Machines are the driving force in manufacturing. Because they play such a huge part in the production line, it’s very tempting to ignore the warning signs of fatigue, wear and tear in the hope that issues will never materialise. After all, carrying out machine maintenance and pressing pause on production will ultimately lead to a monetary loss, won’t it?
The truth is that while ignoring pressing maintenance issues may prolong the use of your machinery for the time being, it simply cannot last. This maintenance is vital to the performance and efficiency of the machine and your overall processes, and ignoring the warning signs now could lead to a more complex and costly shutdown.
Thankfully, not all manufacturers are of this mind-set. Predictive maintenance — anticipating when maintenance should be performed — and preventative maintenance — regular maintenance to reduce the chances of a machine failing — are both widely used in manufacturing.
While preventative maintenance is undoubtedly beneficial, there is much buzz surrounding predictive maintenance at the moment, triggered by manufacturing’s growing immersion in the Internet of Things (IoT). But just what benefits are they delivering now and in the future?
A new approach to machine maintenance
Because machines are fundamental to manufacturing operations, it’s good to see so many manufacturers adopting predictive and preventative maintenance to safeguard their performance. In fact, so crucial is the performance of machines that one study has found that three quarters of IT and field service leaders believe their machinery will receive better preventative healthcare than humans as early as 2020.
Clearly then, these maintenance types are delivering results for manufacturers in order to justify such a large commitment. McKinsey’s The Internet of Things: Mapping the Value Beyond the Hype report examines the true value of predictive maintenance.
The report estimates that by 2025, manufacturers who have implemented predictive maintenance — like those who are collecting data analytics from their machinery — could enjoy total savings of between $240 and $630 billion.
Aside from the monetary benefits, predictive maintenance is making factories and processes more efficient. Not only will maintenance costs reduce by 10% to 40% machine downtime is expected to half, with investment in machinery itself also dropping by between 3% and 5%.
However, those manufacturers who haven’t yet implemented predictive maintenance have some difficulties to overcome. According to a new study from Vanson Bourne, approximately 70% of companies are still unaware of when their equipment is due for maintenance or upgrades.
For preventative maintenance to be truly effective, you first must collect the data — and there’s a lot of data to collect and work through. In fact, it’s this huge volume of data that deters some manufacturers from changing to predictive maintenance.
However, as business intelligence and the IoT grow in popularity, it’s clear that it’s not a fad trend that should be ignored. Enlist the help of an experienced, knowledgeable company that can support your data capture and analysis through a sophisticated solution. To find out how Datawright has done so in the past, take a look at our success stories.
Changing the face of field service
It’s not just the manufacturing process itself that can benefit from predictive maintenance; so too can field service. As we’ve discussed in detail on our blog, first-time fix rates and getting the job done first time are of the highest priority in delivering exceptional customer service.
Yet, with predictive maintenance, you’re essentially ‘fixing’ a problem before it even materialises. In theory then, this will lead to more happy customers, although of course other factors will have an influence on this.
As you can see from the above benefits, predictive maintenance is well worth the time, money and resource investment — when done right. For help establishing or refining your own predictive maintenance process, or for a software solution that can help you do it right, contact us today.