Debunking myths: reality and benefits of Predictive Maintenance

Jun 10, 2024

As per Accenture, the spare parts industry is a very profitable area for generating profits after sales (Accenture, 2021). The machinery industry is often shrouded in myths that can hide the true value and functionality of aftersales services. These misconceptions range from the perceived high costs of maintenance to the effectiveness of older machinery. Such myths mislead decision-makers and also hinder the optimal utilization of resources and technological advancements such as predictive maintenance within the industry. 

Through a detailed examination of each myth, managers can understand how informed approaches to maintenance can prevent unnecessary expenditures and enhance operational efficiency.  By shifting perspectives from outdated beliefs to fact-based maintenance strategies, businesses can achieve higher productivity and better profitability. In this article, we debunk 8 common myths about facility management and maintenance.

Understanding the Machinery Industry

The global market for industrial aftermarket services was valued at roughly $213.5 billion in 2022 and is anticipated to grow at 7.4% from 2023 to 2031 (Transparency Market Research, 2024).​ The aftersales manufacturing industry plays an important role in the lifecycle of machinery and products, focusing on the provision of parts, repairs, maintenance, and services after the initial sale. This sector is vital for extending the lifespan of products and ensuring operational efficiency. 

Predictive maintenance extends the lifespan of an aging asset by 20% and reduces expenditures by 12%, per a PwC study (PwC, 2018). It plays an important role in facility management, changing how companies manage machinery upkeep. This approach uses real-time data and analytics to predict when equipment might fail, allowing for repairs before any actual breakdowns. 

This proactive method prevents unexpected machine downtime, which can be costly and disruptive. By fixing issues before they become major problems, businesses can keep their operations running smoothly, save money on repairs, and extend the life of their machinery. 

The machinery industry is often misunderstood due to several common myths. Some people believe that aftersales services are just extra costs that don’t add much value. Others think that only the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) can provide quality parts and services. In reality, aftersales support is important for keeping machinery running smoothly and efficiently. 

It includes preventative maintenance that can prevent future problems and extend the product’s life. Furthermore, quality services and parts are also offered by third-party providers, often at more competitive prices. Understanding these truths helps to appreciate the significant role and value of the aftersales manufacturing industry.

Myth # 1 – Downtime Management is about Reactive Solutions

According to estimates, unscheduled equipment downtime costs $260,000 per hour on average (Abdergeen Group, 2019). Downtime management is primarily about reactive solutions—fixing equipment only after it fails is a common myth in facility management. However, this view overlooks the important aspect of proactive strategies in downtime management. Effective aftersales services focus on preventative measures, such as regular maintenance and early detection of potential issues through diagnostic tools and smart technology. 

These proactive approaches aim to minimize unexpected breakdowns and reduce overall downtime, thereby maintaining operational continuity and efficiency. By shifting the perspective from merely reacting to problems to actively preventing them, businesses can enhance their productivity and reduce long-term costs.

Pro-tip: Boost your maintenance efficiency by training your teams to adeptly use diagnostic tools, setting up regular inspection routines, and incorporating condition monitoring systems. 

Myth # 2 – Predictive Maintenance requires heavy investments in new technology

Predictive maintenance results in a 25% boost in productivity, a 70% decrease in breakdowns, and a 25% reduction in maintenance expenses (Deloitte, 2017). While advanced systems like IoT devices and AI-driven analytics can enhance predictive maintenance capabilities, there are available options as well. Many predictive maintenance strategies can be implemented using existing data and machinery with minor upgrades or even by utilizing more basic monitoring tools. 

These strategies allow for the anticipation of equipment failures before they occur, facilitating timely interventions that can be both cost-effective and minimally disruptive. Thus, companies can adopt predictive maintenance practices at various levels of investment, making them accessible to a broader range of businesses.

Pro-tip: Utilize existing data and basic monitoring tools to adopt predictive maintenance affordably and effectively.

Myth # 3 – Preventive Maintenance is too expensive

Eighty percent of maintenance professionals still favor preventive maintenance (Plant Engineering, 2018). This misconception stems from the immediate costs associated with regular check-ups and servicing. However, the long-term financial benefits of preventive maintenance far outweigh these initial expenses. By regularly maintaining equipment, businesses can avoid the severe costs associated with major breakdowns, which often lead to expensive repairs and significant operational downtime. 

Additionally, preventive maintenance extends the lifespan of machinery, optimizes performance, and reduces energy consumption, all of which contribute to substantial cost savings over time. Therefore, rather than being an excessive expense, preventive maintenance is a wise investment that ensures cost-effectiveness and operational reliability.

