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How to use Condition-Based Maintenance more Effectively?

Updated: Jan 22, 2023

It's one thing to use condition-based maintenance. Put it to productive use and it's a different story. You may lose money, time, and goodwill by not implementing the necessary systems, processes, and procedures to perform condition-based maintenance.

The first step in implementing a condition-based maintenance strategy involves matching organisational requirements with CBM options. If you do not understand how your projects relate to your company's overall strategy, you are likely to be among the people who aren't successful.

Here are several ways maintenance teams can utilize condition-based monitoring to create a long-term operation.

Questions to Ask Before Choosing a CBM Solution

Think about the following questions before you start a CBM program:

Is it keeping track of specific failure modes?

You can think of your assets' failure modes as the various ways that they could malfunction. Complex equipment is likely to malfunction in multiple ways. Select a system that can detect these failure scenarios and increase asset dependability. For each asset, the failure modes and their consequences can be identified using this method.

Are you able to integrate the technology with your current ERP or applications?

Without adding the expense of entirely redesigning your existing applications or ERP system, the cost of CBM technology is already quite significant. Make sure that your existing software systems are compatible with your preferred CBM technology. This will help you train your squad more efficiently. Moreover, you should select a CBM solution that will cause the least amount of downtime during installation.

Can the program be implemented easily?

When purchasing a new system, it's very important to consider how easy it will be to use. While some systems are simpler to set up than others, others may require significantly more effort. Look for software programs with easy-to-use interfaces.

Is it possible to scale the system?

Check to see if the system can scale up as your business grows.

How to use Condition-Based Maintenance more effectively?

Make sure your foundation is solid.

As reliability-centred maintenance helps you identify potential issues with assets and determine what needs to be done to ensure they continue to perform at a high level, condition-based maintenance is connected to it.

You can focus your condition-based maintenance efforts where they are needed by understanding RCM procedures. Many reliability experts agree that implementing condition-based maintenance programmes can be complex due to a lack of awareness of RCM concepts.

Personnel who are affected should be included.

As soon as you have determined that all maintenance workers possess the requisite skills, include them in the criticality analysis. Their feedback turns them into active participants, which allows them to help implement condition-based maintenance by putting their RCM foundations into practice. The process will also help them to identify, mitigate, and eliminate failure modes.

Assess the situation critically.

By evaluating and analyzing criticality, you will be able to make your condition-based maintenance programme more effective. This will allow you to identify the assets that can most benefit from condition-based maintenance.

Having maintenance employees identify which assets are most crucial will allow them to monitor them first and more frequently than non-critical equipment, preventing unnecessary visits throughout the facility.

Make a list of your assets, failure mechanisms, and benchmarks.

To properly calibrate sensors, identify problems as soon as possible, and prescribe appropriate treatments, you need a thorough understanding of how the equipment works.

The first step is to determine if each piece of equipment satisfies the basic requirements for CBM by mapping out all of your assets and their potential failure modes. Tracking the condition of each asset is an important first step.

Recognizing which assets don't support sensors or other monitoring tools and approaches can save you a lot of time and money in the long run, because condition monitoring isn't suitable for all assets.

After you've gathered a group of critical assets, it is critical to establish thresholds for normal operation. As a benchmark, we refer to the set of standards indicating a healthy and fully functional system.

These can be derived from manufacturer guidelines and historical data. You can remove the guesswork from condition-based maintenance by creating baselines for each system. This will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your actions.

Understanding the P-F interval and the P-F curve.

When maintenance staff notice signs or evidence that a piece of equipment is about to break, they can take measures to prevent an incident from occurring. Machinery usually gives you warnings before it breaks down. At this point, the P-F interval comes into play.

A methodology for describing how to detect failure is the P-F interval and P-F curve.

P-F interval and the P-F curve
P-F interval and the P-F curve - Source Google

P-F Curve illustrates how a machine behaves as it approaches functional failure. The curve demonstrates how the equipment steadily deteriorates to the point where it may be identified (P), i.e. the point of possible failure, as failure manifests. But, on the other hand, if failure is not recognised and mitigated, the situation will worsen until the system fails. This is referred to as a functional or hard failure (F).

