Predictive Maintenance with Industrial Big Data: Reactive to Proactive Strategies

Predictive Maintenance with Industrial Big Data
Explore the benefits of using industrial big data for predictive maintenance strategies. Learn how businesses can shift from reactive to proactive maintenance approaches and optimize operations with the power of predictive analytics.

Contents

1  Importance of Predictive Maintenance
2  Challenges of Traditional Reactive Maintenance for Enterprises
3  Emergence of Proactive Strategies for Predictive Maintenance
4  Reactive vs. Proactive Strategies
5  Industrial Big Data Analytics for Predictive Maintenance: Importance and Applications
6  Navigating Implementation Challenges
7  Leverage Predictive Maintenance for Optimal Operations
8  Final Thoughts

1.  Importance of Predictive Maintenance

Predictive maintenance (PdM) is a proactive maintenance approach that employs advanced downtime tracking software to evaluate data and predict when maintenance on equipment should be conducted. With PdM constantly monitoring equipment performance and health using sensors, maintenance teams can be alerted when equipment is nearing a breakdown, allowing them to take mitigation measures before any unscheduled downtime occurs.

The global predictive maintenance market is expected to expand at a 25.5% CAGR to reach USD 23 billion in 2025 during the forecast period.

(Market Research Future)

Organizations often prefer PdM as a maintenance management method as it reduces costs with an upfront investment compared to preventive and reactive maintenance. Furthermore, maintenance has become crucial to ensuring smooth system functioning in today's complex industrial environment. Therefore, predictive maintenance is an essential strategy for industrial organizations, as it improves safety and productivity and reduces costs.

As industrial equipment becomes more automated and diagnostic tools become more advanced and affordable, more and more plants are taking a proactive approach to maintenance. The immediate goal is to identify and fix problems before they result in a breakdown, while the long-term goal is to reduce unexpected outages and extend asset life.

Plants that implement predictive maintenance processes see a 30% increase in equipment mean time between failures (MTBF), on average. This means your equipment is 30% more reliable and 30% more likely to meet performance standards with a predictive maintenance strategy.

(Source: FMX)


2.  Challenges of Traditional Reactive Maintenance for Enterprises

The waning popularity of reactive maintenance is attributed to several inherent limitations, such as exorbitant costs and a heightened likelihood of equipment failure and safety hazards. At the same time, the pursuit of maintaining industrial plants at maximum efficiency with minimal unplanned downtime is an indispensable objective for all maintenance teams.

However, the traditional reactive approach, which involves repairing equipment only when it malfunctions, can result in substantial expenses associated with equipment downtime, product waste, and increased equipment replacement and labor costs. To overcome these challenges, organizations can move towards proactive maintenance strategies, which leverage advanced downtime tracking software to anticipate maintenance needs and forestall potential breakdowns.


3.  Emergence of Proactive Strategies for Predictive Maintenance

The constraints of reactive maintenance have instigated the emergence of proactive approaches, including predictive analytics. It employs real-time data gathered from equipment to predict maintenance needs and employs algorithms to recognize potential issues before they result in debilitating breakdowns. The data collected through sensors and analytics facilitates the establishment of a more thorough and precise assessment of the general well-being of the operation.

With such proactive strategies, organizations can:
  • Arrange maintenance undertakings in advance,
  • Curtail downtime,
  • Cut expenses, and
  • Augment equipment reliability and safety


4.  Reactive vs. Proactive Strategies

As of 2020, 76% of the respondents in the manufacturing sector reported following a proactive maintenance strategy, while 56% used reactive maintenance (run-to-failure).

(Source: Statista)

Proactive maintenance strategies, such as predictive maintenance, offer many benefits over reactive maintenance, which can be costly and time-consuming. By collecting baseline data and analyzing trends, proactive maintenance strategies can help organizations perform maintenance only when necessary, based on real-world information.

However, establishing a proactive maintenance program can be challenging, as limited maintenance resources must be directed to address the most critical equipment failures. Analyzing data from both healthy and faulty equipment can help organizations determine which failures pose the biggest risk to their operation.

A proactive maintenance approach may assist in avoiding the fundamental causes of machine failure, addressing issues before they trigger failure, and extending machine life, making it a crucial strategy for any industrial operation.


5.  Industrial Big Data Analytics for Predictive Maintenance: Importance and Applications

Big data analytics is a key enabler of predictive maintenance strategies. Its capability to process vast amounts of data provides valuable insights into equipment health and performance, making predictive maintenance possible. With their wide-ranging applications, industrial big data analytics tools can predict maintenance needs, optimize schedules, and detect potential problems before they escalate into significant problems. It can also monitor equipment performance, identify areas for improvement, and refine processes to increase equipment reliability and safety.

