What is predictive maintenance?
Predictive maintenance helps determine the condition of in-service equipment in order to predict when maintenance operations are to be performed. Its main promise is to enable just-in-time scheduling of corrective maintenance. This alleviates the major drawbacks of both reactive and preventive maintenance.
The key is “the right information at the right time.” By knowing which equipment needs maintenance, work can be better scheduled, and unplanned costly shutdowns are replaced by shorter and fewer planned shutdowns, thus improving equipment reliability, minimizing potential data loss and reducing maintenance costs. In addition, this extends the useful lifetime of equipment and optimizes the handling of spare parts.
Unlike preventive maintenance, predictive maintenance relies on the actual condition of the equipment — rather than on expected end-of-life statistics — to predict the future trend of the equipment’s condition. The condition of the equipment is evaluated by periodic or continuous non-invasive monitoring while the equipment is in service, thus minimizing disruption of normal operations. Statistical models are used to detect even minor anomalies and failure patterns and to determine at what point in the future maintenance action will be required.