The evolution of maintenance

The practice of maintenance is as old as industry—for as long as we’ve had machines, we’ve had to maintain and adapt our maintenance activities to match their progress.

Today, digitalization is reinventing maintenance practice and standards. Real time insights and data-driven decision making is helping cut costs, improve safety and sustainability and boost the performance of operations around the world. At Konecranes, digitalization is advancing the possibilities for improved maintenance of lift trucks every day, and preparing customers for even more advanced capabilities in the years to come.  


Peak prevention
The earliest form of maintenance is known as Reactive Maintenance, and is exactly as its name implies—a response to machine faults. The obvious flaw to this strategy is the high cost, in terms of expensive parts or system replacements, unpredictability of downtime and operational safety.

That standard evolved into Preventative Maintenance, the most common form of maintenance in practice today. Scheduled maintenance intervals lower part and equipment replacement costs, enable optimal planning of downtime and help ensure an extended machine lifecycle that can be operated safely. Thanks in large part to digitalization, Preventative Maintenance capabilities continue to advance. 

“The progress of maintenance capabilities is closely tied to its field or industry,” says Bertrand Marion, Director Business Development, IT & Digitalization at Konecranes Lift Trucks. “Generally, the lift truck industry is in the Preventative Maintenance phase. But Konecranes lift trucks now also have some Condition-Based Maintenance capabilities.”

Insight is power
Smart Connected Lift Trucks from Konecranes constantly monitor and register performance data from key systems. Your data is then checked against pre-set thresholds to give an accurate status report for each vehicle. That information lets you make advanced forecasts on what maintenance work and spare parts your lift trucks will need—maintenance based on their real-time condition.

For example, customers with a TRUCONNECT Premium + package get real-time hydraulic oil condition monitoring of their Smart Connected Lift Truck. “Hydraulic oil is a costly resource and harmful to the environment, says Bertrand. “Changing it only when needed can dramatically reduce maintenance costs and ultimately increase uptime.”

The financial savings on oil costs are obvious. But the sustainability advantages shouldn’t be ignored either—digitalization is enabling customers to be bolder in their environmental ambitions while saving them money at the same time.


Predicting the future
New Konecranes Smart Connected Lift Trucks are pre-equipped from the factory for data collection, analysis, and visualization in the customer portal. Older models can be retrofitted for smart connected features. This enables a number of ways to track and assess machine or consumable wear in real time—the prerequisite for Condition-Based Maintenance, and the precursor to the advanced operational foresight advantages of Predictive Maintenance. 

Predictive Maintenance uses data analysis and tools to identify patterns in your operation, equipment or processes so you can predict failure events before they occur. “Predictive Maintenance goes a step further than previous standards, using performance data to assess parameters and interpret what effect they could have in the future, so you can get ahead of potential problems much earlier,” says Bertrand. “It will likely need an increase in data collection capabilities and refinement of data analysis tools implemented for Condition-Based Maintenance to become widely available.”

Today building tomorrow
Beyond that? Self-optimized equipment and maintenance efficiency. “The next step will be Prescriptive Maintenance,” says Bertrand. “It’s a concept that builds on the previous phase to also recommend actions for keeping your asset in good health, and calculate the effects of those actions.”

It’s early days. But at Konecranes, digitalization is enabling some advanced maintenance principles to already become the new normal for your lift truck fleet. Learn more about evolving your maintenance with digitalization at our smart connected site.




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