The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically impacted the global economy, but the real test for manufacturers will be how they adapt going forward. With supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, and constantly changing consumer demands, it’s clear that all businesses will need to be lightning fast in the coming months to keep up with the pandemic.

For manufacturers, one of the biggest financial burdens has always been unplanned downtime. In some industries unplanned downtime costs over $200,000/hour. Predictive maintenance tools have long been proven an effective method for reducing repair costs, but it’s clear now more than ever that real-time data is essential to get the most from your predictive maintenance program in such uncertain times.

Manufacturers Need to React Quickly 
As manufacturers try to adapt to constantly changing circumstances, it’s not enough to rely on projections based on past performance. International borders have shut down. Demand on some products has shot through the roof, while the value of previously essential goods like oil dropped below zero. It’s impossible to gauge what’s going to happen next based on year-over-year performance metrics, or even by looking at last quarter. Current economic projections are still wide ranging, but it’s safe to say that businesses need to do everything they can to retain a competitive edge by reducing wasteful spending and meeting the constantly shifting consumer demand.

OEM Guidelines Are Too Rigid
While OEM guidelines can usually be a safe place to start with a machine maintenance plan, they are generally too conservative and limited in their practical application. Every machine will have different maintenance needs depending on the operating conditions and frequency of use. Where one piece of equipment might only need to be serviced half as often as OEM guidelines suggest, another machine might need to be repaired twice as often. In the past, manufacturers have adopted either one of two maintenance philosophies–being overly cautious or running-it-till it breaks. Studies consistently show that running equipment till total failure costs manufacturers tens of thousands and with the need to reduce in-person labor at the highest ever, ordering unnecessary maintenance has a serious cost. With drastic shifts in demand seemingly overnight, the only possible way to effectively decide on equipment repairs is with real-time data.

Automation Prevents Critical Data from Slipping Through the Cracks
Layoffs have skyrocketed and employees are working from home at an unheard-of scale. These factors, compounded, make it increasingly more difficult to maintain a continuity of work functions. With shifting responsibilities and conference meetings going virtual it’s easier than ever for vital information including repair and inspection schedules to fall by the wayside. Fortunately, predictive maintenance tools give manufacturers seamless access to essential machine health data remotely thanks to IoT enabled devices and cloud storage platforms. Manufacturers with an established predictive maintenance plan can rest easy knowing that essential data is still collected even with the most severe reduction in physical workforce.

Contact the professionals at GTI Predictive today to ensure your predictive maintenance program is equipped with real-time data for condition monitoring and machine health.


About GTI Predictive Technology

At GTI Predictive Technology, it is our mission to provide the best predictive tools on a single iPad platform with services to monitor nearly any asset. We strive to bring our customers the portability, connectivity, and affordability offered by the latest available technologies. Our product family combines wireless portable and online vibration data collection and analysis, balancing, shaft alignment, thermography, and ultrasound into an affordable and completely scalable solution on one simple to use platform. GTI’s predictive technology apps feature many additions that have come directly from customers. Click here to learn more.