September 19, 2019 Articles No Comments

With the manufacturing industry in a state of flux thanks to automation and globalization, companies are desperately trying to reduce costs wherever possible. Many are turning to predictive maintenance programs to minimize downtime and keep machines operating at optimal health, but some still wonder whether these tactics are worth the upfront investment.

To truly answer this question, you have to first understand how much money breakdowns actually cost and learn how a predictive maintenance program can help.

The Cost of Machine Breakdowns

Studies have consistently demonstrated that downtime is one of the leading costs incurred by manufacturers across the world. Machine breakdowns don’t just halt the production of goods, they also add to labor costs in the form of outside repair services and the cost of the manufacturers’ workforce being underutilized until the equipment is fixed or replaced.

Some studies have shown the average manufacturer suffers from nearly 1,000 hours of downtime per year, as a direct result of breakdowns. This can add up to tens-of-thousands of dollars per minute in some industries, such as in the automotive sector. Even if this extreme isn’t reflective of all industries, it’s clear that unplanned downtime can seriously impact any business’ bottom line.

How Predictive Maintenance Programs Work

In the past, manufacturers could only utilize OEM guidelines to determine their maintenance schedules, but this led to a lot of room for error. These guidelines only accounted for a small window of operational capabilities and some manufacturers would conduct unnecessary repairs while others would run their equipment until it broke.

Fortunately, predictive maintenance programs came along with the ability to monitor real-time information about machine health by looking at everything from vibration analysis, and ultrasonic data, to thermographic imaging. When this data is tracked over long-term use and processed by predictive algorithms, the manufacturer can get a much more accurate insight into the health of their machines. These programs require you to have IoT enabled sensors and a computerized maintenance management system to track your assets’ data.

Predictive Maintenance Savings

Some studies have shown that by removing the guessing game from previous generations, predictive maintenance programs have increased productivity by 25%. This is because when manufacturers are informed about the real-time state of their machines, they’re able to make more informed decisions regarding maintenance schedules. This ultimately saves them from having to conduct redundant repair work and prevents the machines from running to total failure.

Additionally, further research shows a wide variety of applications for the data that predictive maintenance tools collect. From reducing power consumption, to coordinating with supply chain management, there is no limit to how far predictive maintenance has left to grow.

To learn how you can set up a predictive maintenance program, contact the professionals at GTI Predictive Technology today!

About GTI Predictive Technology

At GTI Predictive Technology, it is our mission to provide the best predictive tools on a single iPad platform with services to monitor nearly any asset. We strive to bring our customers the portability, connectivity, and affordability offered by the latest available technologies. Our product family combines wireless portable and online vibration data collection and analysis, balancing, shaft alignment, thermography, and ultrasound into an affordable and completely scalable solution on one simple to use platform. GTI’s predictive technology apps feature many additions that have come directly from customers. Click here to learn more.