The ENTOUCH Blog

06. 25. 2018

Building an Effective Preventive Maintenance Program

The reason for implementing an effective preventive maintenance program is clear; preventive maintenance has both short-term and long-term savings. However, implementing such programs can be complicated, and developing a preventive maintenance program is much more than just distributing a list of duties to team members. Rather than getting lost and confused during the process, follow these steps to help build an effective preventive maintenance program.

1. Include All Departments in Creating a Preventive Maintenance Program

Company-wide support and input is important in creating a preventive maintenance program. As explained by Ken Staller of Plant Engineering, include all departments in developing, implementing and maintaining your program. This will help prevent unplanned downtime and ensure all current maintenance needs are addressed and included. Creating a team of department heads and personnel to handle the creation and implementation of a preventive maintenance is among the best practices in facilities management. In fact, this team may comprise of the same personnel when using a change management team in your organization.

2. Set Appropriate Goals

Next, the team should set appropriate goals; also, the procedures for assessing your preventive maintenance program goals should include the following:

  • Reduce percentage of reactive maintenance.
  • Increase equipment and asset life expectancy.
  • Eliminate the Maintenance backlog.
  • Make maintenance reporting and work order creation easier.
  • Bring greater visibility to warranty programs that exist for parts.

3. Evaluate Your Existing Preventive Maintenance Program, If Any

After creating goals, the team must evaluate current maintenance and facility status. This should include both static and dynamic systems. In other words, the team should review your facilities foundation, support, electrical, electronics, control, pneumatic and hydraulic systems, as well as foundation and mechanical systems. Additionally, ask the following questions about your systems during evaluation:

  • How does the asset function?
  • What causes the asset to fail?
  • What type and quality of care does it require?
  • Is impending failure predictable or unpredictable?
  • Does maintenance of the asset require shutdown of the system?
  • What is the most effective means of ensuring the continued function of the system?

The last question should have a common answer, preventive maintenance, but if equipment has been placed in the Maintenance backlog for an extended period, it may be necessary to replace the unit. However, the team should conduct a thorough analysis of the equipment’s function and efficiency prior to making a replacement or repair decision. Developing a repair/replace trigger that is commonly known among all stakeholders is also a good idea. Furthermore, install sensors and monitoring systems to provide real-time data on equipment function during this step.

4. Implement Preventive Maintenance Program Technology

Your preventive maintenance program technology includes the installation and retrofitting of sensors and smart devices to monitor performance of your equipment, but it should also include a review or implementation of an effective computerized maintenance management system (CMMS). If your CMMS does not have the capacity for work order tracking, scheduling and prioritization, as well as the ability to drill down into metrics to determine average work order response times and key performance indicators (KPIs), it may be time to upgrade your system. Furthermore, ensure all new technologies are correctly integrated to prevent the buildup of data silos.

5. Work the Maintenance Backlog Into Your Short-Term Preventive Maintenance Schedule

Once the tools are in place, your preventive maintenance program should begin by addressing the maintenance backlog first. In addition, prioritize items in the backlog by their impact on overall operations and cost.

6. Provide Proper, Ongoing Preventive Maintenance Program Training

A preventive maintenance program is only as effective as its weakest link, and often, the weakest link may be an employee who does not know how to properly identify and report a maintenance issue. In other words, poorly trained employees can contribute to the downfall of your maintenance program, so implement an intense training program for all employees working with the CMMS or other appropriate facilities management systems. This will prevent employees from incorrectly reporting issues, which saves time and money.

7. Communicate and Collaborate With Your Team Members

Teamwork is the cornerstone of an effective preventive maintenance program. Throughout the process, communicate and collaborate with team members to ensure a smooth rollout of your program.

Simplify the Creation of a Preventive Maintenance Program

Although you have the option of creating an in-house preventive maintenance program, the entire process can be simplified by partnering with an experienced provider of facilities services management.

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