How Preventive Maintenance Saves You Time & Money
Managing buildings and facilities is a never-ending job. Every inch of a structure is under assault from the elements, normal breakdown of materials, and routine use (or excessive).
In large, extensive, facilities, it can take a small army of maintenance professionals to keep operations functioning as intended.
As a whole, the facilities management industry as a whole is expected to grow by $660.29 billion from 2020 to 2025. This massive industry certainly has its work cut out for it.
Now, when looking at facility maintenance, there are two stances someone might take:
- Proactive maintenance
- Reactive maintenance
If you wait for things to break before you fix them, you’re taking a reactive stance. If you address issues before they become a problem, you’re taking a proactive maintenance approach.
Critically, evidence shows that a proactive approach, especially through preventive maintenance, is the best method.
Proactive vs. Preventive Maintenance
So, what exactly is the difference between proactive and preventive maintenance?
Well, first, know that the two are very closely linked. In fact, in casual conversations, they’re often used interchangeably.
However, slight differences do exist.
Proactive maintenance uses tracked data to determine the underlying cause of faulty equipment. This helps reduce your overall equipment and repair costs and extend their useable lifespan by addressing problems before they arise. If done correctly, repairs remain minimal, since you’re tracking key indicators at all times.
Preventive maintenance relies on inspecting & replacing critical components on a regular schedule. For instance, replacing cables, paint, belts, or other components at regular intervals.
Here, we’ll focus on scheduled, preventive maintenance.
The benefits of preventive maintenance include eliminating downtime, increasing building and equipment life, cost savings, improved morale, and strengthening your company’s reputation. When compared to reactive maintenance, preventive maintenance is a no-brainer.
Drones are one of the latest tools available to help maintenance management professionals conduct preventive maintenance.
Drones help with this approach in a number of ways, including inspections, mapping, and building digital twins.
Bridge inspection conducted via drone. The same critical data was gathered as manual methods, but in less time, with no risk to people.
Preventive Maintenance Inspections
Before drones flew onto the scene, inspections required a lot of manual work. There was no way around it.
Trained crews needed to laboriously survey a site, often shutting down production to safely complete their assessments. Using handheld tools and measuring devices, crews were often placed in dangerous situations or near toxic substances. This, all while ops stood at a stand-still.
However, drones can access nearly any location, all without ever placing the operator in danger.
Think about the all the ins-and-outs of your operations.
Is it a maze of pipes, superstructures, stairs, railings, and corridors? What about through the eyes of those who need to climb, crawl, or cautiously lower themselves into position?
Inspections that once placed people in confined spaces or at dangerous heights can now be conducted with UAVs, risk-free.
Additionally, drones carry powerful optics that allow for data collection at levels both undeniable, and once unimaginable, through manual inspections. With today’s equipment, an entire facility can be inspected with visual cameras, thermal imaging, or precise measuring tools such as LiDAR in a fraction of the time it would take a human crew.
The data collected is ideally suited for monitoring any structure and planning preventive maintenance.
Better Mapping = Easier Planning
When you think of preventive maintenance, mapping might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But, it’s actually a very useful tool.
Case in point:
Many years ago, I was in charge of running a remote site for a multinational EPCM company (Engineering, Procurement, and Construction Management). The site was essentially a small city, with several thousand people in it.
Keeping the installation and all its facilities running was no easy task.
At the time, we were fortunate enough to have had a helicopter fly over the facility (once) and provide us with a detailed map of the entire location. After enlarging it and placing it on the operations tent wall, we used it to plan everything from building new fuel points to fixing leaky showers.
That map was a vital tool in all our project management and maintenance meetings.
With drones, you can create those same highly detailed 2D and 3D maps for planning your maintenance efforts.
However, unlike booking high-priced helicopter fly-overs, drones can collect data for maps multiple times per week – or even per day – at far less cost and disruption than crewed aircraft.
You’ll never need to wait for a helicopter arrival, as we did, allowing you to plan preventive maintenance in real-time.
Preventive Maintenance Through Digital Twins
It would be much easier to plan and conduct preventive maintenance if you could carry your facility with you wherever you went. With digital twins, you can.
Drones and 3D laser scanners for indoor spaces can create a digital copy of your building with fantastic accuracy. These models are great for monitoring building conditions and planning preventive maintenance operations.
Unlike other methods of generating models of buildings, drones can approach a structure from just about any angle. This means they can quickly capture data that can then be turned into digital copies. UAV technology makes this method safe, accurate, and cost-efficient.
The result is that planners have workable models of their facilities and can use these models to organize preventive maintenance efforts. Buildings last longer, and the residents or workers of the facility enjoy a safer environment.
Preventive Maintenance Prevents Problems
It’s hard to imagine why anyone would choose to avoid preventive maintenance.
The practice simply has too many advantages over alternative methods to ignore. On top of that, drones make tracking preventive maintenance a breeze.
From helping you better optimize your budget to minimizing operational shutdowns, it’s the best solution for the job.
And, when you bring drones into the program, the process becomes even faster & more streamlined.
If you want to learn how to integrate drones into your building management program, speak with experts today!
Are you ready to begin your journey in the UAV industry? If so, Consortiq can help you take you where you need to go.
With headquarters in both the UK and US, Consortiq’s team of trusted professionals is ready to help you get started today. Just contact us using the form below and we’ll be glad to help!
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