Many equipment assets = A preventive maintenance headache!
Let’s consider tips for preventive maintenance as a follow on to our prior post “7 Breakdown Maintenance Planning Tips With CMMS Software“. When you need to manage maintenance of a large number of equipment it can become difficult to create a good preventive maintenance plan. Reactive maintenance aka breakdown maintenance tends to dominate. Preventive maintenance gets delayed and sometime not done at all! Here are a seven tips to help improve preventive maintenance planning.
Though this article references FastMaint CMMS software in a few places, your maintenance program should have similar features that you can use.
Equipment preventive maintenance planning tips
1. Use categories & hierarchies to make equipment management easier
Besides entering equipment assets in the CMMS software, you should categorize them. For example categories like HVAC, Production, Vehicles, and so on. You should also try to put them in equipment hierarchies. Meaning equipment A, B and C are part of equipment Z and so on. This makes it easier to manage and report on equipment. It also becomes simpler to create plans for several different equipment at a time.
2. Combine simple maintenance tasks done on several equipment into one work order
In many cases you will have several similar equipment that need some fairly simple maintenance done. Say change air filters on HVAC unit every 30 days, lubricate bearings every week and so on. In FastMaint you can define a maintenance task and associate it with multiple equipment. You can then create a single work order with all the equipment on which this task needs to be done by scheduling the maintenance task based on a frequency you set.
3. Estimate future spare parts & supply needs
This is important since you do not want to run out of spare parts or supplies when you have major preventive maintenance due. Use the option in the Planning report to check availability of parts & technicians for future dates when work orders are due. This report can be useful as it provides warnings when parts are estimated to be insufficient for future work orders. This allows you to order them in advance from suppliers rather than waiting till re-order limits are reached to order supplies.
4. Check for maintenance technician availability
The Planning report can also be used to check availability of technicians for future dates when work orders are scheduled. This way you will know if someone will be on vacation or working on another work order when a preventive maintenance work order is due in say a couple of weeks. You can go in and make changes to this work order or assign someone else to do the work.
5. Outsource some maintenance work
See if you can outsource some types of preventative maintenance work to outside contractors. For example simple maintenance that needs to be done on several equipment at a time or very specialized maintenance. This will reduce demands on your internal staff. It can also provide you more flexibility in getting work done. Plus there are cost savings if these are specialized maintenance tasks that would require expensive training or certification if done by in-house staff.
6. Review the plan & check performance
You should review your maintenance statistics as well as collect user feedback regularly. This is to ensure that your plan is meeting requirements. You may need to tweak it or make changes based on what you find. The suggestions in “APQP A Quality Improvement Process In Maintenance Management” may prove quite useful to make this into an ongoing process.
7. Understand the difference between work time & idle time
You may schedule preventive maintenance based on meter readings on an equipment. However, equipment meters usually do not differentiate between work time and idle time. So a machine that is idle for 20% of the time may have preventive maintenance scheduled more frequently than necessary. If the idle time is predictable it may make sense to schedule preventive maintenance based on bigger meter intervals. You could also use estimated meters in FastMaint CMMS to schedule maintenance based on a virtual meter that runs a regular amount every day.
Get 30-Day CMMS software trial
If you are looking for maintenance management software to help you schedule and put together a preventive maintenance plan you will find our FastMaint CMMS software very helpful. You can download a fully functional 30-day trial of the program and see how well it will meet your needs.Download CMMS Software