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Most maintenance departments have a preventive maintenance (PM) plan, but not every organization is satisfied with that plan. Continuous improvement leads to growth, so you should always look for ways to improve your current processes. If you are doing research on how to improve your preventive maintenance plan, read on for 12 tips from our computerized maintenance management (CMMS) system experts.

Tips for your Assets

1. Make a comprehensive list of all assets the maintenance team is responsible for maintaining. This can be a good place to start—in order to improve preventive maintenance through better planned maintenance of vital assets, you need to know where and what all of them are. This list should include all the specifications and maintenance instructions of every asset, from the HVAC system to essential production line equipment, buildings, vehicles, and property. Many CMMS systems have an asset hierarchy capability, in which you can link various parts to their assets, assets to their locations, and more.

2. Assess all of your assets. This assessment should include the condition of the equipment, repair history, total hours of operation, downtime, and estimated life expectancy. There are a handful of questions you can ask to carry out a complete assessment of your equipment:

  • What does it take to maintain your equipment? (tools, parts, labor resources, and costs)
  • Is it cheaper to replace older models than to continue performing maintenance on them?
  • Does the cost of downtime outweigh the cost of replacing the asset?
  • Do any of your existing assets pose a safety hazard?
  • Does your current equipment meet all organizational goals?
  • Do you have the parts inventory to service machines quickly?

3. Listen to your assets. In an ideal world, you would perform the same preventive maintenance tasks on each asset at regular intervals without any need for variations. Of course, the world of maintenance is far from ideal, so it’s important to listen for noises (and look for signs) that suggest your assets need some additional TLC. Are bearings squeaking from dirty lubricants as a result of excessive wear? Are motors noisy from machine overload? Are pumps dripping water? If any of these are occurring, perform the necessary repairs sooner rather than later, and adjust your upcoming preventive maintenance schedule accordingly. While the repairs themselves fall outside of planned preventive maintenance, staying on top of these minor unplanned preventive maintenance tasks will minimize production downtime or conflicts in your preventive maintenance schedule.

4. Develop standards for measuring performance and improving efficiency. This can be accomplished through analyzing maintenance reports, determining what benchmarks need to be set, and setting clear expectations for your machine performance and your people. There are a number of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that can be used to make decisions to improve upon your preventive maintenance plan.

Tips for your People

5. Assess your maintenance team. When trying to improve any type of process, you need to know where everyone on your team stands. Here are a handful of questions you can ask to determine what changes you may need to make within your team to improve your preventive maintenance plan.

      • Are all of your maintenance team members qualified to perform your preventive maintenance tasks on all assets?
      • Will improving your preventive maintenance plan require any help from third party services?
      • Do you have adequate resources to keep up with preventive maintenance, or do you need to hire additional team members?
      • Do you have backup resources in the event of an injury or leave of absence, so that crucial PM jobs don’t get missed or delayed?
      • Who is responsible for which assets?
      • How are staff members being held accountable for ensuring PM deadlines are met?

6. Get stakeholders involved and ask for their input on how well your current CMMS software is meeting the organization’s needs (if applicable). Reports can be used to compare and contrast various metrics related to preventive maintenance over time. When stakeholders are involved, you are more likely to receive budgetary support you may need to obtain additional resources to improve upon your PM plan.

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7. Create a checklist to use with every PM job. These can be distributed to your team via printed documents, email, or included in the attachments area of your CMMS. These checklists can be as general or specific as you like. Since every asset requires different PM, you can create a general list with blank fields to fill out for each asset, or create a customized list for each type of asset. When technicians have clearly laid out expectations, it makes it easier to stay organized and ensure standards are met.

Tips for your Workflow

8. Measure the percentage of preventive maintenance tasks completed on time. This is important when you are developing and striving to improve your preventive maintenance plan. It allows you to set a goal for the percentage you would like to reach (if you’re not satisfied with the current percentage), and leads to further analysis of data that would reveal what is preventing tasks from being completed on time.

9. Do not perform unnecessary preventive maintenance. Focus on eliminating tasks that do not add value. According to Reliable Plant, 30% of preventive maintenance tasks organizations carry out do not add value to production. Examples of these tasks include duplicate jobs, tasks done too frequently, and jobs that should be conditioned-based instead. When you determine what those are for your team, you can take them out of your maintenance schedule.

10. Create maintenance kits to complete preventive maintenance jobs more efficiently. These kits are tools and supplies than can be bundled together to carry out a specific task. For example, you might create a kit with a the appropriate type and amount of motor oil, rag, funnel, drip pan, and owner’s manual to perform an oil change. Having these kits ready means that a maintenance technician can “grab and go”, rather than searching the stock room and gathering all these supplies.

11. Create and maintain a centralized database to schedule and track preventive maintenance tasks. This is much easier to do with a CMMS. A CMMS stores all types of maintenance information, including asset specifications, maintenance work order history, tasks lists, attachments such as owner’s manuals, vendor contact information, inventory, and more. It is essential to have the support of a software system to facilitate the best preventive maintenance plan possible.

12. Look for areas of improvement after the plan has been implemented, review the plan periodically, and make changes where necessary. This last tip ties all of them together. After implementing your improved preventive maintenance plan, you should continually evaluate the plan and make changes as your maintenance department needs evolve.

Improve your Preventive Maintenance Program with FTMaintenance

FTMaintenance is designed to help you improve your preventive maintenance program. If you’re currently tracking your preventive maintenance activities via pen and paper, spreadsheets, or emails, our CMMS will make everything much easier for you. You can employ flexible scheduling in the CMMS, including either date or run-time based PMs and receive automatic notifications in advance of due dates. Request a demo today to learn more about how FTMaintenance can help you improve your preventive maintenance plan.