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Equipment failure is a common occurrence in organizations of almost all sizes. It is something that’s hard to eliminate.
However, with smart preventive maintenance systems, you can ensure to reduce the instances of premature asset breakdowns, keep your employees safe, and save millions in costs.
In this post, we’re going to discuss what preventive maintenance is, what preventive maintenance jobs entail, the advantages of the process, KPIs, and how you can get the most out of this strategy.

What Is Preventive Maintenance?

Preventive maintenance refers to the process of regular, routine maintenance to help keep all the equipment up and running.
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The key objective of preventive maintenance is to prevent unnecessary expenses and unplanned downtime from unanticipated equipment failure.
It is a type of proactive maintenance where a maintenance supervisor looks after everything from cleaning, repairs, and adjustments to lubrication and part replacements.
Essentially, this type of maintenance keeps the equipment in perfect order and reduces the instances of unscheduled downtime and expensive major repairs.

What Does A Preventive Maintenance Program Require?

A well-planned and effective preventive maintenance program requires detailed planning and routine scheduling of maintenance on an asset before an actual breakdown takes place.
Further, it also requires actively tracking data related to previous inspections and maintenance.
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Using a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) is an easier way to reach this goal as it allows you to schedule your routine maintenance program at a click of a button.
However, some important steps you need to take for the effectiveness of your preventive maintenance program include –

  • Compiling the entire equipment history
  • Determining the maintenance requirements, including routine check-ups and inspections
  • Assembling all the existing information related to equipment
  • Creating a task description sheet
  • Setting up a regular frequency to perform a preventive maintenance

The job of a preventive maintenance technician requires him to manage service and repair facilities to prevent the instances of any significant breakdowns that disrupt the company’s operation.
They need to perform routine maintenance of the facilities to prevent such mechanical failures. They are also expected to change worn out parts of machines before causing any kind of major mechanical damage.

Advantages Of Preventive Maintenance

There are multiple advantages that preventive maintenance offers to companies, including –

  • Reduced instances of unplanned downtime caused by equipment failure
  • Prolonged life of the company’s equipment
  • Lesser number of errors in day-to-day operations
  • Improved reliability of equipment
  • Lesser need for unnecessary maintenance and inspections
  • Reduced risk of injury
  • Lesser number of cases for expensive repairs caused by unexpected equipment failure that needs a quick fix
  • Enhanced audit compliance
  • Improved productivity and efficiency

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Expert Tips To Set Up A Preventive Maintenance Schedule

Since each organization differs in terms of assets, goals, resources, there is no one-size-fits-all approach that you can use to create a fixed preventive maintenance program.
However, the tips below help you build a practical and heavily detailed plan for successful implementation and ensure more efficient and sustainable operations.

Define And Prioritize Goals

The first step to build a successful preventive maintenance program is laying out what you really want to achieve out of the entire process.
Depending on your individual goals, answer the essential questions such as –

  • Do you wish to reduce downtime?
  • Do you aim to increase reliability?
  • Do you wish to cut down costs?

It is crucial to come up with clear reasons for wanting to have a structured preventive maintenance program in the first place.
Next, prioritize your goals so that you know where to put your focus and resources when establishing a detailed plan for preventive maintenance.

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Create KPIs And Work On Them Consistently

Once the goals are defined, the next step should be to attach numbers to them, or else it will be difficult to know if your preventive maintenance program is working.
Here are some of the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for preventive maintenance –

1. Productivity

The productivity of preventive maintenance essentially translates to a reduction in emergency man-hours.
An effective preventive maintenance schedule should lead to minimal or no emergency hours put, leading to increased overall productivity.

2. Costs Of Equipment

The cost of equipment repairs typically includes the cost of labor, materials along with other direct or indirect maintenance costs.
This plays an important role in indicating improvements after implementing a preventive maintenance program.

3. Equipment Downtime

The level of effectiveness of a preventive maintenance program can be ascertained by the overall breakdown downtime for equipment, a plant, and an entire facility in some cases.

4. Preventive Maintenance Efficiency

The efficiency of the preventive maintenance program is directly related to the number of work orders generated from it.
The rise in the orders would highlight whether the equipment issues are being identified in a more proactive fashion.
Once you have a clear idea on which KPIs are important in defining success, the next step is to create a framework for measuring these metrics consistently.

Make Use Of The Right Technology

Technology plays a critical role in designing an effective preventive maintenance strategy.
Having a robust digital solution allows you to efficiently manage various tasks such as scheduling, reporting, and organizing work orders, inventory management, and more.
When looking for technology such as a CMMS for preventive maintenance, one of the most important aspects to think about is the ease of use. Else, you won’t be able to implement a successful PM strategy.

Make A Preventive Maintenance Checklist To Analyze Results

Building a preventive maintenance checklist is a critical part of the process as it helps you track your KPIs, various planned maintenance percentages, and mean time between failures.
The ability to analyze these numbers also tells you how your program is impacting the overall efficiency of your maintenance operations.

To Conclude

Businesses often see preventive maintenance jobs as an overhead cost that is hard to reason with.
But what they do not realize is the immense importance of forward-looking maintenance in preventing unwanted downtime or untoward accidents related to day-to-day day assets or equipment.
The process of preventive maintenance should, in fact, be considered as an investment that is required for your business to smoothly run its operations in the long run.

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