What Is Prescriptive Maintenance?

What is Prescriptive Maintenance written over a futuristic background? 

Companies across several industries rely on specialized equipment and machinery to operate at peak efficiency and performance levels. These companies require an up-to-date maintenance strategy capable of reducing rates of unexpected breakdowns that can send normal business operations to a screeching halt. Traditionally, maintenance strategies were either preventive or reactive, where equipment is maintained on a set schedule or repaired when it fails. However, maintenance strategies are radically changing due to advancements in data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and the Internet of Things (IoT).  

Prescriptive maintenance is a state-of-the-art maintenance strategy that enables organizations to optimize the lifespan and performance of business-critical equipment. Like other preventive maintenance strategies, it provides the benefits of enhanced reliability including minimizing the very real costs associated with unexpected downtime. 

This article will explore the prescriptive maintenance approach by first clearly defining the term. It will compare the approach to predictive maintenance, which shares a foundation in using artificial intelligence, machine learning, and advanced data analytics, and outline situations where prescriptive maintenance would be a preferred choice over other options with real-world examples. Lastly, we will highlight the significance of using LLumin’s advanced computerized maintenance management system (CMMS+) to implement a highly effective and proactive maintenance program.

What Is Prescriptive Maintenance?

Prescriptive maintenance (RxM) is an advanced maintenance strategy that uses machine-level sensors and other monitoring strategies to determine when complex equipment and machinery require maintenance. It is a type of condition-based maintenance that uses real-time data from equipment, advanced analytics, and machine-learning algorithms to predict when maintenance is required and recommend the most appropriate and effective maintenance actions.

Its data analytics processes are used to calculate the equipment’s remaining useful life (RUL), enabling operators to perform maintenance before faults occur, similar to the philosophy of preventive maintenance. However, unlike preventive maintenance, this approach doesn’t rely on a predetermined schedule or cycle. Instead, it aims to identify the optimal moment to perform maintenance, whether by postponing or anticipating it, thus minimizing downtime.

Prescriptive maintenance takes preventive maintenance several steps ahead with real-time adaptive recommendations using AI. It predicts failures based on data patterns and trends, considers a company’s specific maintenance processes, and provides detailed recommendations to support the solution-finding process. With this approach, maintenance tasks can be optimized and updated continuously as the operation continues, allowing for better equipment performance and increased uptime.

Comparison of Predictive Vs. Prescriptive Maintenance

Both predictive (PdM) and prescriptive (RxM) preventive maintenance strategies are effective and advanced. Both of these strategies rely on similar technologies and data analytics to predict when maintenance is required. So, what’s the difference between the two?

The table below compares their similarities and differences, as well as their goals, the data they use, and the maintenance actions they recommend. Understanding the key differences between these two maintenance approaches can help organizations determine which approach is best suited for their equipment and maintenance needs.

Predictive Maintenance (PdM) Prescriptive Maintenance (RxM)
Definition PdM uses data and analytics to predict when maintenance is required.  RxM uses data, analytics, and machine learning to predict when maintenance is required and prescribe the most effective maintenance actions. 
Goal To prevent unexpected downtime and extend the life of the equipment. Optimize equipment performance and reduce costs by prescribing the most effective maintenance actions
Data used Historical data, real-time data from sensors, and machine learning algorithms. The same as predictive maintenance, but also can include external data sources such as weather and traffic data.
Maintenance actions Reactive or preventive maintenance based on predicted failure. The most effective maintenance tasks are prescribed based on the predicted failure and other company-specific factors, such as cost and availability.
Advantages Helps avoid unexpected downtime, reduces maintenance costs, and extends equipment life. Same as predictive maintenance, but also provides more effective maintenance prescriptions.
Disadvantages Can be expensive to implement and may require a significant amount of data and analytics expertise. Same as predictive maintenance, but it requires more advanced machine learning algorithms and analytics expertise.

When Prescriptive Maintenance Is Recommended

When a company manages equipment with predictable failure modes or when a company lacks the resources to implement a full prescriptive maintenance program, predictive maintenance might be a better option. Prescriptive maintenance is best suited for equipment with complex failure modes with high levels of criticality and where there are high costs or safety implications associated with equipment failure. 

Prescriptive maintenance is also an ideal choice for difficult-to-access equipment or equipment that requires significant time and resources to maintain, such as offshore oil rigs, where maintenance is costly and difficult to perform.

Prescriptive Maintenance Use Cases

Prescriptive maintenance is an effective maintenance strategy that can be used in various industries and equipment types. Below, we’ve included some specific use cases for prescriptive maintenance:

  1. Food and Beverage (F&B) Industry: A prescriptive maintenance system in a dairy processing plant can analyze data from sensors on equipment such as pumps and valves to identify potential failures and recommend maintenance before an issue occurs. This can aid in the reduction of product waste, the preservation of product quality, and the avoidance of downtime.
  2. Oil and Gas Industry: A prescriptive maintenance system can analyze data from sensors on equipment such as pumps, compressors, and generators to predict when maintenance is required on offshore oil rigs. This can help to reduce downtime, extend the life of equipment, and improve safety.
  3. Healthcare Industry: A prescriptive maintenance system in a hospital can analyze data from sensors on equipment such as imaging machines, ventilators, and heart monitors to identify potential failures and recommend maintenance before an issue occurs. This can help ensure that critical equipment is always available.

LLumin’s Advanced CMMS+ For Your Maintenance Program

Prescriptive maintenance is a next-generation maintenance strategy ideal for enterprise-level organizations managing mission-critical machinery and equipment with high failure costs and risks. This advanced maintenance strategy is best suited to supporting complex equipment with a high failure rate, especially equipment that is difficult to access or is subjected to harsh environmental conditions.

An advanced CMMS solution can be a valuable asset for businesses considering implementing a preventive maintenance strategy or improving an existing one. LLumin’s CMMS+ AI-powered capabilities can analyze historical and real-time equipment data and recommend maintenance actions. Its mobile-ready cloud-based platform can centralize access to maintenance data such as work orders, maintenance schedules, and equipment history and use this information to identify areas for improvement.

At LLumin, we focus on excellent customer service to ensure your implementation project is successful and timely. Our implementation team will tailor the CMMS+ to support your company’s specific goals and business processes, providing you with a rapid  implementation plan and a support team to accelerate and guide your digital transformation.

If you are looking for a cutting-edge CMMS+ with a rapid implementation process and expert customer support staff, then LLumin is a perfect fit. Join the many satisfied customers who have experienced the benefits of LLumin’s CMMS+ software today.

Getting Started With LLumin

LLumin develops innovative CMMS software to manage and track multiple assets and facilities for industrial plants, municipalities, utilities, fleets, and facilities. To get started and improve your CMMS ROI, we encourage you to schedule a free demo or contact the experts at LLumin to see how our software can help you reach your management goals.