Maintenance and Operations, Sustainability/Business Continuity

Why Facilities Managers Should Consider Predictive Maintenance

What is a predictive maintenance model, and how can converting to it help your organization’s bottom line? These questions were explored in a recent Facilities Management Advisor webinar entitled “Predictive Maintenance: Why You Should Consider It,” sponsored by TMA Systems. The session featured Joe McVay, Product Manager for TMA Systems, who has over 10 years of experience in the computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) industry.


First, it is important that facilities professionals first determine what type of maintenance system their facility utilizes:

  1. Reactive maintenance doesn’t involve any maintenance until something breaks, and it requires less staff and has lower initial costs. Also known as run-to-fail (RTF) maintenance, reactive maintenance isn’t recommended because it will cost more over the long term due to unplanned equipment downtime, labor overtime, and increased costs in repairing or replacing equipment.
  2. Preventive maintenance follows the manufacturer’s recommended calendar intervals or usage intervals, and it can utilize metrics like mean time before failure (MTBF) to determine when equipment is expected to fail. While it’s more labor-intensive, it is cheaper over the long term.
  3. Predictive maintenance utilizes equipment condition, determined by maintenance data from the Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, to provide a recommendation on how much maintenance is necessary. While this requires investment in diagnostic equipment and staff training and savings potential is not readily seen by management, it does lower equipment downtime and increases component operational life. It also lowers overall costs for labor and materials and improves worker and environmental safety.  

Possible Challenges to Converting to Predictive Maintenance

According to McVay, facilities professionals who utilize a CMMS system for their maintenance will have an easier time converting from preventive to predictive maintenance, but those with a paper ticketing system will experience more of a challenge.

It “can be more difficult to set up as it requires hardware and much more technology to properly analyze data to predict failures before they happen,” McVay explained.

Despite these challenges, there are reasons it’s worth it. 

Role of CMMS

A CMMS will not only schedule preventive maintenance but also record maintenance and performance data using IoT. Additionally, it will help facilitate data analysis, as well as manage and oversee inventory.  

Additionally, the CMMS can generate alerts for work orders, but McKay said to ensure these alerts are set up so the system doesn’t get flooded with unnecessary or duplicate fault alarms.  

How Predictive Maintenance Can Save Money

Specifically, according to McVay, predictive maintenance can solve several problems that could save organizations money:

  1. It can improve asset reliability through fewer breakdowns and reduced downtime; preventive maintenance does not always provide adequate maintenance.
  2. It can reduce operational costs by optimizing your maintenance work; preventive maintenance sometimes involves more maintenance than needed, such as replacing air filters too often or changing a vehicle’s oil at 5,000 miles vs. 7,000 miles.
  3. It can increase the safety of personnel by helping reduce equipment failures that pose a costly safety liability to organizations.

However, McVay does not recommend reducing the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance in regulatory and life safety environments.

How Does Predictive Maintenance Work?

  1. Collect data—From an existing CMMS system, gather data such as equipment downtime history.
  2. Transmit data—Obtain real-time data and sensor data from equipment.
  3. Apply technologies—Work with hardware vendors on interpreting data to make recommendations.
  4. Take action—Prioritize the most critical equipment, and determine what equipment is the biggest liability.

Benefits of Predictive Maintenance

When looking at predictive maintenance in a manufacturing environment, McVay said those using it can expect:

  • Cost savings in operations (5% to 10%)
  • Increased equipment uptime and availability (10% to 20%)
  • Reduced overall maintenance costs (5% to 10%)
  • Reduced efforts on maintenance planning time (20% to 50%)

In the long term, predictive maintenance saves companies not only money but also time and resources. To learn more about why you should consider predictive maintenance, be sure to watch the entire webinar on demand 24/7 by clicking here.

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