Pump Maintenance: Preventative or Predictive?

For many companies, pump maintenance is reactive, which means they (whether unintentionally or not) wait for something to break before they fix it. Reactive or “breakdown” maintenance, as it is often called, can mean any number of costly repairs, unnecessary downtime and unstable equipment and processes.

You can extend the life of your equipment and reduce downtime by employing preventative maintenance, which ensures such breakdowns don’t occur through regular, scheduled maintenance, or be proactive with predictive maintenance, a system which constantly monitors equipment in operation to ensure you are able to avoid problems as they arise or take immediate action should there an issue.

Preventative Maintenance
Preventative maintenance does exactly what it sounds like… maintaining equipment to prevent issues before they occur. Preventive maintenance often rigidly follows the maintenance instructions contained in equipment manuals provided by OEM’s (original equipment manufacturers). These conditions are the result of extensive tests under a variety of conditions that ensure peak performance in most applications.

Companies that employ preventative maintenance believe that by following the operating and maintenance documentation you can avoid pump or equipment failure over a normal lifespan. Preventative maintenance can avert issues such as misalignment or an unbalanced pump, which can result in increased vibration, premature bearing or seal failure and unnecessarily high power consumption. However, preventative maintenance is not without its shortcomings. Often, pumps and other equipment are replaced even if there is nothing wrong with them, which can be a costly and wasteful affair.

Predictive Maintenance
A predictive maintenance program attempts to predict problems before they occur by monitoring the operations of your equipment to ensure there is no change or disruption. It takes the expected or average life of your equipment and related statistics into account, while monitoring and analysing factors such as vibration – while the equipment is still in service. Predictive maintenance in today’s world is a potential game changer, spurred on the advent of Industry 4.0.

Using smart sensor technologies that utilize real-time data collection to predict performance, or issues with performance, companies can plan for repairs and avoid unexpected downtime.

Predictive systems contain vital data concerning service life, identifying when a machine or system if not functioning correctly or at its optimum efficiency. Early notification of issues through these sensors allows system operators to investigate, plan and schedule downtime to carry out maintenance to ensure minimal disruption of operations. Predictive maintenance is essential for pumps and rotating equipment that can’t go down during regular operations.

Don’t let a catastrophe strike. Take care of problems before they occur. Employ a proactive approach that combines preventative and predictive maintenance to save on maintenance costs and unscheduled downtime. If you want more information about predictive and preventative maintenance, please call our toll-free number 1-800- 367-4180. We have experts on hand to help you choose, install, and maintain a variety of equipment.