The ENTOUCH Blog

12. 1. 2017

Where Does Predictive Maintenance Fall in the Facilities Management Loop?

Predictive maintenance focuses on identifying problems likely to develop, reducing total cost ownership by helping facilities managers “see” beneath the surface.

Facilities management focuses on ensuring the optimum presentation of your company’s buildings to consumers and users. In other words, facilities management is about overall maintenance and management of occupant experiences. As explained by the U.S. Department of Energy, the need for maintenance is “predicated on existing or impending asset failure.” But, today’s facilities managers cannot afford to wait until a system is imminently going to fail. Fortunately, predictive maintenance and facilities management helps prevent possibilities from becoming future failures.

What Is Predictive Maintenance in Facilities Management?

Maintenance follows a bathtub-like curve of failure versus average life expectancy. After maintenance, during a period known as infant mortality, maintenance issues decline rapidly. The middle stage, otherwise known as the useful life, encompasses the middle of the bathtub. Near the end of an asset’s life expectancy, the risk of failure increases, creating the upward curve at the back of the tub.

If predictive maintenance and predictive analytics were assigned to any of these sections of the bathtub, it would exist predominantly within the useful life expectancy time and back period. But, consider how predictive maintenance would appear if the bathtub were shorter. It would need to take place faster before the upward curve at the back of the tub. Essentially, predictive maintenance takes place when the upward curve is within sight. As a result, facilities mangers could change course, much like water flowing in the tub, keeping the equipment in the useful life period.

predictive maintenance failure rate.jpg

How Is It Different From Preventative Maintenance?

In keeping with the bathtub example, preventative maintenance refers to the activities completed that are necessary to keep water in the middle of the tub along its natural progression toward the back of the tub. In other words, preventative maintenance is like a shower curtain, helping water fall in the right direction, but it cannot stop water from hitting the back of the tub. Now, predictive maintenance is knowing that the water will eventually reach the back of the tub and using an arm to push the water back to the middle.

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Predictive Maintenance Is a Last-Mile Means to Reducing Total Cost Ownership

The bathtub comparison shows that predictive maintenance is a last-mile measure to reducing the likelihood of equipment moving prematurely toward replacement. If managed in a timely manner and through proper means, such as a computerized maintenance management system and integrated data analytics platform, predictive maintenance can extend asset life expectancy and reduce assets in need of premature repair. In fact, think about the bathtub comparison. If the water does splash out the back end of the tub, more water is needed, increasing your utility costs.

By understanding Predictive Maintenance and having a plan in place is key to reducing energy consumption, extending life expectancy and maintaining your smart building strategy. To start on the path to your “easy button” in facilities management, contact ENTOUCH online or by phone at 1 (877) 755-1609.

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