Each day our economy struggles, it makes it much less likely that corporations will rehire the people they let go during the crisis. In many or most cases the first personnel released by corporations are the maintenance workers. So fewer workers are charged with maintaining the same amount of equipment. Unfortunately in most circumstances the maintenance departments operate in a run to failure mode frantically jumping from one failure to the next. Handcuffed with limited time, help and budgets these maintenance personnel do what ever it takes to get each machine back up and running. Whether its chewing gum or bailing wire whatever keeps production moving is all that matters.
So many repairs are band-aids that unfortunately will be revisited in the not too distant future creating the never ending spiral. These Herculian efforts go unappreciated as eventually the problems overwhelm the department and more heads roll. Most often the best personnel are let go or the department is outsourced so all the competency and knowledge is lost.
As many companies learn, in these circumstances during the lean times, predictive maintenance, condition monitoring and NDT technologies can turn this whole situation around. Instead of running from failure to failure, these technologies identify problems sooner so they are much smaller and much less costly to resolve. They can identify the specific faults in the equipment so you do not just apply a band-aid to only part of the problem but you fix all the issues. However if you are not committed to making all the necessary repairs identified by the technologies, then nothing really changes except that now you know that the crack in the bearing cage will probably give out in the next 3-6 months.
If your management does not believe in you, having this knowledge is an extremely powerful way to turn them to your side. If they are unwilling to provide you the funds and time to make the total repair, you can become a prophet by explaining the problem and how it will ultimately fail creating additional work in a few months. Some managers will ignore your wisdom but as your predictions come true you will quickly gain their attention and trust.
Just remember that knowledge is power and the predictive technologies give you all the knowledge you could ever want. It is never nice to watch the train wreck as it approaches but sometimes that is the way management wants it until they get the bill. Now capture the momentum to articulate your argument that the predictive technologies see the future and help you avoid the train wrecks.