How Often Should Your Equipment be Checked?
When you wonder how often to check your equipment, the answer requires you to use common sense and experience. You might need to check specific structures more than others. Knowing more about how often to check your equipment is the first step in predictive maintenance.
What Is an Inspection?
An inspection involves an objective examination through the use of instruments or observations. Companies might use tools such as infrared cameras, flow meters, or vibration analyzers. Companies might also use subjective measures, like listening or looking.
To properly do an inspection, it is essential to know about failure development periods. That refers to the amount of time you have between failure detection and a breakdown. During a machine’s failure, it continues to operate correctly, but the machine shows signs of potential issues.
For instance, perhaps you have a piece of equipment that still meets your requirements but does not perform at the optimal level. That indicates equipment failure, but not yet a breakdown. But the signs of failure suggest that the machine will eventually stop working. That happens when the equipment no longer meets your requirements.
The FDP refers to the time between the machine’s failure and breakdown. So, if it showed signs of failure at 5 p.m. and no longer worked at 5 a.m. the next day, the FDP would be 12 hours.
Frequency of Inspection
The frequency of your inspections should be around FDP/2. For instance, perhaps you estimate the failure development period is 20 days. The FDP/2 formula would suggest doing an assessment every 10 days in that case. If you wait longer than 10 days to inspect the piece, you might miss a failure, and the equipment could break down.
You might wonder how you can find the FDP. Unfortunately, many facilities do not have histories on past FDPs, and there is often no standard. The tools you can access might also change the FDP. For instance, sensitive devices might give you more warning about potential issues, making them a critical part of preventive and predictive maintenance.
One of the reasons to purchase quality inspection tools is to extend the FDP as long as possible. Of course, the right tools are only part of the equation. Other factors, such as the environment, operational parameters, inspector’s ability, and equipment accessibility, are equally critical.
There are many failure modes for each of the components, and there might be varying FDPs for failure modes. Plus, the technique and tool used might change the FDP. That is why it is so critical to choose the right provider of predictive maintenance tools and services.
Choosing the Right Predictive Maintenance Services
A company such as Maintenance Diagnostic Systems, Inc. can help you with both preventive and predictive maintenance. Contact us today to learn more about our maintenance services.