As the name suggests, Condition Based Maintenance (CBM) involves performing maintenance based on the condition of the asset. Organizations actively monitor the health of each individual asset by collecting real-time data. AI is then used to interpret that data and determine when the asset is likely to break/fail. Armed with this information, maintenance personnel can schedule maintenance just before the asset fails.
The following 5 steps will help you determine whether CBM is right for your organization, which type of CBM you require, and the things to look out for when implementing CBM.
1. Choose the right assets
The first step is to determine which assets are most suitable for this maintenance strategy. Not all assets are suitable for CBM. For example, a non-critical asset where a component can be replaced quickly might be better served by a different maintenance strategy.
To begin with, choose an asset for which it is fairly easy to quickly achieve positive results. This will help to grow confidence in CBM within your organization.
2. Measure, measure, measure
Once you have decided which of your assets are suitable for condition based maintenance, you need to determine how you will measure the condition of those assets. As mentioned, CBM often requires the use of sensors, which can measure a variety of metrics including temperature, vibrations, CO2 content and electricity.
Two of the more widely used sensor types are vibration and current sensors, which themselves differ in terms of application and effectiveness. For example, current sensors can detect both mechanical and electrical problems, while vibration sensors are mainly limited to the mechanical aspect.
One other significant difference between these two sensor types is that vibration sensors must be placed "in the field", while current sensors can monitor the assets from within the Motor Control Cabinet. The latter is quite attractive for many organizations, as sensors in the field can be subjected to a variety of conditions; for example, extremely high or low temperatures, which can cause sensors to fail or to provide unreliable data. Sensor modules installed inside the Motor Control Cabinet are usually located in a fairly stable and dry room; ideal conditions for collecting reliable data. To learn more about the differences between these two types of sensor, click here.
3. Choose the right business model
In addition to the choice of assets and tools, the underlying business model is an important factor to consider. There are usually two distinct options: either a one-off fee, or a subscription model.
The most significant downside of the one-off purchase model is that the customer will probably not receive future product upgrades (unless they pay for it). In an industry like condition monitoring, where technology is constantly improving, restricted access to future product improvements can severely hamper your ability to establish a competitive edge. Conversely, a subscription model will usually afford product updates for no added cost, helping your operation to stay competitive.
Subscription models also usually require a smaller short term investment than one off purchases, which in turn makes it easier to get your CBM project off the ground.
4. Create support within the organization
Implementing Condition Based Maintenance may require some change in the way the maintenance team operates. That’s why it is important to generate support for the change from all parties involved. Innovation Leaders need to explain how the technology will directly benefit the KPI’s of each specific party.
For example, if talking to a Maintenance Manager, the Innovation Leader should emphasize the fact that CBM will help the maintenance team to schedule maintenance more effectively. If talking to the Production Manager, the Innovation Leader should emphasize the fact that CBM will reduce the number of downtime events, and therefore boost productivity and OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness).
5. Get started
CBM provides several benefits including: The reduction of unplanned downtime, less frequent motor inspection required by engineers and the optimization of inventory planning through accurate insights into which new parts are needed and when.
Not investing in CBM on time could leave your organization at a disadvantage. A reported 20-40% of maintenance engineers will retire in the next 5 years, and the supply of new engineers into the job market cannot keep up. So any tools that can help your existing maintenance professionals to work more efficiently will stand you in good stead for the future.
Want to learn more about Condition Based Maintenance? Book a demo today.