Condition Based Maintenance

CBM as it is well known in the Enterprise Asset Management terms is a buzzword for sometime now.

This post aims at making CBM simple to understand.

Any “Asset” would need maintenance to give its optimal performance. Traditionally there are two strategies to manage the “Maintenance”

1. Wait till the equipment fails. As soon as it fails, fix the equipment/Asset. This is “reactive” maintenance. (Corrective Maintenance) The disadvantage is the unplanned downtime. You do not like the car to be broken down before the maintenance is done. is it not? But the advantage is we fix only what is required making it very “cost effective” mode of maintenance.

2. Maintain the Asset in a periodic schedule (Preventive Maintenance). Just like a car going for a service after every 5000 km run or after every 6 months. This will make the Asset perform without a breakdown, but the maintenance is expensive, we will change the oils etc., even when they can be used for further period. It amounts for more costs for maintenance.

So, there should be a more “smarter” approach for asset maintenance. Is it not? that is called a “predictive maintenance” or Condition Based Maintenance. Let us assume if we instrument the asset with more sensors they can exactly “measure” some key parameters, that can be used to compute the exact condition of the asset health and recognize certain “conditions” before they happen. Using this information, we can carryout the required “maintenance” of the asset. This approach will surely help reducing the maintenance costs and asset failures.

But, it adds additional instrumentation of sensors, data collection and processing the data to “intelligently” identify the conditions. When all this additional instrumentation, data collection and processing is considerably cheaper than the maintenance expenditure and it avoids a breakdown it is worth implementing it. Achieving this in a “smart” way is the key!

EAM with CBM will surely improve the operations of any “Asset Based” organization.

But when we look at the God’s own creation, we see CBM everywhere… Macrocosmic System of the “World” and the microcosmic system of the “body” both implement the CBM to its nirvana. Both the systems sense the conditions, process them, present the conditions in a meaningful way and they also self HEAL the condition naturally which is the nirvana of “Asset Management”!!

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