Right from the primitive ages, when crude methods like the unusual sounds of machinery were used to judge its condition, predictive maintenance has come a long way. Now with advancement is technology, predictive maintenance also has undergone a transformation.
In the advent of modern technology, predictive maintenance has now become a specialized field which uses advanced instruments and gadgets to evaluate the condition of machinery in a plant and determine how long before it will need repair and maintenance.
Though the basic concept of predictive maintenance still involved anticipating changes, the technology has become far more sophisticated. There are some basic concepts to go about it:
- Monitoring: Using various surveillance technology to detect any potential problems
- Using technology to determine and pinpoint the exact cause of the problem.
- Predicting how soon the problem might potentially cause a breakdown. Work towards the corrective treatment of the problem.
To avoid constant repetition of the above-mentioned steps, it is also a good option to undertake the following steps:
- Compilation of data: when there is a record of a particular pattern in the equipment faults, you know you have to reach the core of the problem.
- Regular monitoring of the mentioned pattern: One can keep a constant surveillance of the part or equipment that is notorious for causing repetitive problem
- Corrective measure for a permanent cure. This could mean looking for an alternative equipment or replacement.
Let us now see some common industrial technologies that are used for predictive maintenance on this site:
- Laser alignment system: to check for any misalignment of equipment that includes shafts, that could potentially cause a breakdown.
- Ultrasonic detectors to determine any unusual vibrations and activities
- Thermographic assessment: Which uses cameras that are specialized in checking any abnormality in the electrical functioning
- Oil Analysis: Uses tests for viscosity, fuel dilution, oxidation, nitration and much more.
- Vibration monitoring
- Motor analysis
There are many other technologies used, but these are the commonly used.