How To: Preventive Maintenance Scheduling With Maintenance Calendars

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Preventive maintenance scheduling is low on the totem pole!

maintenance worker with maintenance calendar
Working with operations to do preventive maintenance scheduling for vital equipment & facilities can become a challenge for maintenance managers. First of all breakdown maintenance is a priority (see “7 Breakdown Maintenance Planning Tips With CMMS Software” for some useful tips). Equipment needs to be up and running again!

However, regular preventive maintenance is essential to keep equipment running smoothly and within operational limits.

Sadly doing such maintenance usually falls low on the list. Maintenance departments are often overextended dealing with breakdowns. Shutting down critical machinery will cause production backlogs or other operational issues. This makes it hard to convince operations staff to do a shut down just for planned maintenance.

Plan preventive maintenance scheduling for shutdown periods

Different equipment will have different maintenance cycles. Ideally we want all of the different maintenance tasks to occur as close together as possible. Therefore this will reduce equipment downtime while maintenance is being done. Many organizations plan a maintenance shutdown period. This is usually during the holidays. During this shutdown, major maintenance work can be completed with minimal impact to operations. However, many equipment will be on different preventive maintenance cycles. This can make it difficult to ensure that all needed maintenance falls within the narrow window of the shutdown period.

Use an equipment maintenance calendar

Many maintenance software programs allow you to create an equipment maintenance calendar. This will be a report or a display on the screen. Using this calendar it is possible to see several months ahead. You can find what preventive maintenance is due for each equipment. Armed with such a calendar you can make changes to the schedule settings for each preventive maintenance task.  This will help get as many maintenance jobs as possible to fall within the shutdown period.

Fig 1. Equipment maintenance calendar report (from FastMaint CMMS)

preventive maintenance scheduling with an equipment maintenance calendar

When you have a lot of equipment this scheduling can become rather complicated. There are several techniques you can use to make it easier. Things like using equipment hierarchies, combining work orders, outsourcing work and more. You can learn more about this from “7 Tips To Plan Equipment Preventive Maintenance“.

Need CMMS software to create your maintenance calendar?

First of all get a free 30-day trial of our FastMaint CMMS software. You can try the Cloud demo or download the software. Start using it in only a few minutes. Import in your equipment from comma delimited files or spreadsheets. Set up your maintenance jobs. Finally try out the Equipment Maintenance Calendar report. See how useful it can be for your preventive maintenance scheduling!

Free FastMaint CMMS Trial


Additional Reading

  1. Fine Tuning Your Preventive Maintenance Schedule” from Plant Engineering magazine.
  2. Five Tips For Better Preventative Maintenance With CMMS” from Plant Engineering magazine.
  3. The Importance of Preventive Maintenance” a C-Suite Advisory from CEO World magazine.


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