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Christian Biebl, CEO of Stuttgart-based software vendor Planat, believes that elaborate sensor technology is not easy for many SMEs to implement, and that predictive servicing and maintenance can also be achieved on a practical level with an ERP system that is tailored to manufacturing businesses , allowing the necessary work to be scheduled and budgeted. “Setup times and replacement work – i.e. predictable events – are counted and planned as resources in ERP, increasing the efficiency of an ERP solution”, notes Biebl. One such solution, FEPA , is offered by his company.

In a recent trend report, ke-next.de also comes to the conclusion that SMEs still have misgivings about predictive maintenance. Growing competition from Asian products, which puts pressure on plant and mechanical engineers, is identified as a problem – the price war leaves manufacturers little financial flexibility to invest in predictive maintenance. It would therefore make sense to begin with small steps instead of immediately implementing a “powerful PM system”. The benefits of predictive maintenance are undisputed, however. These include increased equipment longevity and availability, improved productivity and utilization, and more efficient logistics for spare parts.