Pros & Cons of Condition Monitoring
One of the major benefits of condition monitoring is that the technologies offer the organization a plethora of information about the nature of the defect and, to a large extent, information about the physical cause of the defect. This enables the organization to significantly enhance the effectiveness of the root cause analysis process and eliminate the possibility of this same defect occurring in the future. Condition monitoring gets its fame from being able to help the organization prevent unexpected failures. By finding the defects early, the organization can plan and schedule the outage and therefore not experience the surprise of machinery failure when least expected.
Another benefit of condition monitoring is the amount of specific information that the data from the technologies can provide the maintenance technicians about the nature of the problem. By using some of these technologies, specific defects are identified, such as ‘inner race defects found on both pump bearing’, instead of the general indication of ‘pump making strange noise’. By and large, this reduces the troubleshooting time and costs associated with ‘parts swapping until the problem is solved’. This also reduces the total amount of downtime for a repair, thus increasing availability and possibly even productivity.
Condition monitoring enables the planning and scheduling process in three ways. First, condition monitoring identifies the defects early enough to allow the planning and scheduling process to take its natural flow. Nothing must be expedited or rushed, and production schedules do not have to be changed at the last minute.
Second, it gives the planner something specific to plan. Because of how precise the problem can be pinpointed to; the planner can kit a specific collection of parts and have confidence that the required parts are there, and the maintenance technicians will not have to stop the job to go find what they need.
Third, the early detection of the fault means that more parts can be ordered, and fewer parts have to be kept in stock. While there are several benchmark case histories and success stories published in industry trade magazines, the specific list of benefits is almost universal.
A typical list includes: → Maintenance costs reduced by 50% → Unexpected failures reduced by 55% → Repair and overhaul time reduced by 50% → Spare parts inventory reduced by 30% → Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) increased by 30% → Machinery availability increased by 30%