A smart maintenance system provides less downtime, lower costs, smaller inventory and lower material consumption with respect to the environment and company resources. In this article, our specialists provide some insights into the possibilities - and the complexity - of a great maintenance system and why having one can be a game changer for competitiveness. What is your maintenance strategy?
Service scheduled in advance can entail waste if the equipment is not used all that much. On the other hand, earlier maintenance can be necessary if the equipment is used frequently, and if this is neglected, the equipment can fail. Condition monitoring in both cases reduces costs. Either actual usage is registered and used as a basis for calculating wear and tear, or the equipment's condition is monitored, and service is calculated thereafter. Regardless, a shift from preventive maintenance and reactive maintenance – which is performed exactly when needed or when it is too late – to condition-based maintenance entails that maintenance is performed at the optimal point in time. With lower hardware and stocking costs, monitoring more and less expensive machinery and other equipment has become a cost-effective alternative. Previously, it was only profitable for larger and expensive systems such as wind turbines, which has also pushed development. It can now be used both for smaller and less expensive machinery, and for anything that requires service – from cars to appliances – as development shifts from scheduled maintenance to letting the equipment determine what is needed.
With condition-based maintenance, downtime is minimized, and the equipment can also be used longer. It also opens the way for entirely new business models; thanks to monitoring, you can offer longer warranties or provide equipment as a service instead of as a product – selling miles instead of cars. You save on material since all components are used to their full extent, with no unnecessary replacements. Any failures can be anticipated, and consequential damage or downtime can thus be avoided. Moreover, monitoring enables continuous fine adjustment to the equipment for optimal resource utilization. All in all, it provides long-term sustainability with respect to the environment, materials and resources.
At Prevas, we work with market-leading maintenance systems: Infor EAM (Enterprise Asset Management) for fixed assets, and IFS FSM (Field Service Management) for field service – both of which are leaders according to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant. We recently won a prestigious contract with Borås Energi och Miljö, which is building the future’s combined power, heating and sewage plant, an energy and environmental center, at Sobacken in western Sweden. They chose us because we could give them the most beneficial package; perhaps not when it comes to price, but definitely when it comes to giving them the best system and the best provider for managing their new facility, which represents an investment of SEK 3.7 billion – the largest-ever investment in Borås.
Prevas has worked with maintenance systems for 25 years and is Scandinavia's most experienced operational and application consulting firm in the field. Even our suppliers ask for our help, which says something about our experience. The Borås energy and environmental center stands for both long-term and sustainable development, at the same time as it is a plant that must always be operational. This is only one of several larger projects and procurements we have underway, besides the more than 100 existing customers we have all over the Nordic countries.
Brüel & Kjær Vibro is a company working with condition-monitoring to foresee any problems and to plan service thereafter. Ilias Solutions, on the other hand, does not monitor the actual equipment – in this case vehicles – but rather how much and under which conditions the vehicles are used, which constitutes the basis for scheduling service. There are two distinct differences: Monitoring status or monitoring use, and then predicting maintenance based on these parameters. However, the goal is the same: Less downtime, lower costs, smaller inventory and lower material consumption.