Predictive maintenance technology could save millions – Shenker

Predictive maintenance technology could save millions – Shenker

Nadine Shenker. Image supplied.

Maintenance technology is vital for technology-reliant industries and governments for whom a simple software flaw could cause serious problems, according to Nadine Shenker, director of business intelligence and advanced analytics at BITanium.

“Never before has technology been so central to both safety and success, and the stakes so high,” said Shenker.

“Both governments and business executives have recognised this and are looking for ways to reduce risk and standardise their approach to maintaining and improving critical technology and infrastructure.”

Shenker said one of the challenges faced by various industries is when and how to schedule maintenance, however, scheduled maintenance has been the only solution, but has proven to be imperfect.

“Now, with the rapid advances in business intelligence and analytics, a new solution has emerged, termed ‘predictive maintenance’. As the name suggests, this approach is based on the ability to anticipate problems,” said Shenker.

In addition to anticipating when a problem will occur, predictive maintenance models can also predict where it will occur and how.

Highly intelligent sensors and advanced analytics tools, which trawl for problems at a thousand times per second, are ways to implement predictive maintenance.

“Indeed, the potential applications for predictive maintenance solutions are almost limitless – simply because of the massive amount of data these models per second. Just as the potential applications are limitless, so too are the potential cost savings,” said Shenker.

Through predictive maintenance businesses are able avoid unnecessary downtime and save on human resources and their budget without compromising the quality of services and products.

“As with many new technologies and solutions, however, the majority of South African organisations are resistant to change, and often wait until new trends have become more established before taking the leap. For the early adopters… predictive maintenance is likely to be a critical differentiator at a time when technical skills are scarce and budgets are being slashed,” said Shenker.

Due to the increasing complexity of infrastructure, processes and systems together with increasing dependence on machines to run major operations, Shenker said advanced tools such as predictive maintenance will encourage key decision makers to reassess their strategies.

“Those who do not will surely be left behind,” said Shenker.

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