At Relialytics we love condition monitoring. In particular, we love the data condition monitoring programs generate.

We strongly believe,  companies who undertake condition monitoring should, on a regular basis, question the value their program delivers. We also know people love lists so we have developed a list of questions you should ask yourself to determine whether or not your condition monitoring program is working for you.

1. Is our business suited to condition monitoring?

Sometimes you just have to be honest with yourself and ask whether your condition monitoring program is working for you. The implementation of these types of programs mean change, and lets face it, as humans we’re not good at changing. A condition monitoring program means a different way of undertaking maintenance and it is likely existing culture, skillsets and procedures require adjustment to embed change in the business. If you are questioning the value of your condition monitoring program and you haven’t adjusted the business to accommodate it, then it’s likely you are not getting full value for your efforts.

2. Is our condition monitoring program optimising maintenance spend?

Time based or condition based maintenance programs? That’s the choice faced by maintenance teams. There are pros and cons for either approach. However, a good measure of the value delivered by condition monitoring is whether the cost of the condition monitoring program, in addition to the money saved not by undertaking redundant maintenance, is less than the time-based maintenance program. If it is less, then condition monitoring is delivering you value.

3. Is condition monitoring helping us manage our risks?

Damage and lost production are just some of the risks associated with machine failure. It's also well documented that equipment breakdown create an uncertain environment which can increase safety risks. The value of a condition monitoring program can be easily demonstrated if the cost of the potential risks are greater than the cost of the condition monitoring program and the program can be shown to directly contribute to a reduction in machine failure.  You should be measuring the success of your program to evaluate teh ROI.

4. Are our machines meeting or exceeding their anticipated lifespan?

If you justified the acquisition of your equipment based on a business case, you would have included an expected lifespan for that equipment. A well-executed condition monitoring program will likely result in the equipment meeting and even exceeding its intended lifespan, resulting in the program meeting and potentially exceeding the intended value of its delivery.  We strongly advocate for component life extension through a combination of condition based monitoring coupled with early intervention.  

5. Is our equipment experiencing excessive downtime?

Unexpected equipment downtime generally means lost production. Industrial equipment owners and suppliers define specific standards for the downtime of their equipment. If these standards are being exceeded and costs of maintenance coupled with the costs of loss production outweigh the cost of a condition monitoring program, then this program is of value to your business.

The most critical factors for the success of any condition monitoring programs is what the action is once a condition has changed.  Quite simply, your maintenance team need to take action as soon as practicable so that the condition is returned to normal.  If this isn't done, the very best condition monitoring and data analysis is worthless.  It's something to think about when you assess where your program is at.

Angus Lay - Senior Analyst.

If you believe, as we do, that you should always question the value add from your condition monitoring program, then contact us and we'll give you a hand.