Categories: Shaft Alignment,Machinery Diagnostics,Condition Monitoring,Machinery Maintenance,Other Topics

Maintenance Strategies: Part Four – Proactive Maintenance

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By on March 16, 2017

Proactive Maintenance includes a number of maintenance strategies, such as Precision Maintenance, Reliability Based Maintenance, Reliability Centered Maintenance, and Root Cause Failure Analysis.

The idea is to anticipate and solve problems before they become problems.

Reliability Centered maintenance would begin with a study done on a piece of equipment to gain understanding of all its failure modes and the consequences of any one component failing. With this information, the design of the best maintenance strategy can be developed. Which may include, condition monitoring, preventive maintenance or run to failure. An example might be an automobile.

Lights – Run to failure

Oil Change – Preventive

Tires – Preventive

Gauges – Condition Monitoring, etc.

Precision Maintenance is necessary due to the tight tolerances in today’s machine manufacturing. If one is using a hammer to drive a bearing onto a shaft or into a housing, that is not precision maintenance. In today’s competitive environment, proper tools and training are a must for precision maintenance. Every job has a tool and every tool has its place. Proper alignment, balance and lubrication are a must. The Fixturlaser EVO for shaft alignment, HAWK w/balancing and Belt Hog for belt and pulley alignment would be a good place to start.


Root Cause Failure Analysis is determining the root cause of a machine failure. Every effect has a cause. Remove the cause, remove the effect. Typical root cause of failures in rotating machinery are: misalignment, unbalance, lubrication, resonance, improper operation, poor quality, improper specification, assembly errors during overhaul, bad bearings and poor electrical quality.

Being proactive is a general approach that consists of a wide variety of practices and strategies and uses various technologies where appropriate.  A plant in proactive mode will employ all the maintenance strategies where appropriate.

Proactive Maintenance should be the goal of every industry that plans to remain competitive. It also requires participation from the top of an organization throughout the entire organization.

About the Author

Mac was a Journeyman Millwright at a Kimberly-Clark paper mill in Washington State before moving into a Maintenance Team Leader position. Later, he moved to Kentucky where he went to work for Wausau Paper as Maintenance Team Leader on a new mill start-up. This is where Mac was first introduced to VibrAlign. “I was so impressed with the people, passion, and products of VibrAlign. I had always hoped to one day give back some of the knowledge I have been fortunate enough to gain from others in my field. VibrAlign has given me that opportunity.”

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