7 Tips To Plan Equipment Preventive Maintenance

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When equipment preventive maintenance Becomes A headache!

Equipment preventive maintenance woes of a harried maintenance manager


Have a lot of equipment preventive maintenance being skipped? Is it because reactive maintenance aka breakdown maintenance is dominating your day? 😒

Want to create a good preventive maintenance plan to reduce equipment breakdowns and complaints from users and management?

Here are a few preventive maintenance planning tips to help you reach those goals. For breakdown maintenance tips see “7 Breakdown Maintenance Planning Tips With CMMS Software“.

When you have to manage maintenance on many equipment, you really must use a maintenance management program aka CMMS software to create the equipment maintenance plan. There may be dependencies between equipment that makes it hard to plan for.

For example it works better to plan maintenance on all equipment in the same assembly line at the same time. This avoids shutting down multiple lines to do maintenance on one or two equipment in each line.

You should plan for spare parts in advance. Nothing make things worse than shutting down equipment and then waiting days for spares. This is going to guarantee that you and the maintenance team will be highly unpopular with operations staff & management!

Here are a seven tips to help improve preventive maintenance planning with the aid of a CMMS program. Though this article references FastMaint CMMS software in a few places, your maintenance program should have similar features that you can use.

Tips for equipment preventive maintenance planning

1. Equipment management is easier if you setup categories & hierarchies

When entering equipment assets in the CMMS software you should also categorize them. For example categories like HVAC, Production, Vehicles, and so on. Try to create 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. For instance cost roll ups, all maintenance work done and so on. It also becomes easy to create plans for many different equipment at a time.

2. Use one work order to combine simple maintenance tasks done on several equipment

In many cases you will have several similar equipment that need some fairly simple maintenance done. For instance change air filters on HVAC unit every 30 days, lubricate bearings every week and so on. In FastMaint you can define a maintenance task. Then associate it with multiple equipment. It will schedule and create work orders based on the frequency you set. This way get a single work order will have all the equipment needing maintenance.

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 is useful as you get warnings when parts are estimated to be insufficient for future work orders. So you can order them in advance from suppliers. No need to wait till re-order limits are reached to order supplies. So you have less delay.

4. Check for maintenance technician availability

Use the Planning report to check availability of technicians for future dates when you have scheduled work orders. 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. You have more flexibility 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 often 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.

No maintenance software? Get a CMMS software trial now

Struggling with spreadsheets? Have a home grown maintenance program that has outlived its usefulness? Get a cloud trial or download a trial of FastMaint CMMS.

Import your equipment from those spreadsheets or comma delimited files. Then setup your maintenance schedules and plans for the different equipment. FastMaint makes it a lot easier!

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