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Predictive maintenance – effective production management

06.02.20244 min read

Innovative approaches to maintenance in production are smart services and predictive maintenance. They used modern tools and technologies to detect plant problems at an early stage.

The main objective is to avoid major breakdowns and to plan maintenance activities in such a way that they affect the production process as little as possible.

Prevention of unplanned outages

Avoiding sudden, unplanned downtime to production losses due to maintenance and spare parts availability is very important in any industry. The recycling sector is no exception. A delay in sepa-rating and processing recyclables can have serious consequences: Failure to meet contracted de-livery dates, contractual penalties for delays, accumulation of excessive quantities of untreated raw waste, and resulting problems in handling subsequent contracted deliveries and purchase quantities.

Prioritisation

The solution to the above problems is to implement a predictive maintenance strategy that optimi-ses maintenance team priorities and schedules missions efficiently.

In the traditional approach, maintenance specialists, automation specialists and service technici-ans work according to a predetermined schedule. The time between scheduled shutdowns is known, and no major failures usually occur during this time. The stoppages are related to the con-dition of the machine, its load, the maintenance methods used, etc. If no serious damage is found during a regular inspection, the machine is put back into operation. If a breakdown occurs, the maintenance team focuses on reducing the impact on production and tries to fix the problem as soon as possible – regardless of the time of day, weather, actual workload in the plant, etc.

Early detection of potential failures

Predictive maintenance focuses on continuously monitoring machines and looking for early signs of wear on parts and components. The programme draws conclusions, often using artificial intelli-gence mechanisms, based on information provided by sensors attached to the machine. In this way, maintenance actions, including the replacement of worn components, can be planned and carried out before a failure occurs and the machine is shut down.

Mitsubishi Electric supports predictive maintenance at all levels

The use of frequency converters eliminates the need for high-maintenance components such as hydraulic couplings or fluid starters. The use of modern three-phase asynchronous motors (e.g. efficiency class IE4) in contrast to a traditional slip-ring motor with high maintenance require-ments, reduces the maintenance effort and costs.

Mitsubishi Electric is also developing software that allows machine status to be monitored in real time by the operator or production manager. Historical data transmitted from edge-layer devices to the company's IT system can be analysed to identify matches of events that precede a failure.

The interplay of all these elements means that Mitsubishi Electric's customers can save time and money and, above all, run their business predictably and without unpleasant surprises.



Photo: Getty Images


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