In all industries, it’s vital to stay ahead of machine breakdowns to minimize replacement costs so that you can stay on schedule. Never is this truer than in the U.S. military, where the cost of unplanned downtime isn’t just money – it’s lives. Read on to see why and how the military is adapting predictive maintenance programs to protect some of their most vital assets.
The U.S. Army has started implementing artificial intelligence programs to anticipate vehicle breakdowns and improve combat readiness. The software, facilitated by the Defense Innovation Unit, seeks to anticipate component failures and reduce the amount of unplanned maintenance. The result is increasing the readiness for all combat vehicles such as the fleet of Bradley tanks, which must be ready at a moment’s notice.
Data for the software is gathered via sensors and telematics that are already installed on critical machine components. It is collected and processed by artificial intelligence software to give insight into when a part may need maintenance. The military wants to increase readiness for commanders and have an empirical sense of the health of any given Bradley vehicle, as this will help increase equipment availability.
The Air Force has also begun implementing predictive maintenance across three fleets of aircraft, as the Defense Department sets a goal for “zero unplanned maintenance”. The B-1B bomber, C-5M airlifter, and the KC-135 tanker fleets are now scheduling maintenance actions using algorithms designed to predict failures based on each planes’ condition in real-time. This shift to a predictive maintenance focus, marks a major step forward for the Air Force.
Instead of scheduling repairs based on unplanned failures or manufacturer-imposed intervals, technicians have started to adopt a condition-based maintenance approach to prevent unplanned failures from happening in the first place. As a new set of data analytical tools become widespread, Air Force officials hope such information allows them to avoid operational disruptions caused by unexpected part failures and plan maintenance actions more efficiently when they’re needed. For airplanes, unplanned failures are far too dangerous to use as a sign that a machine needs repairs.
The Navy is utilizing artificial intelligence to monitor the condition and reliability of 100 ships in unison to provide accurate data about the working health of the vessels and better equip commanders to make combat decisions. This program uses sample data meant to accurately reflect the vast amount of information on a vessel, to devise an artificial intelligence program that can discover the relationship between machine health data, and the breakdown rate of the machines.
This program was designed from collecting nearly 30 years of vital information stored in plain text documents regarding the maintenance and longevity of ships. This technology has already saved the Navy millions of dollars in unnecessary repairs and has provided military leaders with a greater degree of accuracy in accessing the combat readiness of some of its most critical hardware. Instead of making guesses about whether a machine is near the end of its useful life, this program has allowed technicians to predict and fix problems before they occur.
If you are in need of assistance setting up your own predictive maintenance program, contact the professionals at GTI Predictive to get started today.
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