ToolSense Glossary

Predictive Maintenance

Predictive maintenance uses technology to predict when to perform maintenance on a piece of equipment. By using predictive maintenance — short PdM — companies can save much money by only performing the care they need when they need it. The concept of Predictive Maintenance was first defined in 1939 by Frederick E. Webster, an aerospace engineer. However, the Allied Signal Corporation implemented the first commercially successful example of Predictive Maintenance in the late 1970s.

Predictive Maintenance

What is Predictive Maintenance?

Predictive maintenance is a process that involves monitoring equipment and determining when it may need repair before a breakdown occurs. The process is usually a part of a larger maintenance strategy that considers the costs and benefits of this maintenance. It is necessary to reduce the likelihood of problems in business.

PdM is particularly beneficial in the aerospace industry, as the failure of a piece of equipment can lead to a serious problem. For instance, a hydraulic pump failure could lead to a crash as pilots could not control the aircraft. In case of any difficulty, they resolve it before starting their project. With a qualified group of technicians, predictive maintenance can ensure the longevity of your equipment. It is essential in many industries, as it allows companies to make sure that there is no difficulty.


  • Predictive maintenance uses technology that predicts when maintenance needs to be performed on a piece of equipment.
  • The process of identifying data is typically done by monitoring the devices for abnormalities in their performance.
  • PdM is used to reduce the need for reactive maintenance, which is fixing something only after it breaks down.

How does PdM work?

This maintenance strategy uses data to determine when a machine needs maintenance. This is typically done by monitoring the devices for abnormalities in their performance, which can be detected by analysing the data. For example, if a machine starts to produce less than its usual number of units, that could indicate that it requires maintenance. It also considers the costs associated with making repairs or replacing equipment. It is a proactive approach to the maintenance of machinery and equipment. Predictive maintenance has been shown to reduce costs by 40% and increase equipment uptime by 10%.

What are the types of Maintenance?

The six types of maintenance are:

  • Predetermined maintenance
  • Preventive maintenance
  • Corrective maintenance
  • Condition-based maintenance
  • Predictive maintenance
  • Reactive (run-to-failure)

Reactive vs. Predictive Maintenance

Reactive maintenance is the process of responding to problems as they arise. This is typically done by maintenance personnel who are assigned to fix any issues that arise. Predictive maintenance, on the other hand, is the process of performing routine inspections and tests to find potential problems before they occur. It is resolved by technicians who use infrared cameras, vibration sensors, and ultrasound technology to find potential issues.

Preventive vs. Predictive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance is the process of inspecting equipment to identify potential problems before they occur. This process is initiated by a schedule of routine inspections that a technician performs. As mentioned before, PdM is a process used to predict when equipment will need to be serviced or repaired. This process is initiated by analysing equipment usage and results from predictive analytics.

Condition-based Maintenance vs. Predictive Maintenance

Condition-based maintenance (CbM) is a preventive maintenance strategy that uses conditions to say when it is time to perform maintenance. It can be considered as setting a rule. PdM on the contrary is a maintenance strategy that tries to predict into the future when you will need to service your equipment.

How to Implement Predictive Maintenance

PdM is the act of planning for the future. Moreover, it’s used to reduce the need for reactive maintenance, which is fixing something only after it breaks down. Only with recent advances in data science and artificial intelligence (AI) can manufacturers realize the full potential of predictive maintenance, and at a cost that makes sense for plant-wide deployment. It can be implemented by using various techniques to analyse data from a company’s assets and identify potential problems before they happen:

  • Use the data your machines are already producing.
  • Start with a standard, and let the algorithms improve themselves.
  • Use the cloud for analytics at scale.
  • Set up insights and alerts to make better use of your technical resources.
  • Be ready to overhaul your maintenance culture.

Example of Predictive Maintenance

PdM is a system that tries to find out when a machine or system will break down and then take preventive measures to avoid the breakdown. The idea behind this type of maintenance is that it is cheaper to fix something before it breaks down, rather than waiting until it breaks down and then fixing it.

For instance, let’s have a look at a restaurant scenario: the functionality of all food storage and preparation equipment is critical to the success of the business. When a restaurant’s refrigerator begins to malfunction or needs to be updated, predictive maintenance technology could measure functionality and alert staff to problems. A sensor would be able to assess elements of the refrigerator, such as temperature and vibration, to determine how well the unit is performing. This notice would allow the restaurant to resolve the potential problem before downtime occurs.

