How To Create An Equipment Preventive Maintenance Schedule

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Why set up a preventive maintenance schedule?

preventive maintenance planning calendarPreventive or preventative maintenance (PM) is an often overlooked aspect of maintenance management. Nearly every equipment needs some kind of regular maintenance. This reduces the chance of unexpected failure or repetitive breakdowns. Equipment downtime results in big costs due to lost production, variable product quality and poor customer satisfaction.

Preventive maintenance can be a simple as doing a weekly check, to replacing a machine once it has done some number of run-hours. Every equipment should have a PM schedule. However, if you have a lot of machinery and equipment it can become very hard to plan for all of them!

This is where a good maintenance management program is very useful. Most maintenance software such as FastMaint CMMS offer one a rich subset of ways to schedule such maintenance work orders and keep track of your maintenance plan.

Ways to setup a PM schedule

1. Schedule maintenance by date

You schedule maintenance work orders every “X” days, weeks or months. So you can have a maintenance task scheduled every 5 days, on every Friday, the second Monday of every third month, every January on the first Wednesday and so on.

Fig 1. Schedule preventive maintenance every month (from FastMaint CMMS)
schedule preventive maintenance by date

2. Schedule maintenance by meter reading

There are two different meter types.

In one you schedule maintenance every time a meter reading increases or decreases by a certain amount. For example an oil change when a meter reading increases by 3,000 miles.

The second type is a batch meter. You schedule maintenance after an equipment processes “N” units. For example replace a bearing every time the equipment produces 500 widgets.

3. Schedule maintenance by equipment alarms

You schedule a maintenance task every time an alarm condition happens. For example an alarm could be excessive vibration on a machine. You can schedule a preventive maintenance check on the machine when this alarm occurs.

4. Schedule maintenance based on another task

Start a new maintenance task when another task completes. For example schedule a paint job after a dry wall repair. Use this for multi-step maintenance that needs to be done by different sub-contractors one after another. Once one sub-contractor is done, you schedule the work for the next sub-contractor.

Fig 2. Schedule maintenance based on another maintenance work order (from FastMaint CMMS)
schedule equipment maintenance by prior work order

How this preventative maintenance plan helps you

Once you setup your maintenance management program properly you will start to see the amount of reactive maintenance due to equipment breakdowns decrease. Time spent on preventive/ planned maintenance will increase. You will see cost savings in the maintenance budget due to less emergency maintenance. Plus there will be benefits in terms of better equipment availability, meeting production goals and customer satisfaction!

See “Calculating CMMS Return On Investment” for more information. It gives you an example to calculate the benefits and return on investment (ROI) of maintenance management software. Bottom line – a good maintenance plan makes all the difference.

Preventive maintenance software that you can use

To make an effective maintenance plan you will need to use CMMS software. This is especially true when you have a lot of equipment!

Don’t have a good maintenance software program? You can get a web demo or download a trial of FastMaint CMMS software. Even with the online demo you should be able to schedule preventive maintenance jobs. It will make it much easier to set up  preventive maintenance plans for your equipment and facilities.

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FREEBIE - Key Maintenance Metrics
Useful maintenance metrics for your maintenance program!
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Free. PDF format

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