Despite the fact that major malfunctions can cause huge financial losses, it’s impossible to completely eradicate equipment failures. But every business can minimize failures and downtime by implementing a maintenance strategy suitable for their systems.
Establishing a maintenance strategy not only prevents production interruptions, but also increases the return on your investment in assets.
Here, we’ll provide an insight into maintenance management systems and how you can improve the maintenance management of your business.
What is preventive maintenance?
Preventive maintenance is a system of maintaining equipment regularly to keep it in good working order and reduce the likelihood of unplanned downtime. It should provide early indications of potential problems so you can deal with them before the equipment malfunctions. A robust preventive maintenance system will reduce the time spent waiting for replacement parts, identifying fault detection and inactivity.
Besides increasing equipment efficiency, adopting a preventive maintenance system also strengthens occupational safety in the facility, benefits employee satisfaction and helps maintain a positive corporate reputation.
The appropriate preventive maintenance strategy will vary by industry but should always include basic activities such as equipment repair, parts replacement, cleaning, oil change and adjustments.
Maintaining accurate, up to date records of your equipment that are easily accessible will help in implementing and carrying out your maintenance strategy.
Specific equipment information will influence the regularity of your maintenance schedule. Equipment maintenance frequency is generally set according to one of two types of preventive maintenance management.
Preventive Maintenance Types
Calendar-Based Maintenance: Preventative maintenance triggered by date, regardless of equipment usage.
When performing calendar-based preventive maintenance, consult experienced technicians or contact the manufacturer to determine the maintenance frequency.
Examples of calendar-based maintenance are:
Changing the air filter every three months.
Maintenance of air conditioners in May every year.
Although calendar-based preventive maintenance is beneficial, it carries the risk of over-maintenance. Excess care will not damage the equipment, but may not be productive use of your time and resources. You should not apply calendar-based maintenance to every piece of equipment.
Usage-Based Maintenance: Once you have the necessary information about the equipment, it’s easier to make more accurate estimates of its maintenance needs.
Examples of usage-based maintenance are:
Oil change every five thousand kilometers
A lubrication every ten thousand operating hours
Usage-based maintenance may seem like a better method, it is not applicable for all equipment. For example, the above example of calendar-based maintenance, "Maintenance of air conditioners in May every year" cannot be adapted to usage-based maintenance in facilities that do not use air conditioners during winter.
When setting up your maintenance strategy, you should consider what type of maintenance is right for each piece of equipment.
Differences Between Preventive Maintenance and Reactive Maintenance
Preventive maintenance is used to prevent possible malfunctions. Reactive maintenance occurs when a problem has surfaced. Operating equipment without performing routine checks makes it difficult to identify potential problems and increases the time taken to repair faults when they do occur.
Other challenges caused by the reactive maintenance method:
Difficulty in estimating how much time to allocate for troubleshooting and failing to meet deadlines
Difficulty in expense planning
Failure to standardize equipment efficiency
Increasing parts supply and shipping costs
These challenges, created by the failure to incorporate a preventive maintenance strategy, make it difficult for businesses to expand their market and compete in their field.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Preventive Maintenance
We can summarize the advantages and disadvantages of preventive maintenance in the simplest form as follows.
Asset: Extends its life and helps you standardize efficiency. Reduces unexpected failures and workforce interruptions.
Cost: Greatly reduces overall costs through controlled use of resources.
Maintenance Management System: Preventive maintenance supported by a CMMS simplifies maintenance planning, equipment information and budget management.
Safety: Situations that may pose a risk to the health and safety of employees are minimised.
Developing a strategy: Preventive care can be challenging to implement. You must determine your equipment's maintenance frequency, and direct your spare parts and technician resources accordingly.
Confusion: For businesses with multiple units and equipment, it may take time to implement a preventive maintenance system fully. (We recommend consulting a CMMS expert.)
Budget: An effective maintenance management system that is compatible with your business requires an upfront investment.
Randomly failing equipment should be excluded from preventive maintenance.
If a standard time for a fault to occur cannot be determined, there is no need to include this equipment in the preventive maintenance system.
Which Businesses Benefit from Preventive Maintenance?
You will benefit from a preventative maintenance strategy if:
The correct operation of the equipment is of great importance to your business
You want to organise your overall maintenance management and increase performance
You are looking to reduce maintenance costs
Manufacturing and Industrial Sectors: Assets and equipment are vital to operations. Preventive maintenance is essential to setting product standards and maximizing efficiency.
Service Sector: People rely heavily on essential sectors such as health, food, transportation and education. Equipment should always be available to ensure high-quality service. Even short-term failures can cause major disruptions.
Regardless of the size of your business, leveraging a CMMS will allow you to streamline and automate your routine maintenance activities.
Step by Step Preventive Maintenance
If you've stayed with us this far, you've got ideas about applying preventive maintenance management to your business. Here are five steps to follow when planning a preventative maintenance strategy:
1. Set a Goal: What benefits do you want from the system? Fewer breakdowns? A safer working environment? What is the starting point in the area you want to change?
Answering these questions should be your first step.
2. Select Equipment: You need to know the place and priority of equipment. What piece equipment is the cornerstone of your business? If you are not yet using a preventive maintenance management system, it will be difficult to apply it to all your equipment at once. We recommend you choose the equipment that is most essential and most challenging or costly to repair.
3. Get Current Information on the Equipment: If you don’t have a CMMS, contact the operator and technicians or get information from the manufacturer. Does your equipment regular breakdown? What spare parts do you need to have in stock?
4. Creating a Plan: You can create your maintenance plan based on the information you have. Getting feedback on how your plan is working allows you to better understand the root causes of equipment failures and improve your schedule plans in the future.
5. Analysis and Improvement: Examine how your results relate to your original goal. Use what you learn to adapt your schedule and move further towards your ultimate goal.
Implementing your preventive maintenance plans via a CMMS:
Allows you to create equipment or facility-based maintenance schedules with just a few clicks.
Gives you KPI measurements
Supports you in updating and amending your schedule
Helps you access equipment information by simply scanning a QR code and benefit from the data in your maintenance and repair activities
Makes it easier for you to communicate with suppliers and control stocks of replacement parts
Allows you to assign a budget to the maintenance order to track maintenance and repair expenses and prepare detailed financial plans.
Lena Maint Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) and Preventive Maintenance
In addition to all the features you expect from a CMMS, Lena Maint also allows you to design your maintenance system according to your industry - even your own company culture.
It is simple to use and can be incorporated in very little time, even to enterprises with lots of facilities, equipment and employees.
Manage communication with suppliers, receive offers from subcontractors and assign works. PLus, by operating the entire maintenance process from end to end on a single platform, you can prevent breaks in the chain.