Preventive and predictive maintenance may not be common knowledge, but both are extremely important when servicing equipment and machinery. So, what’s the difference?
What is Preventive and Predictive Maintenance?
Let’s use a real-world scenario. You’ve just been handed the keys to Tesla Motors. Congratulations! You now own one of the world’s most technologically advanced assembly lines. You need to make sure your robotic workers stay in peak car-making condition. But how are you going to perform maintenance on hundreds upon hundreds of machines while maximizing costs and minimizing downtime?
For some of these machines, preventive maintenance might be the best option. Preventive maintenance is maintenance performed routinely, despite the condition of your machinery. This kind of maintenance is one of the best ways to prevent major issues from occurring while enabling your machinery to operate at peak performance and efficiency. Preventive maintenance also reduces degradation of your machines over time, improving the lifespan of your equipment. In your factory, for example, you’d replace the suction cups on your windshield-placing assembly arm every 5,000 windshields regardless of how it’s performing.
While this may be the best kind of maintenance to perform on some of your systems, it’s not always the right choice. Preventive maintenance can be expensive to perform and might not be necessary if your equipment isn’t prone to failure over short periods of time.
Predictive maintenance helps address these issues. This type of maintenance supervises machine operation and requires certain predetermined conditions to be met. If the machine fails to operate within these predetermined conditions, maintenance can be scheduled and performed to prevent breakdowns or permanent damage. Predictive maintenance saves time and money by replacing parts only when they need servicing, instead of maintaining a machine already in perfect working order. Consider your windshield robot again. Instead of every 5,000 windshields, you’d analyze how well it’s gripping and change the suction cups when they begin to fail. You might find it can perform 12,000 windshield installations before requiring attention.
The success of predictive maintenance relies heavily on continuous measurement and analysis of the entire system to work properly. By monitoring these systems, maintenance can be scheduled at convenient and predictable times rather than as a reaction to an equipment failure.
Why Preventive vs. Predictive Matters
Unforeseen downtime can have huge consequences on machinery, repair times, operating costs, and, most importantly, your bottom line. Determining which maintenance program is right for each of your systems can be difficult. Thankfully, tools like computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) software can help:
- Determine whether preventive or predictive maintenance is better for each of your systems
- Monitor and analyze system performance
- Build automatic maintenance schedules for each asset
- Determine the best time to perform maintenance
- Keep track of part inventory and costs
With the help of CMMS software, you can make better decisions about how to maintain your business, when maintenance needs to be performed, and how to minimize costs. Elon Musk would be proud that Tesla is more efficient and faster than ever!
If you’d like to learn more about how MicroMain’s CMMS software can help streamline and improve your maintenance operations, schedule a free demo with one of our certified MicroMain professionals here.