Predictive maintenance is not a panacea for all the factors that limit total plant performance. In fact,it cannot directly affect plant performance. Predictive maintenance is a management technique that, simply stated, uses regular evaluation of the actual operating condition of plant equipment, production systems, and plant management functions to optimize total plant operation.
The output of a predictive maintenance program is data. Until action is taken to resolve the deviations or problems revealed by the program, plant performance cannot be improved. Therefore, a management philosophy that is committed to plant improvement must exist before any meaningful benefit can be derived. Without the absolute commitment and support of senior management and the full cooperation of all plant functions, a predictive maintenance program cannot provide the means to resolve poor plant performance.
Predictive technology can be used for much more than just measuring the operating condition of critical plant machinery. The technology permits accurate evaluation of all functional groups, such as maintenance, within the company. Properly used, predictive maintenance can identify most, if not all, factors that limit effectiveness and efficiency of the total plant.