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What Role Does Monitoring and Predictive Maintenance Play in Manufacturing?

Blog: Apriso Blog

In the manufacturing industry, equipment maintenance is
integral to keeping your company running. If a piece of equipment fails, the
downtime is expensive — both in equipment repair costs and lost production
time. Depending on how much you produce in an average day, a single hour of
downtime can cost you anywhere from
$1,000 to $10,000 or more
. Monitoring and predictive maintenance can help
you keep everything moving smoothly. What role do these two tools play in

Predictive Maintenance vs. Preventive Maintenance

Before we get into predictive maintenance and monitoring,
we do need to address a different form of maintenance — preventive. Preventive
maintenance is merely the practice
of fixing small problems
before they become big ones. Changing the oil in
your car according to the manufacturer’s recommendations is preventive
maintenance. You probably already have a schedule in place for preventive
maintenance for each piece of equipment — replacing belts, changing oil or
grease and inspecting each moving part for signs of wear and tear that could
indicate the beginnings of more significant problems.

Predictive maintenance, especially when paired with
monitoring, takes preventive maintenance to a whole new level.

What Is Predictive Maintenance?

You most likely already have a maintenance schedule in
place for going over each piece of machinery on your production floor to help
keep everything running. Each piece has its manufacturer-recommended
maintenance schedule, and keeping up with that can prevent any unscheduled
downtime. Sometimes, though, equipment fails. What if you could predict those
failures and fix the problems before they take your production floor offline?

That’s where predictive maintenance comes in.

A predictive maintenance algorithm examines your
maintenance and repair history, using data you’ve collected over months or
years. It’s programmed to look for patterns human observers might miss. These
patterns can indicate
when a piece of equipment might fail
outside its regular maintenance
schedule. With enough information, these programs can even predict future

Remote Equipment Monitoring

While predictive maintenance can help you predict
equipment failures, these algorithms are only as good as the data they have to
work with. That’s where monitoring comes in.

Wi-Fi-enabled monitoring can help you keep track of the
state of your equipment in real time. You can check any machine at any time
from a computer or even from a smartphone. These sensors can also feed data
directly into your predictive maintenance system, providing more accurate
information than you can obtain by putting the info into the computer manually
after regular repairs.

Benefits of Monitoring and Predictive Maintenance

Why should you consider investing in a monitoring and
predictive maintenance system for your plant?

As we’ve already mentioned, downtime is costly. Any unexpected
equipment failure could potentially cost you thousands of dollars while you
wait for a repair. A predictive maintenance and monitoring system improves
the reliability of your plant
, keeping the machines available and making
them safer for workers to use.

This kind of regular monitoring can also prevent or lessen
regular downtime. You won’t have to take machines offline to inspect them if
they have onboard monitors, because someone is always able to watch them. You
will still need to bring them offline for regular maintenance, but inspections
no longer need to result in downtime.

Investing in this new hardware and software can also help
prevent catastrophic failures, which could result in even more expensive
repairs or even equipment replacement.

Keeping your equipment running smoothly and reducing
downtime will improve your productivity and workplace efficiency.

Predictive maintenance and monitoring are two more tools
you can slip into your manufacturing toolbelt to keep your process running
smoothly. Instead of waiting for your equipment to fail, or spending a lot of
time with it offline so you can inspect the machine, you can use monitors and
software to predict problems before they cause the equipment to break down.

The goal here is to keep your machines online as long as
possible. With this hardware and software installed, you don’t have to shut
down the equipment to keep a close eye on it. Installing predictive maintenance
and monitoring systems can take some time and some getting used to, but it can
save you thousands of dollars in repair and downtime.

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