Industrial big data is indispensable in realizing the shift from reactive to proactive predictive maintenance, which is accomplished through the optimal utilization of available datasets. Industrial big data can glean insights into equipment condition, including patterns of maintenance that may not be readily apparent. Moreover, it has the capacity to attain actionable intelligence capable of effecting a closed loop back to the plant floor.

Integration of big data technologies with industrial automation is key to this accomplishment. Nevertheless, this transition will necessitate investment in supplementary assets, such as new maintenance processes and employee training.


6.  Navigating Implementation Challenges


6.1  Overcoming Data Collection and Pre-processing Challenges

One of the primary challenges in implementing industrial big data analytics for predictive maintenance is the collection and pre-processing of data. The voluminous industrial data, which comes in various formats and from multiple sources, makes it necessary for organizations to develop robust data collection and pre-processing strategies to ensure data accuracy and integrity.

To achieve this, organizations need to establish sensor and data collection systems and ensure that the data undergoes appropriate cleaning, formatting, and pre-processing to obtain accurate and meaningful results.


6.2  Addressing Data Integration Challenges

Integrating data from heterogeneous sources is a daunting challenge that organizations must overcome when implementing industrial big data analytics for predictive maintenance. It involves processing multiple datasets from different sensors and maintenance detection modalities, such as vibration analysis, oil analysis, thermal imaging, and acoustics.

While utilizing data from various sources leads to more stable and accurate predictions, it requires additional investments in sensors and data collection, which is generally very hard to achieve in most maintenance systems.

A well-crafted data architecture is critical to managing the copious amounts of data that come from different sources, including various equipment, sensors, and systems. Organizations must devise a comprehensive data integration strategy that incorporates relevant data sources to ensure data integrity and completeness.


6.3  Model Selection and Implementation Solutions

Selecting appropriate predictive models and implementing them effectively is another significant challenge. To overcome this, organizations need to have an in-depth understanding of the various models available, their strengths and limitations, and their applicability to specific maintenance tasks.

They must also possess the necessary expertise to implement the models and seamlessly integrate them into their existing maintenance workflows to achieve timely and accurate results. Furthermore, it is crucial to align the selected models with the organization's business objectives and ensure their ability to deliver the desired outcomes.


6.4  Staffing and Training Solutions

In order to ensure successful implementation, organizations must allocate resources toward staffing and training solutions. This entails hiring proficient data scientists and analysts and then providing them with continual training and professional development opportunities. Moreover, it is imperative to have personnel with the requisite technical expertise to manage and maintain the system.

Equally crucial is providing training to employees on the system's usage and equipping them with the necessary skills to interpret and analyze data.


7.  Leverage Predictive Maintenance for Optimal Operations

Predictive maintenance is widely acknowledged among plant operators as the quintessential maintenance vision due to its manifold advantages, such as higher overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) owing to a reduced frequency of repairs. Furthermore, predictive maintenance data analytics facilitate cost savings by enabling optimal scheduling of repairs and minimizing planned downtimes.

It also enhances employees' productivity by providing valuable insights on the appropriate time for component replacement. Additionally, timely monitoring and addressing potential problems can augment workplace safety, which is paramount for ensuring employee well-being.

In a survey of 500 plants that implemented a predictive maintenance program, there was an average increase in equipment availability of 30%. Simply implementing predictive maintenance will ensure your equipment is running when you need it to run.

(Source: FMX)

By synchronizing real-time equipment data with the maintenance management system, organizations can proactively prevent equipment breakdowns. Successful implementation of predictive maintenance data analytic strategies can substantially reduce the time and effort spent on maintaining equipment, as well as the consumption of spare parts and supplies for unplanned maintenance.

Consequently, there will be fewer instances of breakdowns and equipment failures, ultimately leading to significant cost savings.

On average, predictive maintenance reduced normal operating costs by 50%.

(Source: FMX)


8.  Final Thoughts

Traditional reactive maintenance approaches need to be revised in today's industrial landscape. Proactive strategies, such as predictive maintenance, are necessary to maintain equipment health and performance. Real-time predictive maintenance using big data collected from equipment can help prevent costly downtime, waste, equipment replacement, and labor expenses, thus enhancing safety and productivity. The shift from reactive to proactive maintenance is crucial for organizations, and industrial big data analytics is vital for realizing this transition. Although big data analytics applications for predictive maintenance pose challenges, they can be overcome with the right measures.

Ultimately, the effective implementation of big data analytics solutions is a vital enabler of big data predictive maintenance strategies and an essential tool for any industrial plant seeking to optimize its maintenance approach. By embracing predictive maintenance strategies and leveraging the power of industrial big data and analytics, organizations can ensure the longevity and reliability of their equipment, enhancing productivity and profitability.

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