The Importance of a Proactive Approach to Industrial Maintenance
A proactive approach to maintenance involves anticipating and resolving underlying problems that can cause mechanical failure before it can occur. It replaces the reactive model of maintenance that focuses on repairing breakdowns and resolving problems after they occur. A proactive approach to industrial maintenance is beneficial because it accomplishes many of the most important maintenance objectives including preventing outages, increasing safety, maximizing equipment life, and lowering overall maintenance costs.
Proactive Maintenance Prevents Outages
Unplanned outages are extremely costly for industrial facilities. Not only are the repairs and replacements necessary to get the facility up and running again expensive, but the downtime associated with the outage can also result in production shortfalls, missed deadlines, and increased labor costs. Proactive maintenance helps reduce or eliminate unplanned outages by anticipating and resolving problems before they can lead to a full breakdown.
Proactive Maintenance Increases Safety
Safety is a major concern at industrial facilities and protecting employees and company resources from potential dangers associated with equipment failure is of vital importance. Failsafes are usually in place to prevent injuries or catastrophic damage in the event of a serious breakdown, but further reducing risk remains important. Proactive maintenance can often catch and address issues that could lead to safety hazards or dangerous breakdowns before they occur.
Proactive Maintenance Maximizes Equipment Life
Purchasing industrial equipment is a significant investment of resources, making it extremely important to protect this investment by keeping the equipment running at peak performance levels for as long as possible. While a reactive approach to maintenance repairs broken equipment and replaces worn out parts, this gradually takes a toll on the equipment and results in a shorter service life compared to a proactive maintenance approach. A proactive approach to maintenance also keeps industrial equipment consistently running at peak performance levels, as opposed to allowing it to slowly decrease in efficiency until it breaks down.
Proactive Maintenance Lowers Overall Costs
Some companies may be hesitant to implement a proactive maintenance approach because of the perceived upfront cost associated with doing so. While it is true that short-term costs may be higher, data consistently shows that overall costs are lower with proactive maintenance thanks to avoiding the costly problems discussed above. Even labor costs are often lower in the long-run with proactive maintenance because many of the best practices of proactive maintenance can be worked into existing work routines and because there is less need to have emergency crews working around the clock on overtime to repair an outage.
STI Group is an industry-leader in industrial maintenance. We provide a comprehensive range of industrial solutions including a proactive maintenance approach. However, we also provide emergency outage services, project management and planning for industrial turnarounds, and repair and replacement services.