Predictive maintenance is a core functionality in the modern industrial workplace. This change in the way that businesses operate and approach maintenance needs has revolutionized not only the safety standards and profit margins that businesses are able to maintain, but also the morale of staff and many other aspects of the business process.

Predictive maintenance manufacturing technologies have been around since the 1990s in some fashion or another. Today, brands rely on a network of cutting-edge sensor arrays, integrated technology opportunities, and other high-tech additions to the workplace. Predictive maintenance can boost uptime and profits over the long term with ease, and understanding the landscape of this approach to maintenance can help you achieve your goals faster and with greater confidence at all stages of your business plan.

A number of cutting-edge technologies are used in predictive maintenance today. Continue reading to learn more about the specialized sensors and plugins that are adapted to this specific use case.

Infrared thermography is a non-intrusive testing technology used in this space.

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Infrared thermography is widely used in predictive maintenance. With the help of infrared cameras, maintenance teams are able to identify temperature changes in the equipment used to manufacture anything in the facility. Worn-out components or malfunctioning circuits often exhibit heightened or perhaps even lowered temperatures.

Understanding the baseline temperature of any piece of equipment that your facility relies on and then utilizing infrared technologies to identify variances in that baseline is a great way to head off problems as they arise rather than once they’ve struck and require the shutdown of manufacturing equipment, or worse.

Vibration analysis is another simple and effective solution.

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Just like infrared technologies, vibration analysis is a quality means of rolling out predictive maintenance workflows in your facility. Most fabrication processes create both vibrations and heat (along with a cacophony of sound), and measuring this pair of outputs in the manufacturing chain is a great way to identify slight variations in the process, or within the equipment used itself.

Parts are designed to wear out, and motors require lubrication, replacement parts, and other simple maintenance tasks in order to maintain efficiency and functionality throughout their time on the floor. Moving parts create vibrations, and monitoring tight tolerances on the output in this regard can help you identify burnout before it shuts down the process.

Sound analysis rounds out this trio of potent monitoring approaches.

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Sound analysis is a third, core element in the process of utilizing predictive maintenance workflows and routines. Just like heat and vibration emissions, the sound that your equipment creates during the fabrication process is something that can be monitored for greater control over uptime and proper use.

Sound analysis, or acoustic monitoring, is a unique approach to identifying leaks and emissions in the system. While workers on the floor may be able to detect large changes in the acoustic output of your machinery naturally, specialized sensors can detect ultrasonic emissions that come from minor leaks and other similar problems in the factory line. These sensors are essential for maintaining safety and overall efficacy.

Cloud technology is integral in the use of these approaches to manufacturing maintenance needs.

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Any sensor array that may be used in this approach to maintenance requirements is often built off of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and corresponding cloud-based systems. The cloud is an empowering technology, and it can make for robust systems of maintenance and facility management across industries and individual sectors of the marketplace.

In the modern iteration of predictive maintenance and cloud-enabled devices, many pieces of machinery and equipment are fabricated with pre-installed sensor implementations. These smart devices run on the cloud and relay information and readings back to your core team seamlessly and effectively.

Predictive maintenance is a core functionality of any modern manufacturing workplace.