You have two guys waiting in your office to talk with you. You just received a call from a vendor and now you are getting paged because one of your machines just went down. Sound familiar? In today’s manufacturing environment, maintenance managers and supervisors are trying to do more with less and keep their plants running. There is a huge push for reliability and for efficiency within the plants. Add to these trends an aging workforce where a lot of knowledge and expertise goes away with each retiree and there are some very significant challenges within these plants. So what is the manager or supervisor to do?
Enter the world of predictive maintenance. Also known as condition-based monitoring, it involves using equipment at regular intervals to diagnose or monitor your equipment. Some of the more common forms of predictive maintenance include vibration analysis, thermography (also known as infrared scanning) and ultrasonic testing. Using these pieces of equipment on a regular basis can help you sleep better at night knowing what shape your equipment is in and it can help you predict when that equipment is likely going to fail. The use of it requires an investment, whether you choose to do it in plant or to hire an outside contractor. It also requires training and experience which is why a number of industrial plants have chosen to outsource it. Either way, it is likely going to prevent some of those catastrophic failures that no manager or supervisor wants to see and it will likely save you money in the long run.
Less people in your office, less unwanted phone calls and pagers going off, and more sleep. Let’s be honest, who couldn’t use a little more of that?