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Condition-based Maintenance (CBM)

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What Is Condition Based Maintenance?

Condition based maintenance (CBM) is a maintenance strategy that tracks the conditions of commodities in order to assess what type of maintenance is needed. CBM maintenance strategy is only executed when unique indicators in the factory reveal potential failure. 

Types of Condition Based Maintenance technologies

There are multiple CBM technologies that are utilized in manufacturing. Let’s review a few below:

  1. Vibration analysis – Vibration analysis is a method that tracks vibration levels and frequencies of equipment to analyze the overall health of a machine. This type of process can help find issues such as resonance, imbalance, bent shafts, etc.
  2. Ultrasonic analysisUltrasonic analysis uses sound to track and measure assets that are likely to fail. This process is completed by detecting high-frequency sounds and transforming them into data.
  3. Electrical analysisElectrical analysis is used in order to measure power of assets. This process is executed in order to better understand which assets are receiving more electricity than needed. 
  4. Pressure analysisPressure analysis is a method that steadily tracks and analyses pressure levels in real time. If an issue occurs, such as a spike or sudden drop, maintenance will be notified immediately. 

What Is the Difference Between Predictive and Condition Based Maintenance?

Condition Based Maintenance is just one of several maintenance types found in manufacturing. Another type of maintenance that is commonly used is Corrective Maintenance, which refers to fixing issues as soon as they occur. Or, Preventive Maintenance which is performed daily to reduce the odds of downtime and machine failure. There is also Predictive Maintenance which is a proactive maintenance technique that uses performance tracking tools to predict possible defects and fix them before they actually occur. Rather than focusing on daily routine maintenance, or fixing an error as it occurs, Predictive Maintenance tools utilizes condition-monitoring equipment to analyze the factory’s machines and parts in real time.  

The main difference between predictive maintenance and condition-based maintenance is that CBM analysis is based on condition, such as setting up rules when maintenance should be performed. Whereas, predictive maintenance attempts to predict when machines and equipment will need fixing. 

What Are the Advantages of Condition Based Maintenance?

  • Optimized time spent on maintenance: CBM is a type of maintenance that isn’t used 24/7; It is only used when needed. This type of maintenance process enables manufacturing companies to optimize the use of workforce and reduce costs. 
  • Reduced downtime when maintenance is needed: Most issues that can be found with CBM maintenance can be attended to and fixed without needing to shut down the machine completely. 
  • Less risk with machine failure: CMB maintenance is used according to conditions that when triggered, immediately alert the staff. Since this type of process uses sensors to identify problems the moment they occur, manufacturers are able to promptly fix the issue before it can get any worse or fail.
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What Are the Disadvantages of Condition Based Maintenance?

  • CBM software is typically not cheap, and requires a steady investment from a company. 
  • CBM introduces new maintenance techniques that may be difficult for staff if there is resistance to change. 
  • Additionally, these new CBM monitoring techniques require time and training for staff, which is an additional added cost.


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