How to write a Preventive Maintenance Plan
Maintenance managers desire to have assets running with 100% efficiency and minimal breakdowns. The problem with the mentality of having such assets in a workplace is that it is impossible to achieve. Despite having a competent maintenance plan, it's hard to prevent or predict nearly all breakdowns.
Well, how can such breakdowns be avoided? It is through implementation of a balanced preventive maintenance plan. Well, what is a preventative maintenance plan? It is a planned or scheduled maintenance for assets to prevent future mechanical failure.
Preventive maintenance aims to avoid more significant problems and fix minor issues whenever detected - for example, topping up engine oil monthly and replacing it after the recommended mileage prevents maintenance for engine failure.
On the contrary, changing worn-out shaft rings is not preventive maintenance because they are already out of service. When implemented, a preventative maintenance plan eliminates unplanned downtime due to asset failure, increases safety, improves asset life cycle, and increases profit margins due to less downtime.
Components of preventive maintenance plan
1. Asset inventory
Preventive maintenance is a good strategy for keeping a company's assets in working condition. Consistent record-keeping reveals opportunities for optimizing spending patterns.
All assets should include a serial number, location, barcode, category, and specifications.
2. Asset prioritization
Companies can't place all assets on a preventive maintenance plan because it is expensive. Prioritizing critical assets with high maintenance costs is essential for the continued operation in any company. Asset prioritization involves coming up with an asset hierarchy.
3. Preventive maintenance schedule
It outlines when preventive maintenance should be performed and on which asset. Preventative maintenance should have a day and time. An example of a good preventive maintenance schedule does not disrupt production and everyday routine.
4. CMMS Software
All preventive maintenance plans must have a computerized maintenance management system. The system should track recurring work orders and track progress. Nowadays, cloud-based CMMS is used to overcome complex software challenges.
5. Team communication
Communication is a critical component in the workplace and determines the success of every activity. Lack of effective communication channels leads to delayed maintenance timelines, inappropriate prioritization of asset maintenance, and prolonged downtimes. The maintenance plan team should communicate effectively to implement an excellent preventive maintenance plan.
6. Goals and KPIs
Key performance indicators are ideal for measuring progress. A preventive maintenance plan should have smart goals which are possible to achieve.
7. Upper management support
Successful implementation of a preventive maintenance plan depends on the attitude of upper managers towards the plan. Sometimes convincing upper management to increase the budget for a preventative maintenance plan is a complicated and doubting task. It is good enough to estimate the return on investment, layout maintenance goals, and set reasonable time intervals when planning for preventive maintenance.
Benefits of preventive maintenance plan
- Low risk of breakdown
Keeping risks of machine failure low promotes working morale. Employees are happy when they expect minimal disruptions when executing their duties. A preventive maintenance plan helps inspect machinery and replace worn-out parts before the machine crashes.
- Increase efficiency
That confidence comes in when employees work with robust machines! Machines that undergo routine preventive maintenance run more effectively.
- Decrease unplanned downtime
Although machine downtime is inevitable when performing maintenance, it can be reduced by scheduling maintenance in advance using a preventive maintenance plan.
- Promote health and safety in the workplace
The biggest asset in a company is the workforce, and they need to be protected from injuries and accidents. Carrying out regular maintenance for machines reduces the chances of suffering and accidents.
- Customer satisfaction
Effective and efficient operation of machines boosts customer satisfaction and improves brand image. When customers are served with robust machines or receive goods on time, they feel their needs are prioritized and become long-term customers.
It is good enough to keep track of machines to avoid a breakdown when not expected. Implementing a preventive maintenance plan is not the duty of the maintenance team alone but all stakeholders involved in the management and those who use the machines.