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2020 Trends In Industrial Maintenance


Early in 2020, ATS and Plant Engineering Magazine conducted a survey asking manufacturing professionals about the issues they currently face and the impact of their maintance practices on productivity and profitability. The survey sample included engineers, maintenance supervisors, managers and other personnel directly involved in the maintenance operations of their facilities. By considering and/or implementing the industrial maintenance trends for 2020 identified by respondents, you may be able to better address maintenance issues you encounter at your facility.

Top Industrial Maintenance Trends in 2020

The following are some key trends identified by survey respondents for 2020: Skills gap, resources and technical training — Respondents indicated they continue to experience issues with the skills gap and resources, and are addressing them through outsourced maintenance. Their top reason for outsourcing maintenance, cited by 48% of respondents, was a lack of time or personnel to dedicate to the function. Following close behind, at 41%, is a lack of necessary skills among current staff. Also frequently mentioned: calling on outsourced maintenance to address areas for which training is highly specialized and thus impractical from an ROI standpoint. Preventive and predictive maintenance strategies — Standard preventive maintenance remains the most common maintenance strategy, utilized by 76% of respondents, with reactive maintenance/run-to-failure used by 60% of respondents. However, more data-based, analytical strategies appear to be on the rise, with 52% of facilities using a CMMS (computerized maintenance management system) to integrate maintenance processes, centralize data and controls, and improve productivity. In fact, of all the maintenance tools in use, CMMS was cited as offering the best productivity benefits by 75% of respondents. In addition, 41% of respondents have implemented a predictive maintenance strategy. New strategies to decrease downtime — When asked how they planned to decrease equipment downtime in the coming year, the most popular solution — cited by 46% of respondents — was to change their existing maintenance strategy or introduce a new strategy. Respondents ranked the effectiveness of various maintenance strategies in decreasing downtime. Run-to-failure ranked lowest, at less than 15%, with predictive maintenance highest, at 70%. While preventive maintenance also is viewed as a barrier against downtime, reliability-centered maintenance made a strong showing at 60%. We expect that, given the favorable response to these practices, these proactive strategies will be increasingly in demand to combat downtime. Industry 4.0 and impact of IIoT — With greater connectivity and more data available, the industrial internet of things (IIoT), as part of Industry 4.0, is poised to significantly impact maintenance operations. Survey respondents anticipate this happening in two primary areas — a better understanding of machine health (32%) and better anticipation with more control over equipment shutdowns (27%). Plans to adopt advanced technology — Only 17% of respondents currently use advanced technology to capture machine performance data. However, 47% of respondents said they are planning to implement these technologies within 1 to 3 years. And seven out of 10 respondents view data as useful and actionable, with plans to use advanced technology to improve current maintenance procedures and operations. Interested in learning more about 2020 industrial maintenance trends and forecasts? Download our full 2020 Industrial Maintenance Report here. Are you looking to improve maintenance strategies and asset reliability at your facility? ATS specializes in outsourced factory maintenance, focusing on addressing personnel shortages and  implementation of effective maintenance strategies using advanced technologies. For more information on our services, contact one of our representatives.

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