Maintenance in Two Words: Preventive and Predictive
What does maintenance mean to you? If you asked me to define it in a few words, I would say maintenance is the action taken to keep something in working order by using a set of best practices.
If you look up the word “maintenance” in a dictionary, you will find a similar definition: Oxford Dictionaries defines maintenance as “the process of keeping something in good condition,” and Collins Dictionary defines it as “the act of maintaining or the state of being maintained.”
Most of my colleagues and the other people I have asked have stated that maintenance is “making repairs to prevent a failure from occurring.”
Better, Faster Maintenance Is a Necessity
Customers today demand continuous and fast access to information. Companies have come to understand that time is money and downtime is expensive, so preventing failures and service unavailability is essential to ensuring business reliability. However, even if you have a well-defined preventive plan, it’s still important to make sure you can respond to any unexpected unavailability in a short amount of time.
However, what if the maintenance actions you take could be more than just preventive? What if you could predict when, where and why your equipment will fail? Can you imagine the benefits? I can definitely think of some advantages, including the following:
- Enhanced maintenance, quality and operational decisions due to data analysis that predicts when assets need support;
- Improved product quality and reliability;
- Optimized spare parts inventory;
- Extended product life cycles;
- Reduced operational downtime;
- The ability to predict warranty claims; and
- Recommendations for product improvements to increase customer satisfaction.
How Is All This Possible?
In summary, information generates more information, so every device that is connected to a network leaves a trail of potential insights. The data that is collected from these devices can be processed through analytics tools to gain insights and provide the best action plan. This predictive maintenance process is detailed in the diagram below:
This new cognitive era is changing the way support services are provided. It’s unacceptable to have a service provider that only fixes what breaks; the market demands that companies avoid failures altogether and have the right information at the right time. Time is money, and all businesses need to be prepared for changes.
Check out the following links for some business use cases and to learn how to keep your systems running with predictive maintenance:
- “How to Spot Problems Before They Happen and Fix Them“
- “Predictive Maintenance for Dummies“
- “What Watson Analytics Means for the World and You“