Predictive Maintenance

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Predictive Maintenance - short version

(1) Condition monitoring, medium interval and long interval servicing.

(2) Maintence performed on equipment based on signals or diagnostic techniques that indicate deterioration in equipment.

Predictive Maintenance - long version

Predictive maintenance (PdM) techniques help determine the condition of in-service equipment in order to predict when maintenance should be performed. This approach offers cost savings over routine or time-based preventive maintenance, because tasks are performed only when warranted. The main value of Predicted Maintenance is to allow convenient scheduling of corrective maintenance, and to prevent unexpected equipment failures. The key is "the right information in the right time". By knowing which equipment that needs maintenance, the maintenance work can be better planned (spare parts, people etc.) and what would had been "unplanned stops" are transformed to shorter and less "planned stops" thus increasing plant availability. Other values are increased equipment life time, increased plant safety, less accidents with negative impact on environment, an optimised spare parts handling, etc.

PdM, or condition-based maintenance, attempts to evaluate the condition of equipment by performing periodic or continuous (online) equipment condition monitoring. The ultimate goal of PdM is to perform maintenance at a scheduled point in time when the maintenance activity is most cost-effective and before the equipment loses performance within a threshold. This is in contrast to time- and/or operation count-based maintenance, where a piece of equipment gets maintained whether it needs it or not. Time-based maintenance is labor intensive, ineffective in identifying problems that develop between scheduled inspections, and is not cost-effective.

The "predictive" component of predictive maintenance stems from the goal of predicting the future trend of the equipment's condition. This approach uses principles of statistical process control to determine at what point in the future maintenance activities will be appropriate. Most PdM inspections are performed while equipment is in service, thereby minimizing disruption of normal system operations. Adoption of PdM can result in substantial cost savings and higher system reliability.

Reliability-centered maintenance, or RCM, emphasizes the use of predictive maintenance (PdM) techniques in addition to traditional preventive measures. When properly implemented, RCM provides companies with a tool for achieving lowest asset Net Present Costs (NPC) for a given level of performance and risk.

One area that many times is overlooked is how to, in an efficient way, transfer the PdM data to a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) system so that the equipment condition data is sent to the right equipment object in the CMMS system in order to trigger maintenace planning, execution and reporting. Unless this is achieved, the PdM solution is of limited value, at least if the PdM solution is implemented on a medium to large size plant with tens of thousands pieces of equipment.

To evaluate equipment condition, predictive maintenance utilizes nondestructive testing technologies such as infrared, acoustic (partial discharge and airborne ultrasonic), corona detection, vibration analysis, sound level measurements, oil analysis, and other specific online tests. New methods in this area is to utilize measurements on the actual equipment in combination with measurement of process performance, measured by other devices, to trigger maintenance conditions. This is primarily available in Collaborative Process Automation Systems(CPAS). Site measurements are often supported by wireless sensor networks to reduce the wiring cost.


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