and management strategies designed to minimize maintenance and machinery downtime.

By 2026, the global maintenance, repair and operations market is projected to reach $701.3 billion. This immense amount of cost stems from numerous areas in industrial settings. The leading cause of unplanned downtime is aging assets. According to maintenance professionals, unscheduled equipment downtime is also a result of mechanical failure, operator error, lack of time for proper maintenance and poor design.

One way to diminish the need for upkeep is to install components that require little to no maintenance. An example of this is ultrasonic clamp-on meters. Applied in a variety of situations, such as in water distribution industries, these meters are constructed to be virtually maintenance-free as they do not contain moving parts which may wear over time.

Another approach to increasing ROI could be a comprehensive preventive maintenance (PM) routine. In fact, 76% of companies in the manufacturing industry worldwide prioritized preventive maintenance in 2020. This method revolves around a predetermined schedule intended to discover potential issues before they have the chance to cause a disruption. As a result, PM helps to minimize downtime, extend equipment life and add resale value. On the other hand, it does add to the asset’s cost of ownership and varies based on the type of machinery.

Similarly, is predictive maintenance using analytics tools. Currently, this method is reported to be in use by 41% of companies in the manufacturing industry. While relatively new and expensive, predictive maintenance is reported to be highly cost effective. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, it can save roughly 8% to 12% over preventive maintenance. What’s more by 2024, the global predictive maintenance market is expected to grow to $23.5 billion.

What is predictive maintenance (PdM)? Using specialized software and artificial intelligence, PdM monitors the condition of in-service assets using sensors to supply data in real-time. Analysis of this data is used to predict when the asset will require maintenance. The goal of this approach is to potentially save costs over routine or time-based preventive maintenance by performing tasks only as warranted.

Maintenance management is a hefty task. However, by employing the right tools for the job, implementing new technology and upgrading to components with low- to no-maintenance, the longevity and performance of everyday equipment can be improved.

For further information on industrial maintenance demands and ways to address them, please see the accompanying resource.

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