Thursday, January 31, 2008

Outsourcing predictive maintenance brings benefits

Source: Processingtalk

According to Stockport based AV Technology, Predictive Maintenance (PM) is far more than just a programme for identifying problems with equipment and machinery before they fail.

AV Technology maintains that PM should be seen as an integral part of plant management and, moreover, part of an all encompassing asset management function. It should certainly not be seen as a necessary or costly evil. A well implemented PM programme engenders a Measure-Assess-Improve regime within a plant, establishing the basis for improving reliability, reducing downtime, improving productivity, meeting relevant legislation and ultimately reducing costs.

The PM techniques employed are well established and include Lubrication Management; vibration analysis and Fault Finding; Thermography; Remote Visual Inspection; Ultrasonic Leak Detection; and Acoustic Emission Monitoring.

However in isolation these techniques may have limited effectiveness and therefore a full plant wide PM programme should be adopted, utilising the technologies as appropriate to provide comprehensive data from plant and machinery.

Exploiting the maximum potential of individual PM techniques is an important factor.

For example, a lubrication management programme can provide a wealth of useful information and can cover aspects including lubrication selection, change out periods and debris analysis, lubricant cleaning as well as lubricant procurement and recycling.

All industries can benefit from predictive maintenance, but in particular the fast paced food and beverage sector is rapidly realising the benefits of structured out-sourced PM programmes.

Outsourcing the predictive maintenance function via an experienced industrial consultancy such as AV Technology (AVT) has a number of clear advantages.

Firstly companies do not have to invest in additional personnel or expensive equipment.

That however is just the start.

Outsourcing gives companies access to a broad range of experience and capabilities and the PM programme should be seen as a working partnership.

Typically the consultancy sets up the PM programme in collaboration with the customer and then day to day measurements can be carried out by either using suitably trained internal capacity or by the outsourcing company.

AVT have extensive hands-on experience in all disciplines relating to outsourced PM.

They recognise that gathering inspection data has traditionally been very laborious and time consuming, with engineers transferring information from trusty clipboards to spread sheets or log books.

However the data needs to be used to its maximum potential and made available to all parties concerned.

To address these important issues they have adopted an integrated Asset Maintenance System known as MAINtelligence.

This powerful plant tool fully integrates asset and maintenance management, condition based maintenance, equipment and basic care inspections and intelligent diagnostic agents using one system and one database.