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Predictive Maintenance In Manufacturing: How Field Service Management Comes Into Play

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In today’s manufacturing landscape, every second of production counts. A machine suddenly going out of service can have a significant impact on your business. 

But what if you could predict a machine failing before it happened? Today, we can. With predictive maintenance, we avoid unforeseen breakdowns before they occur—proactive monitoring of a machine’s state makes this possible. 

In this article, we’ll understand how implementing predictive maintenance can be a game-changer. Let’s get started; read on to find out more about what is possible with today’s technology. 

Understanding predictive maintenance and its implications

Predictive maintenance is a data-driven maintenance practice that helps you monitor the health of an asset by analyzing its performance in real-time. Predictive maintenance uses data insights and analytics to determine a machine’s state. Knowing this state allows technicians to be dispatched for preventative maintenance before a machine fails or serious damage occurs. 

Traditionally, machinery maintenance was based on schedules, like every six months or every 10,000 hours of operation. However, this approach can be inefficient and costly. These traditional models are based on a “Mean Time Between Failures” approach. While able to provide an approximation of how long a component should last, they are not real-time reporting—failures can still occur with little to no warning. Unexpected failures lead to lost productivity, which could be mitigated by using a predictive maintenance model. 

Predictive maintenance is the most effective approach as it relies on data that prevents guesswork, eliminating unnecessary maintenance. This program uses advanced sensors to monitor the condition of machines—spotting unforeseen issues early on and addressing them before they can cause a failure.

Why is predictive maintenance better than other options?

Predictive maintenance is a proactive approach to maintaining your machinery’s health. It uses data and analytics to identify potential problems before they turn big—helping you prevent unplanned downtime and costly repairs. When you implement predictive maintenance using field service management(FSM), you can create a powerful solution for your manufacturing maintenance. 

Key benefits

1. Fewer Work Stoppages: Imagine a busy day with machines working super hard for you. All of a sudden, an important machine breaks down—causing chaos and inefficiency. By proactively detecting issues and fixing them, predictive maintenance can help you to prevent downtime. This can help you save money and improve productivity.

2. Money Saver Extraordinaire:  Unmaintained machines can lead to costly repairs. Predictive maintenance helps you prevent this by identifying and fixing problems early on—you don’t have to wait for your machinery to break. 

3. Making Machines Last: Predictive maintenance can extend the lifespan of your machines by detecting minor problems and fixing them before they become significant issues. Fixing minor issues over time can contribute to the longevity of your machines; waiting to fix major issues can snowball into one significant problem, leading to another equally large problem. 

4. Safety First, Always: Safety is critically important. Especially concerning manufacturing. Predictive maintenance can help improve safety by preventing machine failures that may cause injuries. By identifying and fixing problems before they occur, predictive maintenance can help create a safer work environment.

How can field service management software help with manufacturing concerns? 

1. Data Collection and Aggregation

In a predictive maintenance program, data is the center of all activities. Advanced predictive maintenance system acts as the frontline soldier, helping capture all the crucial information of the machines. It uses sensors to monitor various data across the manufacturing floor, ensuring a continuous stream of real-time data is fed into your system. These data act as a bedrock for FSM software like Zuper. Zuper seamlessly integrates with such software to automatically create a maintenance job based on the deviations of the captured data.

2. Real-Time Monitoring

FSM software constantly keeps an eye on your machinery and equipment. By helping you identify maintenance patterns, FSM software can ensure that upcoming maintenance is scheduled in a timely and predictable manner. Scheduling jobs in advance minimizes disruptions and unplanned downtime. By acting proactively, you can address potential problems before they become genuine issues—this is the true value of FSM software.

3. Automated Work Orders

When predictive maintenance identifies an impending issue, the FSM software goes to work generating automated jobs and work orders. These work orders include detailed information about the problem, its urgency, and the required steps for resolution. FSM software notifies managers so that they can assign technicians to appropriate tasks based on their experience and availability. 

4. Optimal Scheduling

Predictive maintenance often requires timely intervention to prevent equipment failures. FSM software excels at optimizing scheduling and aligning maintenance tasks to ensure minimal impact on production. By factoring in machine availability, technician schedules, and production demands, FSM software orchestrates a harmonious balance between predictive maintenance and operational efficiency.

5. Technicians Empowerment

FSM software equips technicians with a virtual toolkit to tackle predictive maintenance challenges. They receive alerts, access historical maintenance data, and gain insights into the nature of the issue. Armed with this information, technicians can make informed decisions and execute necessary repairs or maintenance tasks with precision.

6. Seamless Communication

In the world of predictive maintenance, communication is key. FSM software facilitates seamless communication among technicians, allowing them to collaborate, share insights, and seek guidance remotely. This ensures that the collective wisdom of the team is harnessed, enhancing the accuracy of predictive insights and the effectiveness of problem-solving strategies.

7. Performance Analytics

FSM software is a treasure trove of performance analytics, providing a comprehensive view of maintenance activities and their outcomes. It enables manufacturers to assess the effectiveness of predictive maintenance strategies, track the accuracy of predictions, and refine approaches based on real-world results. These insights drive continuous improvement, ensuring that predictive maintenance becomes a progressive and evolving process.

In a nutshell

Field service management software acts as the orchestrator, harmoniously weaving predictive maintenance into the fabric of manufacturing operations. By harnessing the power of data, automation, and collaboration, FSM software like Zuper empowers manufacturers to embrace a future where machines operate at peak efficiency, downtimes are minimized, and operational excellence is the norm. As technology advances and manufacturing evolves, FSM software ensures that predictive maintenance remains at the forefront of efficient and forward-looking production.

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