By mapping the decline in equipment health over time, proactive planning can be achieved, which leads to the development of the P-F curve. Conditions monitoring must be carried out between P and F using a sufficient amount of time to allow adequate analysis and remediation; otherwise, the entire process would be pointless.

Make the most of maintenance technologies.

To identify what operations need to be accomplished and how often, condition-based maintenance integrates prescribed guidelines with repair and performance data. When you've agreed on these parameters, maintenance software can help you with everything from logging sensor data to initiating work orders and scheduling maintenance. Integrating sensor data with maintenance software can make it much easier, faster, and more accurate for reliability engineers, maintenance managers, and technicians to acquire, manage, and analyse data.

Even though condition-based maintenance is mainly reliant on technology and automated systems such as sensors and software, there will always be a human component.

All members of the maintenance team must be properly trained on the concept of CBM, its benefits, and how to use the systems if you want your CBM strategy to be as efficient and effective as possible. This will boost buy-in, reduce user error, and improve overall process reliability. The numerous types of condition monitoring and how they benefit each asset at your facility should be thoroughly explained during training.

Benefits and Challenges of CBM

Benefits of CBM

The benefits of CBM are similar to those of all proactive maintenance strategies.

Conditions-based maintenance offers the following benefits:

  • Reduced the number of unplanned failures

  • Enhanced worker safety, reliability, and equipment availability

  • Maintaining equipment only when necessary (minimizing time spent on maintenance)

  • It is possible to schedule repairs outside of peak times

  • Increase in asset life expectancy

  • Performance improvements for equipment

  • Organizing inventory to reduce inventory costs (apart from ordering a part before a repair, you can repair ahead of time)

Some of the stated benefits come at a price. Visual inspections are insufficient for determining when certain maintenance activities should be performed. Therefore, the CBM utilizes multiple sensors to determine when maintenance is necessary.

To begin with, these sensors must be purchased and installed. In addition, managers and staff need to be trained on how to interpret and analyze all of the data that comes in (and act accordingly).

Challenges of CBM

Following is a more detailed list of challenges associated with CBM:

  • Installing condition monitor tools can be expensive (in some cases, you may even have to modify your assets to accommodate monitoring equipment).

  • The choice of the right sensor is not always as straightforward as you might think.

  • For your employees to use CBM effectively, you'll have to invest considerable time and money in training them

  • Especially when it comes to detecting fatigue damage, sensors may struggle to function under difficult operating conditions.

  • Working in extreme conditions might also hurt the sensors, which means they need to be replaced frequently, which isn't always affordable.

  • Since maintenance is only performed when data indicates it is necessary, it is always possible that several assets require attention at the same time - forcing your maintenance team to perform under peak conditions.

In the long run, effective deployment of CBM, like predictive maintenance, will reduce your maintenance costs, but you need to be able to deal with the relatively large upfront costs of implementation.

Let’s Wrap up.

Depending on the industry, the size of the budget, and the needs of the organization, CBM can be valuable. Maintaining your key assets and equipment using condition-based maintenance can save you time and money while keeping them running smoothly. Basic condition-based maintenance is merely looking for small problems before they grow into major issues.

When you move away from using your fingers to feel for leaks and excess heat in pipes, things might get difficult. High-tech sensors can detect particles in oil and other lubricants, and assets can be checked for early symptoms of wear and leaks using sensors. Among the strategy's benefits is that your assets should not be over-maintained. On the other hand, it is more expensive to set up and maintain.

Also, it can be more challenging to coordinate people and parts because you don't know where you'll need to assign duties. Using a preventative maintenance program, you know exactly when work is planned and who is responsible for carrying it out.

You can use the information in this article to find out if condition-based maintenance is right for your business.

Even though condition-based maintenance is often the best maintenance method for certain assets and conditions, it is not always the most efficient approach.

A good maintenance strategy must include preventive and predictive maintenance, and the best way to accomplish this goal is to have preventive and predictive maintenance with CBM.

Connect with us, for a free consultation. Our approach is always to start small and then amplify. Transforming to a smart factory is a long game and cannot happen overnight. There is much small small change that has to be internalised for the bigger gain. You can follow our LinkedIn page and our hashtag - #dxsolutionadvisor, on LinkedIn.

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