Nathan Dube

By: Nathan Dube on September 13th, 2022

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Packaging Machinery 101: Predictive VS Preventive Maintenance

Before you buy any packaging machinery, one of the most important items of consideration to get squared away in advance of an installation is predictive maintenance and preventive maintenance.


Predictive and preventive maintenance are fundamental dynamics required to keep machinery on your packaging lines running at peak performance.


Failure to implement regular predictive and preventive maintenance protocols for your packaging equipment will likely lead to costly downtime, expensive repairs, broken devices, and lost time, money, and labor.


Properly implemented preventive maintenance (PM) helps ensure that your packaging machinery can meet and exceed KPIs.


Regular preventive maintenance will allow you to stay running better, faster, and longer than your competitors who do not have a regularly scheduled PM program in place.


Meanwhile, predictive maintenance will allow you to identify a potential problem so that you can monitor it closely.


This would be especially true for roller bearings, bushings, motors, and shafts. The predictive model will point to a potential issue, but you may not always want to replace a part if it's not in a late stage of wear.


A combination of predictive and preventive maintenance translates to the least amount of downtime possible while ensuring that your packaging machinery performs at a level that may rival the best packaging lines in the industry.


But, what is the difference between preventive maintenance and predictive maintenance? Why is it essential to ensure both are correctly implemented for all of your packaging equipment?


What does each type of packaging machinery maintenance entail, and how do they work together to keep your packaging line running in tip-top shape?


This article will explain the difference between predictive and preventive maintenance while providing insights into why these are two of the most critical elements of a properly run professional-grade packaging line.


Packaging Machinery: Predictive VS Preventive Maintenance


Packaging Machinery: Predictive VS Preventive Maintenance


There are many moving pieces when talking about packaging machinery maintenance. This is true both figuratively and literally.


The quality of performance for any piece of packaging equipment is primarily dictated by the quality of the predictive and preventive maintenance that the machinery receives.


The cadence of when these types of packaging machinery maintenance protocols occur will also play a major role in how your packaging equipment and the lines they power perform year in and year out.


And while it is easy to mistake predictive maintenance and preventive maintenance as the same thing, this is not the case.


While these two types of maintenance are closely related, there are a few key differences between them.


In the section below, we will review both predictive and preventive maintenance while driving home the extreme importance of each of these dynamics and how they work together to help build, maintain and improve the best packaging lines in the world.


Preventive Maintenance For Packaging Machinery


If you are a regular reader of our blog, you know that preventive maintenance is a hot-button topic around here.


And that is for a good reason. From incredible cost savings to the prevention of unexpected downtime, there are many benefits to a regularly scheduled preventive maintenance program.


In fact, with Industrial Packaging's preventive maintenance program, our customers save up to 32% more money per year than those who do not have a preventive maintenance program in place.


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How Does Preventive Maintenance For Packaging Machinery Work?


It's easy to say "preventive maintenance is awesome" (and it is), but you are probably wondering why preventive maintenance is vital for packaging machinery and how exactly does it work?


Honestly, it's pretty simple. At least once a year (and more often if you prefer), a certified packaging technician will come out to your warehouse and inspect each of your packaging machines.


They will do a complete tune-up on the equipment in a way similar that a car mechanic would complete the same service to your car.


Additionally, they will replace any parts on the machine showing signs of getting near the end of life. This is particularly important as replacing these parts before they break will save you a ton of time, money, and unwanted headaches.


When a packaging machine does not have a regular PM, eventually, a part will fail. This can cause minor or severe damage to a device and produce very expensive repair costs.


After the technician has replaced worn parts and completed a full cleaning, inspection, and test of the equipment, your PM is done until the next appointment.


Predictive Maintenance For Packaging Machinery


In contrast to preventive maintenance, we have predictive maintenance. Predictive maintenance is equally as essential as preventive maintenance, but it often does not get as much attention as the latter.


Predictive maintenance is the process of tracking subtle changes in packaging machinery and noting those changes against a baseline which is the machinery operating as it should in peak condition.


Any changes that show an adverse effect on the overall performance of the machinery are tracked. These effects may be minor or significant changes in vibrations, ohms, and related variables.


If the changes continue to degrade the machinery's overall performance, a technician will eventually shut down the equipment and inspect the machinery.


Parts directly related to the changes mentioned above will be looked at closely to identify if they need to be fixed or replaced.


How Do You Do Predictive Maintenance For Packaging Machinery?


Some modern-day packaging machinery has built-in computer systems which track all kinds of data related to the performance of the equipment.


For some of these machines, predictive maintenance programs are programmed into the equipment's computer systems.


The data collected can be tracked and analyzed, and predictive maintenance can be done automatically through the computer.


The computer will notify the operator when the machinery needs to have a part replaced. The operator will contact a service technician to take care of any necessary service or repairs.


But what if your packaging equipment is old and lacks computerized predictive maintenance capabilities?


In this case, you will want to track changes in the packaging equipment you are using, such as changes in vibrations, voltage, and ohms, in a spreadsheet in a software application such as excel.


By tracking this information manually, the data can be reviewed by a certified packaging technician, and they can use the data to identify when the machinery will need service or repair.


What Is The Difference Between Predictive And Preventive Maintenance?


This is kind of a trick question as predictive maintenance is actually a type of preventive maintenance.


The main difference between predictive and preventive maintenance is that preventive maintenance is proactive where as predictive maintenance is reactive.


Each of these types of packaging machinery maintenance should be part of a comprehensive annual maintenance plan for all your packaging equipment.


Having both predictive and preventive maintenance in your packaging facility will help ensure that your packaging lines are always running as best as possible.


Which Is Right For You? Predictive or Preventive Maintenance?


OK, this one is definitely a trick question because the answer is BOTH! If you want to ensure that your packaging machinery is up and running at peak performance as much as possible with the least amount of downtime, you need to do both of these types of maintenance.


Technically speaking, you could just do preventive maintenance by hiring a packaging technician to stop by once or twice a year to inspect your machinery and do service and repairs as needed.


But, if you want to maximize your uptime, combining predictive maintenance with preventive maintenance will guarantee that your packaging equipment will always run as best as possible.


Where Can You Get Predictive And Preventive Maintenance For Your Packaging Machinery?


After reading this article, you should have a good understanding of what predictive and preventive maintenance is.


It would help if you also understood why it is super important to ensure that you correctly implement both of these practices for each piece of packaging equipment in your warehouse.


But, you are probably wondering where you can purchase a predictive and preventive maintenance plan for your packaging facility.


If you are interested in getting a quote for a regular predictive and preventive maintenance program, you will want to speak with one of our packaging experts.


They will be able to schedule a time for one of our in-house packaging technicians to inspect your packaging line and provide you with an estimated total cost for a comprehensive predictive and preventive maintenance program for your facility.


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About Nathan Dube

As the Digital Marketing Specialist at Industrial Packaging, I am honored to create content for such a phenomenal company and work with one of the greatest teams in the Packaging Industry. Whether creating a video, writing blog posts or generating other pieces of content and multimedia, I am always excited to help educate and inspire our prospects and clients to reach their highest potential in regards to their packaging processes and needs.