As the technology and work practices have progressed, so has reliability practices from reactive to preventive to predictive maintenance (PdM).In a Plant Engineering article, The path to prescriptive maintenance, Emerson’s Will Goetz describes prescriptive maintenance:
…where analytics can show that a piece of equipment is headed for trouble and can prescribe prioritized, pre-determined, expert-driven mitigation or repair.
While the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technologies enable the data collection and analytical analysis to occur, these alone are not sufficient to increase overall reliability. It is all just more information…:
…until the organization is prepared to act on alert information in a timely manner, little benefit will be realized.
Will stresses that moving to PdM and laying the groundwork for prescriptive maintenance requires three upfront actions:
- Prepare your culture to be proactive
- Integrate your condition monitoring program with your maintenance work management processes
- Implement a continuous improvement process.
…top performers have high mechanical availability and low maintenance costs simultaneously… Lower performing manufacturers seem always to be fighting the most attention-grabbing issue, while process availability suffers.
Will highlights the importance of top-level executive support:
Management support is the most important ingredient in transforming culture from reactive to proactive, and a well-documented business case is its foundation. To obtain approval, make it clear that these reliability and maintenance benefits come from PdM and that the gains profit your organization.
Economic incentives are often misaligned where reactive practices are rewarded instead of proactive practices:
The key idea is to instill in your organization the fundamental belief that failure is unacceptable and that everyone shares in eliminating its causes. Once this idea begins to take hold and stability (instead of firefighting) is rewarded, you can unlock the benefits of condition monitoring and adopt upgraded behaviors.
With condition monitoring technologies and clear, well-documented work practices:
…you can apply the right types and mix of sensors to observe your equipment in nearly real-time. Monitoring will provide the data necessary to understand the condition of your equipment and employ PdM.
With the necessary work culture and process changes, and only when your organization:
…can readily use asset health information should it seek new forms of information. Having clear line of sight along the sequence of “What happens next?” will help ensure that you are ready to realize the promised value of prescriptive maintenance offerings.
Read the article for ways to set the stage for continuous improvement and what to document to identify and rank your failure risks in order to develop a strong business case.
You don’t have to be in the top quartile of performers to get ready for prescriptive maintenance. Taking steps now to bring asset health information into maintenance work will bring benefits today, accelerate your realization of benefits from IIoT and prescriptive maintenance in the future, and ensure sustainability of your program for the long term. Staying the course in moving from preventive to predictive maintenance prepares you for prescriptive maintenance and other evolutions in reliability that can drive significant performance improvements.
Both goals are attained by continuous improvement. A strategy fostering continuous improvement will prepare your organization for advances in technology, for staying competitive, and for increasing profitability.
You can connect and interact with other reliability and maintenance experts in the Reliability & Maintenance group in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.