On the other hand, the right service and maintenance strategy can help by enabling you to plan maintenance in such a way that spare parts can be ordered in good time. This avoids faults and, in turn, unexpected repairs. Either way, no modern production facility should still be practicing the lowest level of maintenance strategy, whereby action is only taken once something has broken (reactive maintenance).
The easiest way to avoid malfunctions in the operation of machinery is through preventive maintenance. If you know that the likelihood of a component breaking down increases after a certain duration, you simply replace the part before this limit is reached. This is standard practice with cars – oil change every 25,000 kilometers, timing belt replacement every 120,000 kilometers.
Condition-based maintenance is more sophisticated and more efficient, but it does involve more effort. With this approach, sensors are used to monitor the components that are susceptible to wear, and maintenance is scheduled when certain vibration values, temperatures or other values indicating failure are reached.
Predictive maintenance goes one step further and, rather than relying on fixed threshold values, uses the trend of the measurement data. Each of these methods give the user enough time to order the necessary replacement parts as and when required, rather than having to keep them in stock. The highest level of service and maintenance allows for the optimum coordination of all the maintenance measures with the available maintenance resources.
This approach not only factors in technical considerations but can also incorporate certain economic factors or elements of corporate strategy. This level, which requires a comprehensive information and maintenance infrastructure, is referred to as reliability-centered or financially optimized maintenance.
Any efficient spare parts strategy begins with extensive documentation and evaluation of all the ongoing service and maintenance processes. This allows the company to optimize its capital expenditure for spare parts, while also ensuring the right spare parts are in stock.