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Using Condition Based Maintenance to Prevent Failures

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Hi all,

In May this year we discussed about a topic named "Using Time Based Maintenance (TBM) to Prevent Failures" (link here).

Also, Erik is releasing a course and he sent a few emails last week discussing about how to increase your plant's reliability, in which he talked about the Condition Based Maintenance (CBM) approach on one of these emails.

Personally, I am a big fan of this topic and would like to know your thoughts about it this week!

Okay, but what is this "Condition Based Maintence"?

For those who didn't get a chance to read his email, I will briefly explain here what that is:

Differently from TBM, in which you change out parts based on a determined interval for their age-related failure nature, the CBM will change them out based on its condition.

In other words, you will only replace your item if it displays signals of damage and a failure is likely to occur prior to your next opportunity (eg.: prior to the next outage). If such item does not show any damage signals or only minor signals that are likely to last until your next shut, then you simply keep it as is and start planning its replacement (more inspections might also be an option).

When to use it?

On his email, Erik gave an interesting example:

"An example of condition based maintenance would be the brake pads we talked about in one of the earlier emails - you regularly check the remaining thickness and once the pads start to get thin you replace them."

Basically, the brake pads are not overdue in 12, 24, or 36 months. However, their life is related to the way and how often we use them. In other words, if you brake abruptly you will see a faster wear behaviour, as well as if you drive 2,000km per month instead of 300km, you will also notice more wear.

This causes a not age-related failure, but something more random. In this situation, having a 12 monthly plan to replace them would not be as cost effective and would not necessarily increase your car's reliability. An option here would be inspecting the brake pads every X months or Y mileage and replacing it once it reachs is minimum thickness.

For random failures, the Condition Based Maintence is a more appropriate approach than TBM.

Is Inspecting the only option?

No. There are many options that can help you achieve a reliable CBM strategy. They can be inspections as mentioned, but also vibration analsys, oil analysis, ultrasounds and the list goes on and on.


How about you? Do you use CBM on your plant? Have you noticed an better outcomes since using such strategy?



Raul Martins

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