Preventive maintenance, unlike curative maintenance, consists of anticipating a problem before it occurs or changing a part before it is defective. Properly carried out, preventive maintenance can avoid a large number of problems and thus ensure continuity on your production lines, which will ultimately give you an advantage over your competitors.
Today, the vast majority of industrial groups have in mind that preventive maintenance is a key issue that needs to be addressed in the best possible way. Simply, in reality, we realize that the implementation of preventive maintenance is more complicated than it seems. Although there are several factors that can influence the simplicity of implementing this maintenance, at Spectral TMS we have found that the problem revolves around the following two thematics:
- Operators (or machine operators) are not necessarily trained to carry out preventive maintenance themselves, at least the maintenance of their machine is not included in their scope of action.
- Because of its versatility, the maintenance team is required to work on different subjects and often in reaction to a problem, rather than in anticipation of it.
If you are used to reading our articles, you know that at Spectral TMS we are looking for solutions for our customers, especially around preventive maintenance. (but not only : discover our article on the optimization of training in industry thanks to Augmented Reality)thanks to digital solutions!
We were able to implement our Augmented Reality solution to improve the results associated with preventive maintenance, with observable profitability in the months following the implementation of the solution.
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How does an Augmented Reality solution such as Spectral TMS integrate with preventive maintenance issues?
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In a few words, Augmented Reality will allow you to display additional digital information in the user's field of vision. The strength of this technology is that the additional information can take the form you want so that it is useful and contextual. In the case of preventive maintenance, which consists of carrying out a series of controls on all a serie of control points (ideally in a predefined order so as to standardize these protocols), all we need to do is to display the information associated with the controls to be carried out (visual check, cleaning of the place, etc.).
This Know-How is very often held by the maintenance team in place on your industrial site (it can also be communicated to you by the machine manufacturers). However, as a result of our observations, we noted that maintenance team rarely has the opportunity to allocate time to these preventive maintenance topics because the curative, due to its emergency nature, often takes precedence over the preventive.
If the maintenance team cannot allocate time for this, are there no other people on site who can do this?
We have found that the people best suited to deal with this subject of preventive maintenance are the operators. Most of these people are familiar with the environment in which they find themselves and are in contact with the machine. Simply put, although the people know how to use the machines in question, they very rarely have the know-how to carry out the succession of checks on the various control points.
We realize that the preventive maintenance equation can be solved by providing the right tools to the right people, while allowing them a little time. In terms of the time needed, we have easily demonstrated with many of our industrial customers that the volume of hours to be made available for weekly preventive maintenance was very largely recovered by the reduction in machine downtime due to well-performed preventive maintenance.
It turns out that the Spectral TMS solution makes it easy to recover preventive maintenance know-how held by maintenance teams and make it available to other people in the company. In addition to being enormously simplified thanks to Augmented Reality, this transmission of Know-How is all the easier as the operator receiving this information is already familiar with the environment in which he will have to operate.
What are the possible benefits for an industrial site?
Now that we have shown you that it is possible to implement a stable and reliable preventive maintenance strategy, the remaining question is what the benefits associated with such a strategy will be.
In the very short term, although a minimum amount of time is required for your operators to perform preventive maintenance themselves, the sharp reduction in machine downtime quickly pays for itself in terms of time spent.. This gain generates in an almost immediate way another benefit which this time is perceptible at the level of the preventive maintenance teams.
We quickly broached the subject a little earlier, but maintenance teams act much more often in reaction (i.e. curative) than in anticipation (i.e. preventive). This reality is quite coherent if we take into account the many problems that can occur on an industrial site and that must be treated as quickly as possible, otherwise production may be reduced, which can have a colossal financial cost. By removing preventive maintenance from the field of action of the maintenance teams to the benefit of the operators, this implies a saving of time for the maintenance teams.. In this situation, you know where to allocate this time saved so that you can have the highest impact on your business.
At our client'sVeolia,the time saved has allowed maintenance teams to focus on improving somes machines to increase productivity. It was something they had wanted to work on for a long time, simply because of time constraints they had never had the opportunity to look into it.
For once, I must tell you about the usefulness of the data generated by a solution like Spectral TMS. In addition to increasing the autonomy of your operators, resulting in less machine downtime and saving time for your maintenance staff, which could potentially improve the performance of your production lines, you will also get your hands on a quantity of data that was previously not, or only slightly, collected. In the foreseeable future, this data will allow you to better understand your machines and production lines and thus have a huge advantage over your competitors who have not taken yet the Industry 4.0 shift.
In addition to helping you better understand the day-to-day activity of your machines, this data will also allow you to identify major patterns related to the use of a particular machine. The analysis of this data will then allow you to optimize your production according to the state of your machines, while allowing you to anticipate problems before they occur.
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