When personnel (both internal and outside contractor) is limited and budgets significantly reduced thanks to COVID-19 restrictions, monitoring the condition of plant equipment can be difficult.
Pieces of equipment deemed “critical” frequently have fixed monitoring systems to detect symptoms of a future failure. However, less critical but equally important assets such as motors, blowers, pumps, and compressors all too often go unmonitored and relatively unnoticed until a problem occurs. The result? Costly repairs, replacements, and/or shutdowns that could have been avoided with early detection. This is where condition monitoring can be a game-changer.
Overcoming common challenges of unmonitored equipment
When properly installed by a licensed professional, modern condition based monitoring technologies such as wireless sensors and connectivity systems allow for continuous monitoring of machine assets and can be instrumental in overcoming several diagnostic challenges associated with unmonitored equipment:
- What isn’t monitored isn’t managed
Although the “fix it when it breaks” approach to machine maintenance might save money initially, it’s always more expensive in the long run. In addition, “broken” equipment can create a devastating ripple effect, leading to malfunctions in other equipment in the production line causing even more damage and eating away at a company’s profit margin. Condition based monitoring enables continuous monitoring of essential equipment and the detection of potentially devastating faults such as excessive vibration and overheating that might have otherwise gone undetected.
- Bad data is like a screen door on a submarine: useless
When it comes to keeping machines running at optimum efficiency, data is king. Condition based monitoring facilitates the capturing of baseline data and trending on essential equipment so that any problems can be quickly identified. Correlating historical trends and tracking current trends, enables faults to be quickly identified and uptime increased. This constant updating pool of data can prove invaluable when formulating and analyzing KPI’s and calculating manufacturing and output success. Furthermore, this information will allow for more informed decisions when purchasing new pieces of equipment or extending supplier contracts.
- Correctly prioritizing maintenance tasks
With consistent and reliable updates on machinery, maintenance teams have a real-time list of maintenance tasks and their priority for completion. Having this information greatly reduces unplanned downtime as maintenance can be scheduled during a window of time when any lost production has the least impact.
Everyone has been affected by the recent coronavirus pandemic in one way or another – but the manufacturing industry has been hit especially hard. Condition based monitoring is an incredibly powerful tool utilized by manufacturing companies looking to lower maintenance costs and increase machine efficiency. IVC Technologies is the leading provider of condition based monitoring services in the country. Contact us to find out how we can help you.