What is Usage Based Preventive Maintenance and Why Is It Important for Field Services?

A case for preventive maintenance

The initial step most organizations take to increase the life of their equipment is to move away from reactive or break-fix maintenance approaches to preventive maintenance.

  • Reactive Maintenance: A lightbulb lasts three years and two months and is replaced when it burns out.
  • Preventive Maintenance: A lightbulb is rated for three years and is replaced one month before it burns out.

Preventive maintenance may seem counter intuitive to cost reduction as the light bulb could have very well lasted longer than three years. However, we are not talking about a light bulb. When it comes to equipment such as that leased by heavy equipment dealers or operated by oil and gas companies, these organizations can’t afford to halt business because of equipment break down. In fact, according to “Operations & Maintenance Best Practices: A Guide to Achieving Operational Efficiency,” preventive maintenance provides a cost saving of 12% to 18% over reactive maintenance programs.

Preventive Maintenance translates into dollar savings

Here’s why, according to the above mentioned article:

  • By executing preventive maintenance as envisioned by the equipment manufacturer, you extend the life of the equipment closer to design.
  • Routine maintenance such as lubrication, filter change, and so forth will generally run the equipment more efficiently.
  • Preventive maintenance will decrease the number of equipment failures, minimizing failures translates into repair cost savings.

Not all Preventive Maintenance is created equal

Two common types of Preventive Maintenance include time based maintenance (change your oil after three months) and usage based (change your oil after 5000 miles). When companies first move from reactive to preventive maintenance approaches, they often look to time based usage for their preventive maintenance activities. This is a good initial step, however in industries like oil and gas and manufacturing, usage-based maintenance is advantageous as it avoids over-maintenance of assets that are lightly used and accelerates maintenance on assets that are used more intensely.

What exactly is Usage Based Maintenance?

Usage based maintenance (UBM) allows companies to proactively maintain their assets based off the actual use of their equipment or time based simultaneously. Usage is tracked in various ways, such as the use of equipment monitors, the days a piece of equipment has been rented, or running hours of equipment.

Usage Based Maintenance plans, like the one offered by Hitachi Solutions as part of our Field Service Automation solution, set up certain usage based parameters that trigger the appropriate level of maintenance the equipment needs to stay maintained and functioning within the manufacturer’s specifications. The trigger creates a ticket, which allows your company schedule a service technician to complete the required maintenance. By using usage based preventative maintenance, you extend the life of your equipment, make it run more efficiently, and decrease the number of equipment failures.

To learn more about the usage based maintenance capabilities built within Hitachi Solutions’ Field Service Automation solution, click here!