Preventative maintenance is a set of regular inspections, flaws detections, service operations and corrections that minimize the possibility of unexpected failures of equipment.
Preventative maintenance is done when the equipment is working without waiting for a breakdown.
Preventative maintenance in most situation is the most efficient maintenance strategy and it is recommended to apply it for almost every company. Here are the reasons why this maintenance strategy is so efficient:
First, you can reduce the number of equipment failures, because equipment gets all proper maintenance and inspections.
Second, you can decrease the severity of failures, because your equipment is checked more often and you will immediately notice the first signals of a severe damage.
Third, costs of the repair are also lower as the number of failures is lowered and each failure is less severe.
Forth, you can reduce the loss of production due to equipment failure, because there will be less sudden failures and the equipment will work longer without breakdowns.
Computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) is a computer software that helps companies to organize and optimize all maintenance operations.
You can schedule maintenance operations for each piece of equipment, create work orders and check execution.
There are many benefits of using CMMS and if you are going to use a preventative maintenance strategy CMMS system will be very beneficial for you.
Here is how to create a preventative maintenance strategy and how CMMS can help you implement preventative maintenance strategy:
If you don’t have a list of all equipment that should be maintained you will not be able to create a preventative maintenance strategy.
First, check all past maintenance work orders and collect information about all equipment that was maintained and inspected at your company.
Second, you can expand this list by adding assets from your company accountant statements.
Third, if your company is not huge you can walk around it and list all equipment.
Then, you need to input this list to your CMMS. If you chose to use the system on your premise you will need to install it and take care of maintaining and updating the system.
An alternative and more convenient way is choosing a SaaS (software-as-a-service) CMMS that is offered as a service and is instantly available via the internet. You will not have to think about updating and back-upping it.
When your CMMS is ready you can proceed to importing the list with equipment to the system. You can add equipment one by one manually or use an import tool and upload all the information at once.
Next, you need to understand how each piece of equipment should be maintained and serviced. Some machines must be serviced every certain number of cycles or miles. For example, you need to change oil and filters in motor vehicles every certain number of miles.
For maintenance of other machines time and events are more important. For example, you need to service air conditioning system every spring, or you need to clean sensors after every snowfall.
Also, you need to take care of inspections, because in preventative maintenance strategy they have the same level importance as maintenance. Such basic actions like regularly checking the tire pressure can protect the whole motor vehicle from damage.
Some of this information can be requested from the suppliers of the equipment. Usually, they provide instructions of how to use and service their equipment. Find these instructions or ask your suppliers for sending a duplicate.
Your next source of information about maintenance procedures is your technicians and operators of the equipment. They have the needed experience and often they know how to service the equipment better than anyone else. Simply ask them what, how, when and why they do for keeping the equipment in working condition.
Finally you can search for all relevant information about maintenance in the internet or ask your colleagues and friends working in the same industry. The more information you collect the better you will understand how to organize the preventative maintenance.
Don’t forget about reading the warranty policy for each piece of equipment. Make sure that your preventative maintenance strategy will not break the warranties.
After you have collected all information about maintenance procedures and have chosen the most appropriate one for your case you can proceed to inputting this information into your CMMS.
For each equipment from the list you should create one or more meters based on which maintenance and inspections will be performed. This meter can be based on events, time, mileage, cycles etc.
Then, create a maintenance and inspection schedule in the CMMS and set up automatic notifications that will remind you about all needed operations.
If you add information about all needed spare parts and materials for each maintenance operation CMMS will automatically check their availability and let you know about any lacking positions.
If you have drawings or schemes that can help your maintenance teams to do the service, upload these documents and set up the system so that these documents are printed out with each work order. This will ensure that your maintenance team will not forget about any detail and will have all the information when they need it.
Often companies create a great preventative maintenance strategy, but it doesn’t help them because they fail to execute their strategies. Therefore, it is very important to focus all your efforts on organizing and performing preventative maintenance operations.
It will be much easier if you have a powerful CMMS with all information about your equipment and maintenance operations in it.
Make sure that your maintenance is consistent and is performed as it is planned. Ideally all maintenance operations should be performed exactly when they are scheduled.
However, because of some other important business processes it is impossible to do maintenance always on time. Try to keep this deviation as small as possible, but not more than 10% of the service period.
Also, differentiate the maintenance operations in your CMMS by importance and urgency. This will allow you to focus on the most important tasks and to track their status.
Before performing a maintenance operation you need to send notifications to all parties dependent on this equipment about the planned maintenance. These notifications can be sent via your CMMS.
CMMS allows you to track the progress of the maintenance operations. Your maintenance teams can go through their work orders and tasks and check them when they are done. You will instantly see this information in your CMMS.
Check if all maintenance operations were done properly and in the correct order.
With CMMS you can analyze this information, identify all drawbacks of your strategy and improve it.