If it feels like maintenance strategies have changed in the last twenty years, It’s because they have.  Technological advances and the internet of things have opened up so many more options for plant managers.  Regardless of your maintenance strategy the objective is to prevent unplanned downtime and maximize resources.  The following article outlines the basics of the three main maintenance strategies in use today.

Maintenance Strategies

Reactive Maintenance

Traditionally most manufacturing facilities (and most of us in our own homes) operate under reactive maintenance.  We wait until it’s broken to fix it.  The problem with this strategy is that it can lead to unplanned lengthy downtimes, requires a large stock of backup parts in the store room to avoid said lengthy downtime, and depending on the failure can lead to more component issues.


Preventative Maintenance strategies

Preventative maintenance is a schedule laid out usually by the OEM that details typical life expectancies of wear parts on a machine.  You replace these parts at planned outages as they near their end of life to prevent unexpected downtime and unnecessary store room overhead.  The schedule also often recommends other procedures designed to lengthen the life of the equipment like cleaning and lubrication.   The downside to this method is that these are the average expected time frames for the parts and you may not be getting the full life out of the part or it might break prior to scheduled maintenance.


Predictive Maintenance strategies

Our society is increasingly driven by data.  The conundrum for plant managers becomes what to do with all this data.  That is where predictive maintenance comes in.  Where reactive maintenance fixes what it currently broken, and preventative maintenance strives to prevent future breaks, predictive maintenance uses all of that data that your machines are collecting to determine what parts will fail when.

Predictive maintenance typically uses a variety of sensors to collect data on the performance of various elements of the equipment; much like the old school maintenance managers can walk through a facility and hear an impending motor failure. Sensors can measure things like vibrations to anticipate bearing failure, a change in current draw in the efficiency of a motor, temperature sensors to prevent overheating, pressure monitors in a pneumatic system to detect leaks, and so many more.

Knowing when your parts will fail allows you to order parts just in time (so they aren’t sitting in your store room) and schedule downtime (so you have minimal disruption to production).  You maximize the life of your parts, maximize valuable floor space, and minimize schedule disruptions.  One major downside is that this method can get costly up front since it requires a network of additional sensors and software to manage all the data.


Low Maintenance equipment

At Kolinahr, our engineers strive to build exceptionally durable and low maintenance equipment to fit seamlessly into whatever maintenance strategies you choose to employ. As a standard our manuals contain a preventative maintenance schedule.  Our engineers have also worked with customers to add predictive elements, like low label and ribbon sensors on the label applicators and thermostats to register overheating.  Our equipment is also backed by a 2 year warranty against manufacturing defects.

Kolinahr Systems, Inc.

6840 Ashfield Drive

Cincinnati, Ohio 45242


513.745.9401 ex. 22