The opportunities of predictive maintenance for equipment management

If equipment breaks down, you need to fix it. Simple as that. But how great would it be if you could predict the right moment for maintenance to your equipment and that way prevent a breakdown? That provides enormous benefits to you and your customers. From increased uptime of equipment to cost savings and improved service. How likely is it for your organization to start adopting predictive maintenance in your business?

The 4 levels of predictive maintenance

Research by Mainnovation distinguishes four levels of predictive maintenance:

1. Visual inspection of the equipment by the technician
2. The technician uses measurement tools when inspecting the equipment
3. Real-time monitoring based on predefined criteria
4. Use of smart sensors and big data analytics

The final stage is where the digital revolution and maintenance come together. The power of machine learning techniques is used to discover patterns in large amounts of data. This generates new insights that help improve the availability of equipment. Think for example of a flat tire; this could be predicted in some cases based on the tire pressure. This way, the flat tire and thus the breakdown of the equipment could be prevented. It goes without saying that, once on level 4, the possibilities are enormous; what was previously regarded as unpredictable becomes predictable.

The benefits of predictive maintenance

The number one benefit of predictive maintenance for equipment management is uptime improvement. But there are so much more benefits. Think about cost reduction. Or reduction of safety, health, environment and quality risks. And higher customer satisfaction and lifetime extension of your equipment. 

What stops companies from adopting predictive maintenance?

If the benefits of predictive maintenance are so obvious, why haven’t all equipment dealerships implemented a strategy for this? Many companies have no budget for this and/or are unable to define a proper and relevant business case. Another problem is in data; you need lots of data before predictive maintenance strategies can work for you. The lack of the right data analytics tools and the lack of commitment from higher management are other important reasons.

Incorporate it in your business strategy

If you run an equipment dealership, make sure you are aware of the opportunities of predictive maintenance. Now might be the right moment to write a business case and find out if you should invest in predictive maintenance. Make sure you involve you strategic, IT and business partners in this initiative.

April Potts is responsible for Marketing & Sales at Dysel North America and combines experiences in marketing, at dealerships and with ERP software to help dealerships move their business forward.