How is predictive maintenance affecting the future of maintenance?


As businesses strive for more efficient maintenance management, they need to adopt new technologies. Recently, that has meant using sensors to predict future maintenance needs, giving birth to preventive maintenance (PdM).

What impacts will PdM have on the future of maintenance? It all starts with the current trends, which all seem to be driving toward improved efficiency through the use of modern technology.

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Current trends in predictive maintenance

Currently, we see the following trends in predictive maintenance:

These trends are giving way to greater levels of automation and improved communication that will influence the future of maintenance in a drastic way.

Tip: Using sensors with software analytics can decrease downtime by up to 45%.

Impacts of PdM on maintenance management

With the level of reliability-centered efficiency provided by PdM, the look of maintenance management is only going to get more tech-centered.

Thorough interconnectivity

The first impact we’ll likely see is increased interconnectivity through IoT (Internet of Things) technology. Sensors will connect wirelessly to central software systems, technicians will log maintenance reports through mobile software, and cloud computing will form the backbone of asset management.

Systems that used to be handled separately are becoming more integrated. Modern CMMS software offers greater capacity for integration with ERPs and other types of business software, creating a more unified software platform through which organizations can manage every facet of their business.

Prescriptive Maintenance (RxM)

Predictive maintenance takes sensor data and uses it to predict when equipment failures will occur. Modern machine learning technology takes that a step further by prescribing potential actions to solve the issue before it happens. This technology is referred to as prescriptive maintenance, or RxM.

Prescriptive maintenance technology is still young, but it very well could play a significant role in future maintenance management since it follows the trend of increased automation and improved efficiency. It also shows promise in terms of decreased downtime and cost savings.

Modern skillsets

As automation becomes more and more prevalent, the skills required from maintenance managers and technicians will shift.

Instead of focusing on directing personnel, managers will likely focus more on analyzing data and working to improve equipment reliability. Maintenance planning will move beyond keeping up with current demands into streamlining processes and increasing precision.

Maintenance technicians will also likely see a shift in the nature of their job, with the focus being more on performing condition-based upkeep, rather than fulfilling calendar-based tasks. Tablets and computers will likely play a larger role in fulfilling those day-to-day tasks.

Tip: If you’re a maintenance technician, you’ll want to focus on acquiring technology skills if you don’t have them already.

Keeping up with the future of maintenance

With the changes happening in maintenance management, how do you keep up? On top of investing in sensors and IoT devices, implementing a CMMS can help, particularly if you choose a provider who is constantly striving to stay on the cutting edge.

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