Predictive Maintenance Software – Predicting Component Failures Before They Occur

The automobile industry has been using predictive maintenance tools and techniques for decades for analyzing when faults will occur to replace components before they break. This article looks at the application of these software tools and the current trends.

Predictive maintenance applications were originally built to calculate when a component was going to fail based on a number of factors. The factors affecting a components lifespan can include the physical composition, running times, the way it is treated and the nature of the environment in which it is used.

Maintenance software uses this information along with historical data of previous component failures (for example, from component or field testing) to establish a unique lifespan estimate.

Importantly, the predictive maintenance software is expected to notify engineers of the upcoming failure so that the component can be swapped out at the next planned maintenance. In plant maintenance situations, the tools can communicate with work order scheduling tools to determine the work packets for engineers.

The real benefit of these tools is the reduction of component failures that can occur in a system as preventative maintenance is completed before issues arise. Tools that automate the work orders also manage to streamline work practices in an organizations with little or no human intervention being required.

The drawback for some companies is the perceived wastage. Any component/part that is trashed while it is still in working order has a disposal cost. This needs to be weighed against the cost of downtime/damage when the component does eventually fail.

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