Using Data to Make Maintenance Decisions

How Data Is Redefining Proactive Maintenance Strategies

For decades, the only approach to maintenance was “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” – but proactive maintenance strategies have helped prevent businesses from shutting operations to bring broken machinery back to life. 

With the fourth industrial revolution providing a greater understanding of how we can expect our equipment to work, and access to real-time analytics providing us with the tools we need to make decisions on the fly – proactive maintenance has never been so powerful. 

A Move Away From Preventative Maintenance

Businesses have adopted preventative maintenance strategies to ensure that everything from mission critical equipment to HVAC systems and workplace drainage are kept in working order. 

This careful approach is based on data, in that historical data and previous experience help to inform how often we service equipment. Conservative estimates for points of failure are usually implemented, as the cost of unscheduled breakdowns are often high. 

Think of this as regularly servicing your car, and replacing your brake-pads at 50% of their functional lifespan. You have ensured that your brakes don’t fail while you’re out on the road, but is this approach optimal in the long run?

Data Informs Every Decision

Condition-based maintenance takes preventative maintenance a step further. By equipping mission critical equipment with sensors used to measure specific failure symptoms, businesses can make proactive maintenance decisions closer to a predicted point of failure – getting more value out of their equipment before needing to perform expensive maintenance. 

The benefits of this approach are increased gaps between maintenance programmes, decreasing the amount of time your business cannot operate during scheduled maintenance – whilst also taking action before equipment breaks down. 

This can drastically reduce costs, and improve efficiency. To utilise this strategy effectively, businesses must be able to operate flexibly, and taking maintenance action at short notice can be a problem for businesses that need to accurately plan ahead. 

Using Data to Predict the Future

With IoT technology bringing increasingly advanced models for predictive forecasting – businesses are increasingly leaning into big data to drive maintenance decisions. 

Predictive maintenance combines real-time tracking of equipment through sensors with data-driven forecasting models that take into account everything from process conditions, material properties and even the weather to help determine the rate of degradation of mission-critical equipment. 

This approach helps to determine the remaining useful life of products – before they reach a point of failure or weakness. 

Having access to this information is incredibly powerful, as it allows you to forecast when a point of failure will be reached, rather than having to make flexible arrangements for maintenance and disrupting operations. 

Finding Expert Partners for Data-Driven Decision Making

The key to making the most of real-time data and predictive maintenance strategies is to find a partner who understands how your industry could benefit from the technology and how to implement these practices in a way that causes minimal disruptions to operations. 

At Voltix Services, our team of engineers and technicians will provide you with the guidance you need to incorporate this technology into your business practices, and our innovative technology will make data-driven maintenance strategies simple and effective to carry out. 

Contact us today to find out more about how data-driven decision making will save you time and money.