Predictive Maintenance: Benefits of Becoming More Predictive with FAST

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Best-in-class manufacturing and refining companies enjoy the benefits of predictive maintenance. In fact, a recent study by the Aberdeen Group showed that best-in-class companies with comprehensive predictive maintenance plans averaged a 25% return on assets versus a 10% return on assets for laggard companies with older, less efficient maintenance practices.

U.S. Department of Energy and the Federal Energy Management Program data also illustrate the value of predictive maintenance. First, simply upgrading to a preventive maintenance plan that replaces parts at specific time intervals rather than simply running to failure can save from 12 to 18% on maintenance costs. Taking the final step and transitioning to a predictive maintenance approach will shave another 8 to 12% from the overall maintenance budget.

WIKA's Full Audit Service Team (FAST)

Many companies choose to ease into predictive maintenance. Easing in typically means setting up monitoring systems on critical process equipment and automated programs to trigger alarms when heat or vibration indicate approaching failure. On-call maintenance teams are immediately notified so they can replace the failing part as soon as possible to minimize process downtime.

Gauges are also ideal tools for most manufacturing and refining process monitoring jobs, and nobody knows gauges like WIKA Instrument's FAST team. The engineers on WIKA's FAST team are experienced professionals who have carried out more than 250 Instrument Audits, and they take the time to understand each plant’s processes before suggesting industry-proven best practices regarding which gauges should be installed where to support predictive maintenance efforts.

Benefits of Predictive Maintenance

Prevent Injuries and Save Lives

The most important benefit of establishing a predictive maintenance program is fewer accidents, which leads to fewer workplace injuries and fatalities. The Tessoro refinery fire1 that killed 10 workers in 2010 and the Deepwater Horizon explosion that took the lives of 11 offshore workers in 2011 were all over the news, but those major accidents are just the tip of the iceberg. ABC News reported2 that 7,600 accidental chemical releases from refineries were reported between 2001 and 2011, and about half of those could be blamed on equipment failures. That same report pointed out that there were at least 89 fires reported at refineries between January 2009 and March 2011, with a number of fatalities and many causing injuries, again with most related to equipment malfunction or failure.

Save Money
Another important benefit of setting up a predictive maintenance program is the significant cost savings. Although an investment is required up front for gauges and other monitoring equipment and software, the long-term economic benefits of minimizing process downtime and only replacing expensive parts when they really need to be replaced are clear.  DoE data shows that switching from a strictly run-to-failure reactive maintenance to predictive maintenance can reduce overall maintenance costs by up to 30%.

The first step in setting up a predictive maintenance system is a thorough Instrument Audit. Make an appointment to talk with WIKA's FAST team today to get the ball rolling.

1ABC Blotter. "Fires, Explosions and Poison Clouds." http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/slideshow/fires-explosions-poison-clouds-12984630.

2Morris, Jim, Chris Hamby, and M.B. Pell. "Aging Equipment, Repeated Safety Violations Put Refinery Workers At Risk, Say Critics." ABC News.http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/aging-equipment-safety-violations-put-refinery-workers-risk/story?id=13029483#.UXajqqJONhA.

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