QSI Facilities Blog

Merging Predictive with Preventative Maintenance Strategies

Posted by QSI Facilities on October 26 , 2018

Maintenance strategies have always been a topic of discussion for Facilities Managers. No matter what happens, the vast majority of facility managers live in a reactionary world – always chase fires. The endless barrage of reactive maintenance makes it almost impossible to focus on proactive maintenance strategies, including predictive and preventative maintenance strategies. Since reactive maintenance clearly falls short, Facilities Managers seeking to reap the most significant benefits need to understand its limitations and move toward a combined predictive, preventative maintenance strategy.

Why a Reactive Maintenance-Only Strategy is Wrong?

Reactive maintenance is a cesspool of expenses and poor planning. Reactive maintenance costs are the equivalent of “running until it breaks.” Reactive maintenance is unplanned, making budgeting a nightmare, and it leaves Facilities Managers in constant opposition with C-Suite executives regarding financial matters. The customer experience suffers, the brand suffers and the useful life of critical assets shrinks.

Why Combining Predictive-Preventative Maintenance Strategies Are Superior

The only solution to reactive maintenance is to fix things when they break. How is that possible? To answer that question, Facilities Managers must think of maintenance in a different light. Proactive maintenance involves taking care of issues before they lead to asset failure and loss..

For instance, repairing an HVAC unit sensor will result in runtime as needed, not continuous runtime. This has the net effect of increasing the unit’s longevity. Since the HVAC unit runs at times only when required, its overall lifespan, which may be the same number of running hours, is extended by months, if not years. As noted by FacilitiesNet, reactive maintenance must still be addressed, like electrical shorts. However, nearly all reactive maintenance needs can be prevented, excluding natural and manmade disasters. In other words, visibility into an asset and its function give Facilities Managers the information necessary to make repairs to asset components and perform recurring maintenance, like changing air filters, to increase asset performance, increasing lifespan.

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How to Combine Predictive With Preventative Maintenance Strategies

Combining predictive maintenance with preventative maintenance strategies is not a small task. It requires the transition from a limited maintenance schedule to a robust maintenance schedule that uses data to identify when maintenance issues need addressing. The critical difference lies in recognizing when asset failure is likely beyond the visual inspection. As a result, Facilities Managers need to follow these steps to combine the strategies to develop a winning proactive maintenance program:

  1. Retrofit facility assets with smart building solution and smart sensors to track asset performance.
  2. Collect real-time data on asset performance.
  3. Identify trends and patterns in data that relate to poor performance.
  4. Adjust system settings based on performance.
  5. Complete maintenance when performance data indicates specific actions may result in better performance.

These steps have a common theme; they require the use of new technology for the retrofit and the ability to make sense of data. Instead of hiring a data scientist, Facilities Managers should consider outsourcing the process to an smart building solutions’ provider.

For instance, smart building solutions collects and analyzes data, optimizes system settings, and includes managed field service to ensure systems are in tip-top shape. This is the ultimate goal of a proactive, predictive and preventative maintenance strategy, combining maintenance recommendations with possible outcomes to perform hidden maintenance tasks before an asset shows any visible signs of malfunction or failure. As a result, it requires investment into the smart building solution, which is now less expensive than developing an in-house program, education of internal team members and integrated systems reports Facility Executive.

Create a True Proactive Maintenance Strategy Now.

Migrating a reactive maintenance strategy to a proactive program is most-effective when using a combined predictive, preventative maintenance strategy. Partnering with experts can help take your preventative maintenance strategies to the next level with proactive and predictive maintenance leveraging smart technology, as well as fully-managed or advisory services.