Investment into the most advantageous maintenance strategy is imperative for any business with a manufacturing operation. In addition to the system, the most optimal scheduling can make a huge difference in any organization’s success. Two of the major disciplines of machine maintenance are preventive and predictive maintenance. This post will compare and contrast them in detail.

In order to determine which maintenance approach is right for these organizations, they must first differentiate between the two. The preventive maintenance approach is likely the earliest consideration for all organizations worldwide. Largely because it’s the cheaper option, but also because it has been such a mainstay in regards to maintenance. The philosophy is simple: construct a maintenance schedule at recurring intervals throughout the year for each machine or equipment in an organization’s fleet. These intervals are largely based on each organization’s fleet. Age, length of average run time, required up-time, etc., are all components that contribute to the scheduling of this maintenance.

The newer alternative to preventive maintenance is predictive maintenance. This strategy disregards a majority of the philosophies of its counterpart. Rather than having scheduled maintenance for equipment or machinery at different times of the year, this approach relies on information fed from each piece of equipment to determine when maintenance is necessary. This requires a unique set of technological systems to be installed into an organization’s fleet but will in turn provide organizations with a much clearer representation of when maintenance is required. The downside? Its exuberant costs compared to the traditional preventive maintenance strategy.

The capital required to implement these systems is often much more than organizations care to expend for maintenance. However, many organizations around the world have broken this mold and are going the way of predictive maintenance. This change has made the implementation of these systems increasingly easier. As more and more IoT technologies begin to emerge, the more intuitive the data extracted from an organization’s fleet can be. This data would then improve the predictability of machine failure and thus the required maintenance steps to prevent said failure. For organizations hoping to improve their efficiency and decrease their equipment’s downtime, this is the best bang for their buck.

While the benefits for these predictive maintenance systems may seem staggering, it’s equally important to consider where these systems fall short. With such high barriers to entry, not many businesses can justify the cost in regards to their estimated risk. In addition to high start-up costs, these systems also require a critical understanding of new technology platforms that your employees have no knowledge of. In other words, your employees will likely face a rigid training course in order to properly work alongside these systems. This sort of challenge is not easily overcome and will likely require a great deal of time. However, if your organization has the capital and other resources available, predictive maintenance is likely the best strategy to default to.

Determining which of these two strategies is right for your organization can be a difficult task. For some additional information and suggestions, be sure to check out the featured resource coupled alongside this post. Courtesy of Industrial Service Solutions.