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How To Achieve Near-Zero Downtime With Preventative Maintenance And Condition Monitoring

Deon McHatton, (2 min read)

Few things eat into manufacturing profitability as significantly as unplanned downtime incidents.


Lost sales, machine start-up cost, premium-priced parts and idle labour are just some of the true downtime costs that start to build up the second the machine stops working. Add to this the cost of reputational damage and the interruption of supply to customers and it soon makes sense to implement all means possible to avoiding downtime.


Increasingly, manufacturing plants are adopting new ways of optimising productivity by reducing or getting as close to zero downtime as possible.


Preventative maintenance and condition monitoring procedures are designed to avoid breakdowns entirely and are gaining more ground recently because of the reliability and accuracy of machine data and measurement instrumentation.


Advances in software development, network integrity, test and measurement technologies have all contributed to reducing cost and complexity in this area of production management.


Gathering machine data over time will help plan and foresee downtime much more accurately, allowing operations managers and IT to predict failures before they occur and plan maintenance schedules and part replacements while machines are offline.


A preventative maintenance program will usually compose of up to 5 key areas, covering equipment, measurement, inspection, data management and action protocols. The cost and complexity of the program will always depend on the critical nature and cost of the machinery and or downtime impact.


Instruments for condition monitoring will look for variances in acoustics, vibrations, thermal output, motor current signatures and other areas, which help determine maintenance schedules and reactive steps needed to keep machinery running optimally.


When a machine stops, it can quickly escalate to calling in external help – sometimes unnecessarily. The Breakdown Checklist is designed to get you back online faster. It will get your team thinking about what caused the breakdown and assess the need for external advice. Download the free downtime checklist here.

Get the checklist!


SAGE Automation delivers agile, scalable and secure solutions that don’t just solve current problems, they preempt and deter future ones, helping your organisation thrive. With years of experience working in defence, infrastructure, resources, utilities and manufacturing we have the expertise you need to custom-build or perform manufacturing maintenance on your equipment for maximum ROI.

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