The dynamic and competitive industrial reality means that to improve efficiency and gain market advantages, the reliable operation of machinery and equipment in plants, and consequently conservation, is essential. With properly planned and implemented measures, the risk of failure can be minimised, the life of applications can be extended, and the safety of employees can be increased.
Let’s look at maintenance approaches together and verify where the DrivePro® Inverter Site Assessment risk audit, which we regularly carry out at our customers’ sites, has its place among them.
The first is reactive maintenance (a.k.a. run-to-failure)- that is, all the activities carried out after a breakdown has occurred. This is the oldest and easiest method to implement, and does not involve increased investment, such as installing meters or analysing and processing data. In this case, conservative teams deal primarily with the day-to-day problems of the machinery fleet. Unfortunately, a passive approach leads to costly downtime, production delays, shorter equipment life and the stress of repairs under time pressure.
The reactive approach works well for machinery whose operation is not critical to production and whose potential failure will not significantly affect either safety or productivity of operations. In practice, it is found that most conservative activities in a typical production facility can be classified as reactive conservation.
The opposite of the run-to-failure approach is proactive conservation, aimed at keeping machines in a technical condition that ensures trouble-free operation and safety. This is made possible by preventive action, combined with the prediction of possible failures. The introduction of any proactive measures requires an initial investment, even in terms of training employees to be able to monitor machines and draw the appropriate conclusions from the data obtained. On the other hand, a proactive approach has several benefits, related to the absence of unexpected interruptions. Proactive conservation can be divided into three subtypes: planned, preventive and predictive.
Planned conservation is defined as taking place on a scheduled basis, e.g., several times a year. It is not uncommon for specialists to first establish the mileage, after which an inspection and replacement of worn parts is carried out. Regular verification of the systems, e.g., by means of a thermal imaging inspection, ensures that the right time for overhaul is not missed and, therefore, prevents breakdowns. On the other hand, by planning conservation well and inspecting the equipment thoroughly, we do not lead to wear parts being replaced too quickly.
The use of preventive conservation, on the other hand, involves installing equipment that allows data to be retrieved and operations to be effectively verified, as well as carrying out periodic audits of maintenance plans. These measures reduce the costs associated with downtime.
The next stage is predictive conservation. Again, this uses sensors to monitor the machine’s condition. The key difference between the preventive and predictive approaches is the use of machine learning algorithms to analyse the data received. This increases the speed of data acquisition and processing and minimises the likelihood of human error. With a predictive approach to maintenance, it is possible to predict the exact moment of failure. This results in savings, as parts are replaced moments before they are completely worn out.
DrivePro®Site Assessment, dedicated to frequency inverters, is a step towards predictive conservation, combining planning and preventive action. It is a thorough audit, during which we meticulously verify the environment of the equipment, but also read data from it, making it easier to select units that require service action. After each inspection, we provide the customer with a report on the technical condition of the machines, together with recommendations from our experts for further action. This allows the customer to order the necessary parts in advance, to allocate storage space to their own products and raw materials rather than spare parts, and to plan maintenance activities with sufficient time reserves to carry them out in line with production plans.
From among the available approaches, it is good to choose the one that best suits the needs of your production facility or even – a specific application. We will be happy to support you in choosing the right measures, and (whatever your company decides on) we will help – even remotely – to service and parameterise your equipment so that it lasts as long as possible.
Find out more details on the DPSA website or book a free online appointment with our expert: https://outlook.office365.com/owa/calendar/AudytOcenyRyzyka@control-service.pl/bookings/