Makula offers tailored solutions that feature automated maintenance scheduling, real-time equipment monitoring, and detailed analytics to predict potential failures before they occur. By using Makula’s intuitive platform, you can ensure that your machinery receives timely care, reducing downtime and energy consumption while optimizing performance.

Myth # 4 – Hiring more technicians solves all Maintenance problems

While having a sufficient technical workforce is important, simply increasing staff numbers does not address the root causes of maintenance issues. Effective maintenance requires manpower, strategic planning, proper training, and the right tools and technology. 

Overstaffing can lead to inefficiencies and increased operational costs without necessarily improving maintenance outcomes. Instead, optimizing the skills of existing technicians, enhancing their training, and employing smart maintenance strategies, such as predictive and preventive maintenance, can provide more sustainable solutions to maintenance challenges than merely increasing the headcount.

Pro-tip: Optimize your existing workforce by enhancing their skills and integrating smart maintenance strategies like predictive and preventive maintenance, rather than merely increasing staff numbers.

Predictive Maintenance

Predictive Maintenance myths and realities

Myth # 5 – Older machinery always requires more maintenance

44% of plants require maintenance for more than 40 hours each week (Plant Engineering, 2021). This myth doesn’t hold universally true as the maintenance needs of machinery depend on age and the quality of upkeep, usage patterns, and the specific type of equipment. Well-maintained older machines can often operate as reliably as newer ones, especially if they have been regularly serviced and updated with necessary modifications.

Moreover, older equipment can sometimes be easier to maintain due to simpler designs and the availability of parts. It’s essential to evaluate machinery on a case-by-case basis rather than assuming that age alone dictates the maintenance it requires, balancing cost-effectiveness and operational efficiency.

Older equipment, when well-maintained, can be just as effective as new machines. Makula’s asset management solutions provide detailed tracking and analysis tools that help you evaluate the real condition of your machinery based on age, usage, maintenance history, and performance data.

Myth # 6 – More complex machinery is always better

This idea can lead to unnecessary complications and higher costs. While advanced features and sophisticated technologies offer improved functionalities, they can also increase the likelihood of malfunctions and the complexity of repairs. Simpler machines are often more reliable and easier to maintain, especially in environments where high-tech solutions do not significantly enhance performance. 

The key is to find the right balance between complexity and utility, ensuring that the machinery you choose is advanced and also aligns well with your specific operational needs and the skill set of your workforce. This approach helps in maximizing efficiency and minimizing downtime.

Pro-tip: Achieve optimal efficiency by selecting machinery that balances complexity with utility, ensuring it meets your operational needs and matches your team’s skills without adding unnecessary costs or maintenance challenges.

Myth # 7 – The Manufacturer’s Maintenance schedule is always optimal

While manufacturers provide general guidelines based on typical usage scenarios, these schedules might not perfectly fit every situation or type of use. Different operating environments, usage intensities, and local conditions can alter the actual wear and tear on machinery, necessitating adjustments to the prescribed maintenance intervals. 

Proactive businesses often tailor these schedules based on real-time data and performance metrics to better suit their specific operational needs. Customizing maintenance plans can lead to more efficient use of resources, prolong equipment life, and prevent unnecessary downtime, thereby optimizing both maintenance efforts and operational efficiency.

Myth # 8 – Cutting costs on Maintenance will increase profitability

93% of businesses believe their maintenance procedures are inefficient (CX Group, 2018). This short-term strategy often leads to long-term financial losses. Skimping on regular maintenance can result in machinery breakdowns, requires costly repairs and also cause operational downtime affecting overall productivity. Additionally, neglected equipment tends to consume more energy and can compromise the quality of the products it produces.

Investing in thorough, regular maintenance ensures that machinery operates at peak efficiency, maintains high productivity levels, and extends the equipment’s lifespan, all of which contribute to sustained profitability. Thus, while cutting maintenance costs might seem like a quick way to boost profit margins, it typically results in more significant expenses down the line.

Pro-tip: Invest in regular, thorough maintenance to keep machinery at peak efficiency, which extends lifespan and contributes to long-term profitability rather than cutting corners on maintenance to save costs short-term.

Explore how Makula can support your maintenance strategies and debunk common industry myths. With Makula’s advanced preventive maintenance solutions, your business can minimize downtime, optimize equipment performance, and achieve long-term profitability. 

The only CMMS offering 3D capabilities for businesses involved in selling, servicing, using, or operating machinery and assets.

With Makula’s digital solution, streamline communication and simplify operational tasks in maintenance activities .

Discover more

See our product in action.Book a free online demo!