How Vibration Monitoring Improves Planning and Scheduling

Alan Friedman, Zenco
Tags: vibration analysis, condition monitoring, planning and scheduling

How Vibration Monitoring Improves Planning and Scheduling


People often think about machine vibration monitoring in one of two ways:

  1. A machine is being monitored to avoid catastrophic failure.
  2. A machine has a problem, and technicians are employing vibration technology to figure out what it is.

What is often overlooked is how vibration monitoring can help improve planning and scheduling in a way that also reduces maintenance costs and increases production.

Oftentimes, the benefits of Condition-Based Maintenance (CBM) are calculated in terms of catastrophic failure avoidance.

If you detect a defect and shut the machine down before it fails, it results in numerous benefits. When machines fail unexpectedly, they can result in:

Did You Know?

Condition-Based Maintenance can reduce maintenance costs by 25% and eliminate up to 70% of breakdowns.
Source: IBM

If you already know a machine has a problem, and you use vibration analysis to determine what the problem is, it’s considered reactive maintenance. In this case, a repair is often done soon after the defect is encountered.

When you use vibration analysis as part of a CBM strategy, the goal is to detect defects in advance to gain the benefits of better planning and scheduling.

An important Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is the ratio of planned to unplanned work. This helps you to understand if you are operating the plant in a reactive mode or not; the goal is to have most of your work planned.

The Benefits of Better Planning and Scheduling

There are many advantages that come with deploying vibration analysis to develop an effective planning and scheduling strategy, including:

Effective Spare Parts Management

If you are confident that you can determine that a part will need replacing months in advance, you do not have to have the spare part in stores. Having your facility keep spare parts in stores has several associated circumstances that can create negative consequences.  

For example, parts in stores:

Better Deployment of Labor

If the majority of your work is scheduled, you can make more effective decisions concerning your labor deployment.

For instance, you can:

Increased Productivity

If you know the condition of your equipment, you can better manage risk and increase your overall productivity by:


Overall, Condition-Based Maintenance helps organizations reduce maintenance costs, increase equipment reliability and uptime, and optimize their maintenance resources by avoiding catastrophic failures.

But we must be careful not to use CBM tools and technologies in a reactive mode – if you are finding and resolving equipment problems within days of failure, then you are supporting a reactive cycle and not experiencing the additional benefits of improved planning and scheduling.