As the name implies, Predictive Maintenance anticipates equipment outages rather than reacting to them. It goes beyond preventive maintenance, which at least strives to shift plant downtime to non-critical periods, but is still calendar-based, not performance-based. Benefits of predictive maintenance include extended and productive life for equipment and reduction in backup inventory.

The initial cost of predictive monitoring systems used to be high, but much less than ‘reactive’ maintenance due to a serious outage of a manufacturing line. New digital technologies have reduced the initial costs of monitoring systems by a factor of ten.

The aim of predictive maintenance is first to predict when equipment failure might occur, and secondly, to prevent that failure by addressing the problem immediately. Monitoring for future failure allows maintenance to be planned at a more convenient time before the failure occurs.

When predictive maintenance is working effectively as a maintenance strategy, maintenance is only performed on machines when required, rather than on a fixed time-based schedule. This brings several cost savings:

  1. Minimizing the length of time equipment is being maintained/out-of-service
  2. Minimizing the labor cost for maintenance
  3. Minimizing production hours lost to maintenance
  4. Minimizing the cost of spare parts and supplies

Typical problems that can occur with motor-driven systems:

Over-loaded motors including…

  • Torque Overload
  • Windings insulation failure
  • Over-current
  • Low Voltage
  • Phase imbalance
  • Capacitor failure
  • Clogged downstream filters

Under-Loaded motors including…

  • Broken or slipping drive belt
  • Loose or sheared shaft coupling
  • Open pump discharge
  • Restricted pump intake
  • Clogged intake filters or screens

The cost of equipment failure is not just the replacement of a part or a motor. It’s much broader and more serious than that. Costs of failure can include…

  1. Replacing or rewinding motors
  2. Labor for parts installation
  3. Production downtime, often measured in thousands of dollars an hour.
  4. Missed customer deadlines since breakdowns always occur at the worst possible time (Murphy’s Law!)
  5. Spare parts, including shipping them in rapidly if not on hand.
  6. Flying in engineers/technicians to make a repair.

So, what should you monitor in real time? It depends on your facility and processes, of course, but here are some ideas…

  1. The largest energy-using equipment/motors
  2. Critical systems on which other processes depend (e.g. compressed air, cooling water etc.)
  3. Motors with a history of non-dependability
  4. Equipment that’s hard to reach
  5. Old equipment that may be overdue for replacement

And Now it’s Affordable

SiteWatch is a patented, real-time energy monitoring system that uses tiny, inexpensive, self-powered, wireless sensors to monitor every significant pump,compressor, fan, blower, or motor in your facility. We can install as many as 100 sensors for the same cost as 6 utility sub-meters cost previously- and in a fraction of the time.

SiteWatch shows you your energy consumption data as you’ve never seen it before- continuous energy consumption data with a degree of granularity and accuracy that is unprecedented. Standard and customized reports provide not just data, but intuitive, actionable information, trends and alerts.

To learn more about this new and exciting technology contact us.