Predictive Maintenance as a Mechanism to Bridge the Packaging Skill Gap

Predictive maintenance can help machine builders better allocate resources and even bring in new revenue streams.

Predictive maintenance can help machine builders spot issues before failure and allocate resources accordingly.
Predictive maintenance can help machine builders spot issues before failure and allocate resources accordingly.
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Predictive maintenance saves headaches down the road for end-users, but it can also make life easier for labor-strapped machine builders, according to PMMI Business Intelligence’s “2023 State of the Industry” report.

Using sensors and other data points found within machine control mechanisms, machine builders can flag when machinery is beginning to trend in a problematic direction. This allows machine builders to have greater visibility into their serviceable installed base, which can help in prioritizing precious resources to service these machines.

Predictive maintenance technology is not new, but adoption has been slow. Initially, several barriers hampered adoption, including proof of concept, price, and data sensitivity.

Recently, though, PMMI Business Intelligence researchers said they see end-users becoming more willing to utilize predictive maintenance technology when available.

Packaging machine builders are in a unique position to offer predictive maintenance as part of their after-market service. The machine builder will often be best equipped to train the algorithm used to detect performance anomalies, allowing for a machine-specific approach to predictive maintenance.

General-purpose industrial automation companies will often offer predictive maintenance services. However, Business Intelligence researchers say these solutions are only reliable in very well-understood applications. Having a predictive maintenance solution developed in accordance with a specific machine offers value far above a general-purpose solution.

From a business perspective, an effective predictive maintenance offering brings two key benefits: it can bring new revenue streams to the business, and it can improve the efficiencies of available maintenance resources. 

Bringing New Revenue Streams

Predictive maintenance is often priced on a subscription model as part of a service contract, representing a consistent stream of revenue.

It can also be a source of entirely new revenue streams. In instances where customers elect not to enter into a service agreement with the supplier of the machine, a predictive maintenance solution can still be offered as an add-on with the machine.

Many end-users will elect to run maintenance operations themselves but will need a predictive maintenance-enabled machine to aid with operations internally.

Improving Maintenance Efficiencies to Bridge the Skill Gap

With maintenance resources now valued at a premium, any mechanism used to allocate that resource more efficiently should also be valued at a premium.

In an ideal predictive maintenance offering, the supplier of the machine will have visibility into when an asset is expected to have maintenance issues well before failure. 

This gives the machine builder adequate time to allocate necessary resources toward servicing this machine as opposed to having a reactionary approach.

An effective predictive maintenance solution can also reduce the need for regular preventative maintenance trips. If technicians can service a machine only when necessary, it relieves a burden on maintenance resources and can reduce costs associated with site visits. 

Source: PMMI Business Intelligence: 2023 State of the Industry

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