In my most recent blog, "Load Bank Testing of Generator Sets," I made a reference to preventive/predictive maintenance programs, which generated the question of whether or not OEMs are beginning to move away from traditional preventive maintenance programs. That question led me to writing this blog. As technology has become advanced to the point where you’re able to literally start and stop a power plant from any smart phone, tablet or computer – so has the capability and expertise to develop predictive maintenance programs based on condition monitoring. From an OEM perspective, preventive maintenance programs are recommended to minimize unscheduled downtime and failures which equate to lower operating costs. Because of the many factors involved with predictive maintenance, I don’t believe this position will change any time soon for OEMs, but as technology has advanced, has your maintenance program?
What types of maintenance program(s) are you conducting and why?
Does one type of maintenance program provide a better means to lower your operating costs versus the other?
What type(s) of condition monitoring strategies have you implemented to develop your maintenance program?
Included are some maintenance definitions from Wikipedia for clarification purposes:
Preventive maintenance (PM) - The care and servicing by personnel for the purpose of maintaining equipment and facilities in satisfactory operating condition by providing for systematic inspection, detection, and correction of incipient failures either before they occur or before they develop into major defects.
Predictive maintenance (PdM) - Techniques that help determine the condition of in-service equipment in order to predict when maintenance should be performed. This approach offers cost savings over routine or time-based preventive maintenance, because tasks are performed only when warranted.
Condition-based maintenance (CBM), shortly described, is maintenance when need arises. This maintenance is performed after one or more indicators show that equipment is going to fail or that equipment performance is deteriorating. Condition-based maintenance was introduced to try to maintain the correct equipment at the right time. CBM is based on using real-time data to prioritize and optimize maintenance resources.