Avoid surprises with preventive maintenance

Preventive maintenance can help companies keep their machinery running and prevent faults, but users should consider noninvasive techniques that don't end up causing inadvertent damage during the maintenance process.

09/21/2016


Image courtesy: CFE MediaMost business owners are aware of the benefits of establishing a preventive and predictive maintenance program at their facility. Identifying any issues in the equipment before it results in a catastrophic failure can indeed save your company both time and money. It is important, however, for companies to consider everything involved in having a maintenance program at your facility because not every choice is going to be the right choice.

One of the factors to consider is known as the law of diminishing returns. According to this law, as a production factor increases, the production increases along with it, but the rate of return begins to diminish after a certain point. That is also true of preventive maintenance. While having a preventive maintenance program can produce benefits, doing too much preventive maintenance will eventually result in diminishing returns.

Most would agree that the likelihood a piece of equipment will fail increases as its service time increases. Although that may be true in certain cases, the majority of equipment failures are not related to age. A predictive maintenance program comes in handy because it cares for the equipment according to a specific schedule. There is no reason for the user to think that a piece of equipment is going to fail because it has reached a given period in its operation.

That is why it is important to have an ongoing preventive maintenance program that will identify any problems in the equipment at your facility, regardless of their age. At the same time, users need to be cautious that you are not performing to many invasive procedures because that can have an impact on systems that are relatively stable. For example, tearing a pump apart to perform routine maintenance could result in many problems from bearing damage to shaft misalignment to lubricant contamination.

Using non-invasive predictive maintenance tools

One of the ways to avoid these problems is by using noninvasive preventive maintenance procedures. Utilize the following procedures at your facility without interrupting the operation of any equipment or performing any invasive maintenance.

  • Infrared scans: This type of maintenance technology can benefit your facility in numerous ways. It can help to identify hot spots in electrical systems and rotating equipment. It can also be used to determine the areas of energy loss in the building envelope, roof, and foundation of your facility.
  • Laser vibrometer readings: This technology can be used to identify problems with rotating equipment before the time when it would result in a catastrophic failure. Data will be collected up to 660 ft away on any rotating equipment such as agitators, compressors, mixers, extruders, pumps, paper machines, fans, and generator sets.
  • Ultrasonic air surveys: Through the process of ultrasonic detection testing, it is possible to detect leaks in pressure and vacuum systems as well as to detect electrical arcing.

Having an ongoing preventive maintenance program performed at your facility provides many benefits. Choosing the right type of maintenance and technology provides additional benefits above and beyond what a standard preventive maintenance program provides.

David Manney is a marketing administrator at L&S Electric. This article originally appeared on L&S Electric Watts New BlogL&S Electric Inc. is a CFE Media content partner.



Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
June 2018
2018 Lubrication Guide, Motor and maintenance management, Control system migration
May 2018
Electrical standards, robots and Lean manufacturing, and how an aluminum packaging plant is helping community growth.
April 2018
2017 Product of the Year winners, retrofitting a press, IMTS and Hannover Messe preview, natural refrigerants, testing steam traps
June 2018
Machine learning, produced water benefits, programming cavity pumps
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
February 2018
Focus on power systems, process safety, electrical and power systems, edge computing in the oil & gas industry
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
April 2018
Implementing a DCS, stepper motors, intelligent motion control, remote monitoring of irrigation systems
February 2018
Setting internal automation standards

Annual Salary Survey

After two years of economic concerns, manufacturing leaders once again have homed in on the single biggest issue facing their operations:

It's the workers—or more specifically, the lack of workers.

The 2017 Plant Engineering Salary Survey looks at not just what plant managers make, but what they think. As they look across their plants today, plant managers say they don’t have the operational depth to take on the new technologies and new challenges of global manufacturing.

Read more: 2017 Salary Survey

The Maintenance and Reliability Coach's blog
Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
One Voice for Manufacturing
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Machine Safety
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
Research Analyst Blog
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Marshall on Maintenance
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
Lachance on CMMS
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Electrical Safety Update
This digital report explains how plant engineers need to take greater care when it comes to electrical safety incidents on the plant floor.
Maintenance & Safety
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
IIoT: Machines, Equipment, & Asset Management
Articles in this digital report highlight technologies that enable Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies.
Randy Steele
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Randy Oliver
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me