The Failure Developing Period and Its Impact on Industrial Maintenance

Broken industrial gear

Everyone wants to predict the future — particularly in business. Prior knowledge of looming problems allows for better preparation and prevention efforts. The crystal ball has yet to be invented, but data analytics have come a long way for making reasonable predictions about the future. And there’s no better example than the failure developing period (FDP) curve model for manufacturing equipment.

What is the FDP?

The FDP curve is the time period between the ability to detect a failure and the point at which the failure causes a machine to break down. For the purposes of FDP, a “failure” is when a machine is both experiencing a problem and still operating correctly. The machine might still be operating, but it’s critical to correct small issues as they arise — before they evolve into major problems.

Identifying the FDP curve allows manufacturers to take quick notice of equipment problems and inform a better standard of maintenance in the future. The FDP model quantifies the time between first failure and downtime and gives maintenance techs insight into the trajectory of equipment repairs over a given period (e.g., week, month, quarter, and/or year).

Two workers unscrewing part of electronic motor

How can the FDP curve inform better maintenance?

The FDP curve is a reliable metric for predicting when future equipment issues will develop — making it a useful metric for determining the best time for maintenance. It also leads to more informed maintenance. Manufacturers can even couple the FDP curve with another useful metric, such as mean time between failures (MTBF), to build a better maintenance schedule.

A good recurring maintenance schedule allows manufacturers to head off equipment breakdowns, prevent production delays, and drastically reduce the chances of catastrophic equipment failure.

How to improve FDP monitoring and analysis

These days, there are plenty of tools to help manufacturers monitor and collect data from FDP curves. Connectivity and digital analytics are widely available within the manufacturing industry via the industrial internet of things (IIoT) and software programs, such as a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS).

A CMMS gives manufacturers enhanced functionality to track, analyze, and plan equipment maintenance programs. Used in conjunction with other analytics tools (e.g., digital twins), a CMMS provides maintenance technicians with a clear view of machinery operation. And a good view makes FDP curve assessment much easier. Techs gain a better understanding of the causes for equipment failure and a timeline of when they are likely to occur. Data analytics help manufacturers establish superior maintenance standards.

Worker pushing red power button on control panel

Maximize maintenance efforts with FDP data

Industrial maintenance is an ongoing game of cat and mouse. Equipment is always under duress. Machines need constant service to ensure peak operating efficiency. FDP data yields valuable insight about the time it takes known issues to become major malfunctions. Combined with other metrics, FDP is key to formulating a proactive and effective maintenance strategy.

There’s not always enough time between the discovery of a problem and delivery of a solution. If you’re up against impending failure, you can always count on the professionals at Global Electronic Services. Contact us for all your industrial electronic, servo motor, AC and DC motor, hydraulic, and pneumatic needs — and don’t forget to like and follow us on Facebook!
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