Predictive Maintenance Tools and Technologies

PdM tools are used to identify when a machine is about to break down. They are created by looking at the machine’s past performance and using that data to predict future performance. PdM tools can be used in any industry, including manufacturing, transportation, and utilities. Furthermore, these tools are used to check for potential problems before they happen. The devices can monitor the usage of an asset and then predict when it will malfunction. This can help an organization avoid costly repairs or replacements by identifying potential problems before they happen.

There are six primary PdM tools available:

  • Vibration analysis
  • Ultrasonic analysis
  • Infrared analysis
  • Oil analysis
  • Laser-shaft alignment
  • Motor circuit analysis

Why is PdM important?

PdM is important because it can help companies reduce the amount of time and money they spend on repairs. If employees know when a machine or system is likely to fail, they can schedule maintenance ahead of time. It saves time and money because the appliance or system will not be down for as long. It also means that there will be fewer expensive emergency repairs.

Benefits of Predictive Maintenance

The major Benefits of PdM are:

  • The technique is used to identify potential problems before they happen.
  • By monitoring equipment, any changes in production can be identified, such as a change in the quality of the product.
  • It also involves identifying any changes in the kit, such as wear and tear or corrosion.
  • To sum up, this will help to prevent equipment failure and downtime.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Predictive Maintenance

There are many advantages to predictive maintenance, including:

  • Reduced risk of equipment failure
  • Reduced cost of downtime
  • It reduces the need for reactive maintenance, which can be time-consuming and expensive.

A key disadvantage of predictive maintenance is that it requires a large amount of data to be collected before being effective. It also involves much time for the data to be analysed and for the maintenance to be completed. Another disadvantage is that not all parts of a machine can be monitored so that some features can fail unexpected.

Predictive Maintenance and Return on Investment

The return on investment for predictive maintenance can be seen in the reduction of equipment failures, reducing downtime and maintenance costs. Data from the U.S. Department of Energy shows that predictive maintenance can generate a potential return on investment (ROI) of about ten times its cost. However, this number ultimately depends on the layout and requirements of your facility, how your PdM program is implemented, and what type of results you are seeking.

What is the impact of predictive maintenance?

Predictive maintenance has a major impact on the overall health of a company because it schedules maintenance tasks based on the idea that equipment failure is predictable. Moreover, it aims to reduce the number of failures by proactively repairing or replacing parts before they fail.

PdM can be used to schedule the following activities:

Inspecting equipment for problems

The inspection is the process of examining equipment to check for problems. Inspecting equipment can help to ensure that it is in good working order. Inspections are performed by a person who has been trained in the processor by a computerized system that can perform the inspection automatically.

Monitoring equipment performance

Monitoring equipment performance is essential for ensuring that the equipment is in good working order and operating at optimum levels. In addition, it is helpful for any malfunctions or potential problems. Equipment should be monitored regularly, to ensure that issues are identified and fixed before they become significant issues.


It is important to schedule repairs and replacements before equipment fails. This will save you time and money. For example, if the engine fails while you are driving, you will have to pay for a tow truck or roadside assistance. The best way to avoid a major repair or replacement is to schedule a service call before a part fails. When a part fails, it can cause a major breakdown and further damage to the machine. A well-designed maintenance schedule will save you a lot of effort and money on unnecessary repairs that can lead to lost time.


What is Predictive Maintenance?

Predictive Maintenance is a process that involves monitoring equipment and determines when it needs to be repaired before a failure occurs.

What are the types of Predictive Maintenance?

Vibrational analysis, Acoustical analysis (sonic), Acoustical analysis (ultrasonic), Infrared analysis.

What is an example of Predictive Maintenance?

Refrigeration Sensor, Power Outage Prevention, Aircraft Maintenance, Manufacturing Monitoring.

Why do I need Predictive Maintenance?

Predictive Maintenance enables safety compliance, preventive corrective action, and longer equipment life. By looking ahead and knowing when to expect a failure, preventive investigations, adjustments to the maintenance schedule and repairs can be made before the equipment fails.

What is Predictive Computer Maintenance?

Predictive computer maintenance is a software program that will monitor the computer for potential problems and suggest fixes. The program will also monitor the computer’s performance and recommend actions to be taken to prevent the computer from crashing.

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Predictive Maintenance