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As more and more organizations continue to strive for better resource allocation, enhanced customer satisfaction, optimized production, and improved safety performance, there will be continuous changes and improvements to maintenance management as we know it.

Let’s look at some of the biggest trends that are currently shaping maintenance practices globally.

1. Better maintenance insights through Big Data

Almost every industry is leveraging the benefits of big data to gain insights into their processes, predict issues before they happen, and then use that information to drive continuous improvement. From healthcare to aviation to education and manufacturing, these changes are happening primarily on the platform of the industrial internet of things (IIoT) and wireless sensor networks.

We expect that over the next few decades, maintenance processes will move away completely from paper-based or manual management to real-time monitoring based on information that machines are providing. The maintenance workforce of the future will be largely digitized and proactive – making most of their decisions based on real-time machine data.

The overall result of this large-scale data mining will be better equipment reliability than ever seen before.

2. Cloud-based maintenance

Over the last few years, there’s been a phenomenal increase in how businesses and individuals use cloud computing solutions.

For maintenance professionals, the main attraction is that cloud-based maintenance support, or maintenance as a service, offer a full suite of features that are accessible anywhere globally. The most popular of these tools are cloud-based computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) because it offers customizable features, is quicker to deploy than On-premise CMMS, and traditional that deliver more mobile, flexible, and customizable solutions for enterprise maintenance. Also, it offers you the full benefits of an enterprise maintenance solution on a “pay-as-you-use” basis.

3. Simulated training and maintenance

More companies are employing simulations in the form of virtual and augmented reality right from the equipment design stage. The aim is to improve the safety and reliability of these machines and make them easier to maintain for the rest of their lifespan.

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies are also being used for training new maintenance personnel especially in industries like aviation and power generation without exposing them to real danger. Specialized augmented reality panels are now available that allow technicians to monitor and examine machines without opening them up.

4. Additive manufacturing

Additive manufacturing (AM), or 3D printing, started as a means for creating simple prototypes. Today, more industries are considering it and adopting it for producing scarce but urgently needed spare parts.

Quoting a 2018 Wohlers Report, Forbes mentioned that AM is already growing exponentially because, among other reasons, it allows organizations to overcome the problems of supply chain delays, and so on. Note that this technology is not cheap, but as research increases, it may become more affordable and help maintenance teams to produce rare or out of production spare parts quickly on site.

5. Prescriptive maintenance

Yes, predictive maintenance (PdM) is cutting-edge technology. But, what about Prescriptive Maintenance? Prescriptive maintenance (RxM), is a technology that analyzes data about a machine and uses that information to recommend actions to correct any anomalies and reduce operational risks.

Basically, RxM is a step above PdM. While PdM tells us when a failure is likely to occur, RxM tells you the steps to take to correct the problem.

Although prescriptive maintenance clearly has the potential to become a game-changer in maintenance, research is still ongoing.

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The world is changing, maintenance management included. However, to get the best of these technologies, it’s important that you carefully research what would work best considering your unique company culture, systems, and goals. Contact us and get started with a free demo right away!

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