Many customers across industries rely on their assets to work reliably 24/7, putting a lot of strain on service companies. Manufacturers have realised that they must implement preventive maintenance and proactive maintenance models to satisfy the expectations of their customers and assure equipment availability at all times, therefore the days of solely delivering reactive break-fix models for servicing assets are over.
You may minimise costly unplanned downtime, boost service margins, produce better results, and develop loyal customers by moving beyond reactive service.
What do Proactive Maintenance Strategies entail?
Proactive maintenance provides service solutions that aim to avoid downtime before it happens. Depending on the digital maturity of the service industry, there are a few various ways to perform proactive service, with preventive maintenance being the most often utilised model today.
Preventive maintenance is the maintenance of an asset on a regular basis. Preventive maintenance plans, similar to the regular service visits you get for your car, guarantee assets are kept in peak shape throughout time to prevent breakdowns and extend the life of the assets. Time-based, counter/usage-based, or condition-based preventative maintenance can all be used.
Time-based preventative maintenance- It is when service visits are pre-scheduled utilising defined calendar-specific time intervals to guarantee assets remain operational. This could take the form of inspections every 12 months and maintenance visits every 6 months.
Counter or usage-based preventive maintenance – When service visits are performed after a specified amount of use, this is referred to as counter or usage-based preventative maintenance. Instead of being maintained every three months, a forklift would be serviced after 250 hours of use.
Condition-based preventive maintenance– The most advanced type of maintenance in this category is condition-based preventative maintenance. It employs technical attribute changes, other installed product updates, or IoT-generated data on the asset’s condition to trigger alarms and automatically launch actions when a threshold is surpassed. If a machine’s temperature falls outside of a certain range, this could appear to be a service call.
Predictive maintenance can be used as firms mature and grow on their digital transformation journey. This strategy necessitates that service companies feed extensive asset and service data into advanced analytics tools with machine learning capabilities in order to spot patterns, establish baselines for normal asset performance, and predict when to deliver repair to avert breakdowns. For example, instead of telling service organisations about a machine’s failure after it has occurred, predictive maintenance will advise them when a machine is likely to break in the future.
Prescriptive maintenance, the third proactive technique, is conceptually similar to Predictive Maintenance but goes one step farther. Prescriptive maintenance, in addition to forecasting faults, proposes the best measures to take by employing prescriptive analytics, algorithms, and artificial intelligence. In the instance of the overheated machine, this means that prescriptive approaches will warn service teams when the failure is expected and will recommend actions such as replacing out a part, lowering the speed, or bringing a professional onsite.
These service strategies are closely related, and service businesses may find it difficult to shift between them, often include more than one in their portfolio. A time-based approach may be beneficial for specific assets or asset families, whereas IoT-connected devices benefit more from a condition-based plan.
What Are the Advantages of Preventive Care?
Preventive maintenance benefits outnumber reactive service, and the more advanced your proactive maintenance procedures are, the greater the payback. You may avoid costly unplanned downtime, provide more efficient and lucrative service, generate happier customers, and establish the groundwork for even more advanced service initiatives by becoming more proactive.
Reduced costs while increasing service margins
Mission-critical equipment might break at inconvenient times, costing thousands of dollars in unscheduled maintenance. According to studies, unplanned downtime costs industrial firms an estimated $50 billion per year, and unplanned work is seven times more expensive than planned work.
Unexpected downtimes are associated with extravagant costs—getting technicians on-site, expediting the shipping of critical parts, sending and installing replacement units, or field engineers’ overtime. These unanticipated costs will be borne by either the service organisation, the manufacturer, or both, depending on whether an asset is covered by warranty or service contract—and the specifics of the contractual arrangements.
Preventive maintenance can significantly minimise or even eliminate the expense of unplanned downtime. Furthermore, scheduling preventive maintenance visits ahead of time enables businesses to make more deliberate planning decisions, such as grouping repair works at a location, planning parts replacements for better bargains, and adopting product improvements to reduce truck rolls.
Enhanced Customer Experience
With customer experience being the primary differentiator for manufacturers, maximising uptime is their top goal. It will result in happier consumers who are more likely to renew and upgrade service contracts as well as purchase new computers. Customers will not want to conduct repeat business with a manufacturer of equipment that they believe is prone to failure, so asset uptime and dependability are extremely critical for OEMs.
There are also additional advantages to more advanced forms of proactive service. You can deliver an advanced service plan with condition-based preventative maintenance, resulting in higher uptime and lower costs by preventing service overdelivery. By relying on data-driven analytics to inform your service approach, predictive maintenance provides a higher level of accuracy. Furthermore, with prescriptive maintenance, you can create sophisticated maintenance models that ensure optimal uptime and asset performance at the lowest possible cost.
How Much Does Preventive Maintenance Cost?
Adopting a proactive service model necessitates a level of digital transformation maturity that allows for asset visibility, uniform data gathering, moderate-to-high automation, and resource scheduling. This means that your service company must use field service management software rather than manual, pen and paper operations.
Proactive methods get more complex as they progress from preventive to predictive to prescriptive. To take advantage of more advanced forms, you may need to put in more work, time, skill, and cost at first. However, the higher initial cost is offset by improved ongoing and long-term results that lower service expenses over the duration of a device’s lifetime and give you a competitive advantage. The highest return on investment will come from utilising a field service management platform that can grow with your organisation and coach you on industry best practises.