Reduce Machine Downtime with a Unified Visual Maintenance Strategy

Andrew Mort

According to Aberdeen Research, 82 percent of companies have experienced unplanned machine downtime over the past three years, costing as much as $260,000 an hour. Unplanned downtime can result from a wide range of causes, including excessive tool or job changeover, but equipment failure and unanticipated maintenance remain the biggest concerns for most companies, hindering the drive toward the highest possible Overall Equipment Effectiveness score.

For decades, manufacturers have sworn by the principles of Total Productive Maintenance, the Japanese corporate philosophy based on empowering and inspiring all employees to take proactive roles in ensuring the smooth functioning of the facility. A key pillar of this approach is Autonomous Maintenance, whereby shop floor workers carry out basic maintenance of equipment, including cleaning machines, visual inspection and early detection of machine degradation.

It has been estimated that 27% of companies use visual inspection as their primary predictive maintenance methodology. This means that on-site workers are entrusted with carrying out physical inspections, drawing conclusions based only on their own expertise. But the facts and figures speak themselves. Machine downtime remains a growing problem.

The Downsides of Traditional Visual Inspection

Accidents can happen, especially when industrial equipment is elevated or hard to access. And since safety is a top priority in all industrial sectors, the quality and frequency of visual inspections can suffer, especially when staff are needed for other urgent duties.

Predictive maintenance solutions are, of course, widely used in industry, allowing companies to take some of the guesswork out of the inspection process. Measuring variables ranging from temperature and pressure to vibration and rotation speeds, these systems can be deployed alongside the latest AI-powered approaches such as digital twins.

However, the visual approach still has a vital role to play, in terms of both preventative and corrective procedures. With the right combination of technologies, industrial enterprises can now move toward a unified visual maintenance strategy.

Enhancing Visual Inspections

Automating Visual Inspections

Emergency Visual Assistance

Automated Visual Assistance

Toward a Unified Visual Maintenance Strategy

This article was first published on the TechSee blog.

TechSee revolutionizes the customer support domain by providing the first cognitive visual support solution powered by augmented reality and AI. www.techsee.me

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