Three transformative trends in predictive maintenance

Predictive maintenance can be a great source of added value for businesses. Therefore, UK manufacturers have been quick to realise its potential.

Accountancy UK states that more than eight out of ten British companies have implemented a predictive maintenance programme in their facilities. Also, the market for this sector is expected to grow by as much as 40 per cent by 2022.

What is predictive maintenance?

The purpose of predictive maintenance techniques is to help manufacturers establish the condition of their equipment. From this, they can accurately predict when maintenance is needed. This approach can reduce downtime costs due to unexpected machinery malfunctions and help save money on maintenance costs.

What are the benefits of predictive maintenance?

However, the sensors do not only collect data to minimise losses. In fact, they also can create major value for businesses by improving productivity.

For example, predictive maintenance allows manufacturers to extend their equipment's lifespan. It can also reduce the health and safety hazards posed by malfunctioning machines. As well as saving on electricity bills by identifying machines that are using an excessive amount of energy.

Because of these many benefits, new technologies and business strategies are making the field stronger. Here are three examples listed below:

1. Plug and play technology

Plug and play devices are becoming increasingly popular for predictive maintenance applications. Most manufacturers rely on legacy equipment to run critical applications in their factories. However, these machines are not typically equipped with connectivity capabilities to communicate data in real time.

However, plug and play devices allow manufacturers to connect legacy machines without going through a cost-prohibitive factory overhaul. Additionally, plug and play technology doesn’t necessarily need configuration or testing, minimising downtime. For example, the MICA Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) kit from Bosch and Harting can retrofit to legacy devices. Therefore, immediately monitoring their condition, alerting a maintenance engineer to any potential problems.

2. Remote monitoring

Developers originally designed remote maintenance and management systems to monitor applications in isolated or hazardous locations. Such as, oil and gas platforms located offshore or in polar regions. Later research allowed developers to propose a later application for aircraft maintenance.

Today, remote monitoring is routinely used to assess the conditions of manufacturing machines. As well as to reduce the cost of unnecessary or premature maintenance. For example, it is possible to collect and process data off-site and diagnose the reason for the malfunction's detection. As a result, they can schedule any necessary repairs.

A concept comparable to this is tele-maintenance. It lets the maintenance crew work on machines remotely. But, also in partnership with other experts by using IT and high-tech tools for control and knowledge.

3. Predictive maintenance as a service

Predictive maintenance as a service, especially for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), is another upcoming trend. Since industrial assets can be monitored remotely, OEMs that collect performance data from their customer base will have access to much more comprehensive data than is available to individual users. This gives them a distinct advantage when it comes to predictive analytics.

For better results, OEMs can work together with their customers to tailor this business model to their specific needs. These will vary depending on their industry and the parameters they want to optimise.

Equipment vendors already offer predictive maintenance features. SITECH, for example, is already offering several data monitoring options. ThyssenKrupp Elevators also offers a proactive maintenance programme, which predicts problems before they occur and notifies the maintenance team accordingly.

With predictive maintenance, you can find problems before they happen and only plan the repairs that are needed. If these involve replacing components, a reliable supplier can help you get them quickly and conveniently.