What is Predictive Maintenance?
Also known as controlled maintenance , this type of maintenance is carried out through data analysis and routine monitoring of equipment, allowing for a high quality of service to be achieved, with the objective of reducing to a minimum the amount of preventive maintenance and avoiding corrective maintenance.
Predictive maintenance differs from preventive maintenance in that it is a periodic activity, which is incorporated into the daily activities of companies, and does not have a specific day to be performed.
It is a relatively simpler procedure to perform, but it requires a high level of automation and planning, and it is necessary to acquire and analyze information such as performance, pressure, temperature, vibration and other indicators that will allow defining whether or not there is a need for interruption of operations. The characteristics analyzed vary according to the equipment or system maintained.
What is Predictive Maintenance for?
Like preventive maintenance , it seeks to prevent parts and equipment from showing defects or failures. This procedure allows the maintenance of equipment without the need to interrupt its activity , thus saving time, service and costs.
Monitoring equipment on a routine basis increases the useful life of components, optimizing productivity and reducing costs of replacement parts and interventions. Furthermore, implementing a predictive inspection routine increases the safety of activities and reduces the risk of accidents.
Types of Predictive Maintenance
1. Vibration Analysis
This technique is quite common to be applied in the metal-mechanic industry, with the objective of detecting oscillations in the machines, which can compromise their functioning. With it, it is possible to identify electrical irregularities in motors, wear in bearings and gears, lack of lubrication, misalignment of shafts, among others.
2. Oil Analysis
It is a procedure carried out in the laboratory that seeks to detect the existence of debris and contaminants that impair oil performance, in addition to identifying oxidation and irregularities in valves, rotors and gears.
3. Crack Analysis
In order to detect cracks or crevices in different materials (such as pipes, for example), this method allows you to predict the occurrence of failures well in advance, preventing possible leaks and leakage of material.
In civil construction, we can cite as an example the Pile Integrity Test (PIT), which analyzes the continuity of the concrete along the piles, detecting flaws such as cracks and fissures. This procedure consists of placing an accelerometer at the top of the pile and applying hammer blows to the surface, generating a voltage wave along the pile, which undergoes reflections when finding some variation in the material.
As the name implies, this procedure seeks to analyze the temperature level emitted by some equipment, through a sensor that measures the rate of infrared radiation, in order to avoid damage caused by overheating.
This method works from the analysis of sound frequencies, identifying leaks in compressed air, gas and steam transport systems. It can also be used to detect mechanical defects and electrical current leakage.
Thus, the use of ultrasound allows companies to save energy, in addition to preventing damage caused by dangerous leaks.
Predictive Maintenance Procedures
Inspect the Equipment
It is quite common to encounter an equipment failure while we are performing an activity. Therefore, try to organize certain times of the day or fixed days in the week to inspect the equipment and tools that will be used during the working day.
In this way, it is possible to detect any anomaly in advance, allowing maintenance to be carried out in time for the activity, without having to interrupt the service. Be aware of strange sounds, excessive vibrations or high temperatures, as these are usually factors that indicate irregularities.
Detect the Origin of the Irregularity
Once you have observed an anomaly in the equipment, you must proceed with the identification of the cause of the irregularity. Is it some wear on the bearing? Where is this leak coming from? Do I need to cool the engine? Seek assistance from a qualified professional for this, so the chances of finding the problem are much greater.
Find a Solution to the Problem
Having detected the problem, let’s go to the next step: how to solve it? Again, seek the help of a qualified professional to solve the problem, this way, we guarantee a safe service and avoid further damage to the equipment. Try to identify all the materials that will be needed to carry out the maintenance of the equipment, in addition to verifying the availability of the professional who will provide this service.
Then, you must proceed with the definition of a time for the execution of the equipment maintenance, so that there are no interruptions of activities.
Before performing this activity, make sure you have all the tools and materials needed for the service, in order to avoid unforeseen events. The performer must be properly equipped, using all Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as helmet, goggles, gloves, hearing protection, shoes and appropriate clothing.
If it’s work at height, for example, be sure the seat belt is working properly. Designate only qualified professionals to carry out this service ! In addition, make sure that there is monitoring by a watchman during the activity, thus ensuring safety for the service and professionals.