Predictive maintenance is a system of inspections and testing to identify potential problems before they occur. In other words, it’s a way to predict when things will go wrong. Predictive maintenance can be used for anything from car engines to industrial equipment, but it does take some time and effort on behalf of the user.
Prescriptive maintenance refers to preventative or planned maintenance that involves making repairs based on an established schedule. It’s often done to extend the life expectancy of machinery or equipment, rather than attempting to save costs by delaying costly repairs until after something has already failed. The downside is that prescriptive maintenance tends to cost more upfront and requires a more significant amount of knowledge and expertise to perform it successfully.
There is no definite answer as to which approach is better. It just depends on the resources available to you and the type of equipment involved. Many industrial managers will use predictive and prescriptive maintenance to get the best benefits from both approaches.
Predictive maintenance has been around for some time, although the term was not coined until 1968. It is typically used in industrial settings where machines, equipment, and other large tools are involved. It gives the user enough time to take corrective actions before things go completely awry. The idea behind predictive maintenance is to use information gathered by inspections, sensors, and testing components (such as O-rings, for example), to set up an early warning system.
Examples of predictive maintenance include condition-based service (CBS), which gathers data on how much wear a machine has experienced over time. Vibration analysis where changes in the installation or operating conditions are detected. Routine maintenance intervals, based on the number of hours a machine has been in operation or an estimate of its future usage. And shorter scheduled maintenance periods that may involve different approaches depending on the type of equipment involved.
Predictive maintenance requires work upfront to set up the program. It might take several years for it to begin to pay off. However, predictive maintenance can save money in the long run because it usually reduces costly shutdowns due to equipment failures.
On the other hand, prescriptive maintenance uses past experience with similar machinery to establish a time period in which certain inspections and tests are performed on machines or components to catch signs of problems while they are still in the early stages.
Prescriptive maintenance is often used when it comes to electronic equipment, such as circuit boards. The user can establish a predetermined time period for automated tests on the machinery or components. If any issues are detected during these tests, then repairs can be done right away before they can cause downtime or worse.
Another example of prescriptive maintenance would be a company with years of experience with its equipment on various job sites. Based on past records, this lets them know how often they need to lubricate certain types of machinery to extend its life expectancy without requiring an overhaul at some point.
Prescriptive maintenance is a little cheaper because it doesn’t require as much professional knowledge, but it can be a bit more time-consuming and requires the user’s greater level of effort. Both predictive and prescriptive maintenance requires continuous monitoring to gauge their effectiveness. Ideally, both should be used in conjunction with each other for maximum benefit.
Though predictive maintenance is better suited for larger machinery and equipment, prescriptive maintenance may work better for smaller parts that are less costly to repair or replace.
What are the differences between predictive maintenance and prescriptive maintenance? It just depends on the resources available to you, the type of equipment involved, and so on. Predictive maintenance has been around for much longer than prescriptive maintenance, but both are popular forms of upkeep in industrial settings.
The good thing about both these methods is that they can help predict machine failures before they happen and have a replacement part or service technician ready to go so the system won’t experience downtime. It’s a strategy used by many industries, including automotive companies that use oil analysis for this purpose. The earlier you catch a machine problem, the better off you – and the company – will be in terms of money, time and resources.
You can even use regular maintenance ‘maintenance windows’ to perform preventative upkeep on equipment simultaneously. This is when an organization uses its downtime right after installing new machines or updating existing ones to apply consistency over maintenance (this is a concept known as ‘Maintenance as a Service’).
In the end, it’s all about which method is best for your business and keeping any issues with equipment and machinery at bay so you can focus on running and growing your business.