When GE Energy executives Jim Rogers and Matthew Conkrite visited our Birmingham, Ala., offices a few months ago, they got our attention when they talked about maintenance as a profit center.            

It is common knowledge that maintenance is a key to getting the most out of industrial plants. Achieving the correct balance in system maintenance can positively affect plant efficiency and the bottom line.

Like GE Energy, many industrial manufacturing companies continue to look at predictive maintenance strategies as ways to prevent unexpected equipment failures. By detecting the onset of equipment degradation and addressing the problems as they are identified, downtime can be avoided and money can be saved. One of the key elements is gathering the right information at the right time.

Preventive maintenance explores ways to maintain equipment and facilities by providing for systematic inspection, detection and correction of failures before they occur and before they develop into catastrophic problems using time-based intervals. These techniques can also maximize uptime and reliability and increase profits in the long term.

There is a subtle but important distinction between the two strategies, but one thing is certain—companies will continue to look for new ways to minimize the risk of equipment failure and unscheduled downtime and extend the life of their equipment. The bottom line . . . reducing risk increases profits.

In the November issue of Pumps & Systems, we explore some specific strategies in our Predictive & Preventive Maintenance special section.

As this common trend continues to gain momentum, we also encourage you to register for our free webinar this month on “Redefining Repair as a Failure of Maintenance: Using Life-Cycle Asset Management to Minimize Repairs and Maximize Plant Efficiency.” Register today, and then tune in on November 10 at 1 p.m. eastern to learn how to use improved maintenance to virtually eliminate the need for repairs, instead of living with the results of unplanned failure. The webinar is sponsored by ITT Goulds Pumps and provides actionable advice on improving pump reliability, lowering repair costs and avoiding equipment breakdowns.