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What is Predictive Maintenance?

As the name suggests, “Predictive Maintenance” is the type of maintenance system that helps predict upcoming damages in an appliance and perform maintenance when required. This prediction is based on various closely monitored parameters of IoT appliances that are then analyzed for abnormalities.

Consider the case of home automation, where appliances like fans, air conditioners, televisions, refrigerators, washing machines, etc. are connected over an IoT platform. Predictive maintenance can be incorporated into these appliances by adding a few sensors that monitor their health and collect data for analysis.

For example, in the case of an air conditioner, we can have a vibration sensor to monitor motor health, a temperature sensor to monitor the internal temperature of the appliance, and a power monitoring IC for monitoring current and voltage levels. These monitored parameters are gathered onto an IoT platform and are analyzed for abnormalities. The overall health monitoring of other appliances can be done to predict any upcoming technical issue similarly.

Benefits of Predictive Maintenance

Predictive maintenance comes with a myriad of benefits, like reduction of cost to the consumer and manufacturer and deceleration of the pace of wear and tear on the appliance. It also cuts back the time taken to repair damages and helps further improve the technology based on the data collected and analyzed. All these benefits are explained in detail below:

Reduces Cost:

The concept of predictive maintenance is rapidly gaining popularity in the IoT-based automation industry due to the solution it brings in terms of cost-cutting compared to the traditional methods in addition to asset monitoring and management. According to Deloitte, the average impact of predictive maintenance is 70% fewer breakdowns, 25% higher productivity, and 25% lower maintenance costs.

Traditionally, maintenance was either too early and frequent, based on the calendar, or too late, only when things got worse. This type of reactive maintenance made a hole in the pockets of consumers and manufacturers alike. Predictive maintenance optimizes the cost on both ends as it lets the consumer know about discrepancies in advance before serious damage occurs. This also reduces the amount of money the manufacturer has to invest in repairs and the salary of the maintenance crew.

Increases Appliance Lifespan:

As stated above, predictive maintenance informs about irregularities before those irregularities get the chance to cause too much damage to the appliance. Since the damage caused to the appliance is minimal and is fixed in or even before time, the speed of depreciation on the appliances is reduced. The deceleration in wear and tear increases the lifespan of the appliance and reduces the number of appliance failures.

Reduces Downtime for Repairs:

Not only does predictive maintenance reduce the speed of wear and tear, but it also reduces the time taken to repair any damage that does occur. This is because, since the repairs are only done when needed, the number of times an appliance needs to be completely shut down reduces. Other than that, the amount of downtime needed for each repair is also reduced as only minor damages are being fixed.

On the other hand, since the damage being caused is caught beforehand, predictive maintenance also prevents catastrophic failures. This substantially reduces the downtime associated with appliance failure.

Hence predictive maintenance optimizes the total downtime of the appliance, reducing the inconvenience caused to the consumer and money invested in repairs by the manufacturer.

Keeps Relevant Parties in Loop:

The concept of predictive maintenance can be further extended to having the service providers, warranty information, and insurance providers in the loop. So, in case of any predicted issue with the appliance, the monitor history and analysis information is shared with the service providers with the consent of the consumer. The consumer is also made aware of the warranty period information, the insurance details, and discount coupons, if applicable.

Helps in Advancing Technology:

The monitoring information and analysis details gathered through predictive maintenance can be used by the manufacturer to make improvements in the product design to develop new, improvised versions of the product. Furthermore, this analysis can also help manufacturers find out if there was a problem in an entire manufactured batch. Research suggests that 53% of companies are using big data analytics, predictive maintenance, and IIoT technologies as of 2017. By 2026, the industrial IoT market is expected to reach USD 106.1 billion, growing at a 6.7% CAGR during the forecast period, according to a report by Markets and Markets.

In a Nutshell

Predictive maintenance is a multifaceted concept, beneficial to both, the consumers as well as manufacturers. It will alert the consumer about any upcoming issue before things get worse and provide the necessary information to the manufacturers to come up with improvised versions of the products.

As opposed to reactive maintenance, predictive maintenance does not wait for a particular date or appliance breakdown. Rather, it predicts damage to the appliance and repairs are done as and when required. This reduces cost, increases appliance lifespan, and reduces appliance downtime. Furthermore, the data gathered from predictive maintenance can be used to loop in insurance providers and consumers to relevant information that will help them make better decisions regarding the insurance and warranty of the appliance. The data can also help the manufacturer further optimize the appliance and advance the technology.