PdM systems predict future of new equipment
Spectacular gains in maintenance efficiency and dollar savings have resulted from integrating modern predictive maintenance (PdM) management systems into existing facilities. Yet, the use of PdM to predict the useful life of brand new machines promises to save organizations even more money. Just last year, DaimlerChrysler's Toledo North assembly plant avoided costly downtime by accurately pre...
Spectacular gains in maintenance efficiency and dollar savings have resulted from integrating modern predictive maintenance (PdM) management systems into existing facilities. Yet, the use of PdM to predict the useful life of brand new machines promises to save organizations even more money.
Just last year, DaimlerChrysler's Toledo North assembly plant avoided costly downtime by accurately predicting maintenance failures in newly purchased equipment.
"During the launch period of this new plant we requested evaluations via vibration analysis and IR analysis as one of our buy-off criteria before we signed off on the equipment and took ownership," recalls Terry Kulczak, the maintenance advisor for the plant.
Kulczak explains that his team used their PdM system to evaluate over 600 pieces of new equipment such as regenerative thermal oxidizer motors, water pumps, cooling fans, and gearboxes.
"Using the software, we found that there were some machines out there that weren't up to spec," says Kulczak. "Some had bad bearings, alignment problems, and improperly sized shims, which led to excessive vibration. These had to be changed out, and it was all done under warranty."
At least 106 pieces of equipment needed adjustment or new parts. In his report to management, Kulczak estimated that the maintenance costs to repair these defects — had they not been detected in advance — would amount to at least $31,000, with a possible maximum cost of $112,000. Production losses due to failed machinery would have resulted in even greater losses to the plant's bottom line.
"The software analyzed the data and spit out the summary sheet, so you can go back into the data and decipher it a little more closely if you want," says Kulczak. "From what I understand, older software out there did not have these features. A lot of the contractors questioned our calls, and they didn't use the same software. But we showed them the data and it turns out we were right."
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Annual Salary Survey
Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey