5 Best Practices for Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance takes a different approach which, in contrast to reactive interventions that aim to resolve issues after they occur, is based on systematic inspections and processes to identify and correct potential problems before they happen. If properly established, an efficient preventive maintenance program extends the lifetime of equipment, enhances the safety of employees, improves machines reliability and helps the company avoid large and costly repairs.

Equipment breakdowns lead to production slowdowns and stops, and cost manufacturers time and money. Implementing a successful preventive maintenance program decreases equipment downtime by maintaining all machines and ensuring that all potential issues are addressed before they progress too far.


How to Get the Best out of Your Preventive Maintenance Program?

Designing and later on implementing a good preventive maintenance program is one of the most challenging areas of maintenance management. Defining the right practices to generate the best ROI isn’t easy. Very often, a significant part of the maintenance resources are wasted on inefficient tasks.

One of the main reasons is due to the fact that business owners are not using all the data coming from the equipment and providing valuable insight into assets’ health. Some of them don’t know how to use it or are simply overwhelmed. A CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System) can store and analyze all this information and turn it into powerful improvement tool by measuring performance and evaluating both the strengths and the weaknesses of the facility. 

Another challenge is the lack of standards and direction, leading to longer time intervals between preventive interventions and resulting in equipment damage. To have everything running as smoothly as possible, everybody should know his or her role. A CMMS adoption can optimize the time of your maintenance staff and improve internal communication by encouraging technicians to provide and share on the platform feedback from their inspections.

The following best practices will help you ensure that your preventive maintenance program is set up and ready to identify potential problems before becoming a serious issue.


Best Practice 1: Planning

Planning is one of the pillars of preventive maintenance. When tasks are efficiently scheduled, delays between maintenance jobs are minimized and maintenance resources are maximized. Scheduling maintenance tasks and creating a preventive maintenance management plan will list maintenance labour hours, materials, technicians and reasons for each work order. This information can be used later on for reports for the establishment of overall improvement strategies. The  calendar feature of Moblity Work comes with two displays: a quick on the homepage showing the latest and forthcoming interventions and a full schedule version. 

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Best Practice 2: Discipline

The second pillar of an effective preventive maintenance (PM) program is discipline. Discipline means that the organization should stick to planned maintenance and reinforce the quality of maintenance work. Collecting valid fault data is one of the preconditions for the establishment of an effective preventive maintenance system. Therefore, to successfully implement preventive maintenance, it is important to have sufficient data on the failures to be evaluated.

When production deadlines are approaching, equipment utilization rates are high and interventions on machines may be difficult. Furthermore, the objective of preventive maintenance program is the regular inspections where access to equipment is timely scheduled. Therefore, a good preventive maintenance program requires discipline and support of all involved teams to coordinate availability and create time for equipment inspection.

Best Practice 3: Consider Equipment Maintenance History

As mentioned before, all data related to previous failures is of crucial importance for the creation of a preventive maintenance program. Previous incidents, the type and operation of the machine, and the manufacturer’s recommendations should be considered when defining the type and frequency of the tasks.

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Best Practice 4: Preventive Maintenance Training

Preventive maintenance trainings encourage autonomous maintenance and ensure that all machine operators and maintenance technicians are familiar with basic maintenance practices as lubrication of various crucial components, oil change, cleaning, functional checks and repairing of some issues.

Best Practice 5: Adoption of a CMMS

A good CMMS helps you prepare your preventive maintenance plan and set up daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annual and annual preventive maintenance events. The right scheduling leads to an efficient use of resources. Furthermore, the right solution will support you when establishing standards for measuring performance and improving efficiency. Mobility Work, the first next-gen maintenance management platform, features a powerful analytics tool and various visual supports as lists and charts to help you develop a customized preventive maintenance process.

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Since anyone can access Mobility Work anywhere, improved internal communication is one of the first positive results to be considered when implementing the tool. This eases the planning of the maintenance tasks at the most convenient times.

The appropriate planning of the preventive maintenance interventions helps anticipate the needs for spare parts and materials and ensure their availability when they are needed. This leads, of course, to less inventory and reduced storage costs.

And last but not least – Mobility Work improves communication and ensures that all team members know what and when should be done. The social media aspect of the solution facilitates the sharing of information and encourages expertise exchange with professionals outside of the organization.

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Does Preventive Maintenance Have Disadvantages?

One of the most common inconveniences of preventive maintenance is that not properly trained technicians can damage equipment by negligence, insufficient training or faulty procedures. And even though potential damage is still a problem that should be taken seriously, it is as well an issue that can be easily avoided with an establishment of a quality PM program, ensuring the proper level of skills of the employees.

In general, it can be said that preventive maintenance, like anything else, is not without drawbacks, but most of them can be identified and minimized if the PM plan is properly done and applied.

 Companies with well-planned and established preventive maintenance programs benefit from minimal unplanned downtime, minimal spare parts costs, minimal manufacturing interruptions from breakdowns, maximum manufacturing capacity, maximum product quality and longer machine life spans.

The implementation of a CMMS such as Mobility Work is at the core of an efficient preventive maintenance plan, facilitating the prediction of reductions in machine availability and making staff acting before downtime occurs. Mobility Work was especially created to help business owners, create, establish and sustain most efficient preventive maintenance plans for superior plant’s performance.