By investing in maintenance, you invest in sustainable growth

Here’s a universal truth about business: It doesn’t matter what technology you have in your production; if the equipment is not running, you’re not making any money!

And broken equipment does not end with the broken equipment. Oh no, it is only the beginning of your troubles. You have to then answer to your customer and his customer… and, possibly, even his customer. All because you missed your delivery times. On top of that, you may face some fees and reclamations. And worst? You’ll lose your customer’s trust.

Outsource or in-house?

Outsourcing the maintenance of your key equipment to a third party can be a difficult decision. Many facility managers may feel they’ll lose some level of control if they employ a contracted maintenance service. However, a well-structured contract that requires specific results can be highly cost effective. And the best part, you both will have roles to fill.

As a reminder to ourselves, we have nothing if our equipment is not running. The costs of keeping it running are practically always secondary to the importance of keeping it running.

But to move forward, how you handle your maintenance has a huge impact on the actual result. This has even a bigger impact than who does the work. That’s why I will share a few strategies for consideration.

Three maintenance strategies:

  • Corrective / reactive
  • Preventative
  • Condition-based / predictive

Corrective

The traditional maintenance strategy for industrial equipment has been corrective, or reactive, maintenance. Corrective maintenance only fixes the equipment after it has already failed. This “run-to-fail” strategy is appropriate for assets whose failure will not compromise operations and which can be returned to service quickly and easily.

Preventative

Some equipment failures, like those of a tempering line, can shut down the entire factory. For this reason, a different maintenance strategy has evolved to avoid asset failures – preventative maintenance. Preventative maintenance prevents an equipment failure from happening before it actually does. Preventative maintenance involves different kinds of scheduled maintenance actions specified individually for each equipment type.

Preventative maintenance actions reduce the probability of unexpected downtime and are always machine specific.

Predictive

Full-scale preventive maintenance can be expensive. That’s why a new type of maintenance strategy was developed, namely, condition-based maintenance. With a predictive strategy, the condition of the equipment is regularly monitored until it begins to show evidence of deteriorating performance.

Maintenance is then performed “just-in-time” to prevent equipment failure. For example, predictive maintenance is often based on the analysis of the bearing heat signature, the lubricant condition or the vibration of rotating equipment.

The most effective maintenance strategy has an impact on business performance and should be chosen carefully by the maintenance experts.

Conclusion

The number one issue on everyone’s list is how to keep the machines running day in and day out? And as we weigh in on the cost of a new investment versus maintaining the old, we have to be able to make decisions based on logic and not emotions.

To help you out, we gathered an eBook that explores all the required considerations regarding maintenance and new purchases. You can download it for free below.

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Pyry Ollonqvist

“Man of Science, Man of Faith.” Professional with over 10 years of experience in the fields of international business development, marketing and sales. Holds a MSc in Mechanical Engineering. Strongly believes in new business models, e-commerce and Internet technologies.