The best way to improve the productivity of daily operations while keeping costs down is by implementing a preventive maintenance program.
Most companies worldwide still rely on breakdown maintenance, which refers to performing maintenance work only after wear and tear signs start appearing or when their machinery suffers a breakdown. This increases the maintenance costs to a much higher level than expected.
A preventive maintenance system can be highly beneficial, as not only does it lower costs, but offers several other benefits. Some businesses are reluctant or afraid to plan and implement such a system despite being aware of its benefits.
Given below are some of the steps that will help you set up a preventive maintenance program effectively to suit your business’ needs and keep your infrastructure up to date so that they operate at an optimum level.
Decide the Priority of Assets for Preventive Maintenance Schedule
Scheduling preventive maintenance is crucial because it must be performed regularly and consumes considerable energy, time, and manpower.
It is recommended that you start your schedule list with the most crucial performing assets, as it will prevent assigning and overburdening your staff with tasks of a lower priority. For this, it is imperative to recognize which asset or piece of equipment has more relevance to daily operations and is costly or requires frequent repair work.
After identifying high potential assets, one should start with scheduling tasks that involve long maintenance intervals because the equipment with longer maintenance intervals requires more time and inputs.
And once you are done with scheduling long term maintenance tasks that are of a high priority, you can then schedule tasks with short intervals that repeat more frequently, as these tasks require lesser time and can be accommodated between the long interval maintenance tasks.
Create a Proper Plan for Preventive Maintenance
It is necessary to pick and chose personnel who will execute the preventive maintenance procedure even before it is put in place. These may include technicians, the maintenance supervisor, and people from the accounting department, etc.
It is also crucial for the successful implementation of the preventive maintenance program that the selected staff is fully committed to the development and implementation of the program.
More often than not, even though maintenance workers love the concept of greater efficiency and lesser paperwork, they feel a certain inclination towards the traditional system of operating procedures and therefore resist any further changes. This results in their decreased involvement in the new preventive maintenance program.
You should be able to convince them about the benefits they are bound to reap from the preventive maintenance procedure and how it will make their work easier. Another major step while preparing a plan for preventive maintenance is setting up a goal for the initial project.
Collection of Equipment Failure Data
There always exists some important information that the maintenance staff might require regarding the maintenance of equipment such as schedule for maintenance, instructions for the same, use of specific spare parts, and more. This information is often present in user manuals provided by the manufacturer when buying a piece of equipment.
Apart from this, you must also take into account the past maintenance records of equipment to get knowledge of the frequency and type of failures it has already experienced. Staying mindful of the equipment’s past can help you predict the kind of preventive maintenance work it needs and how often the maintenance is to be done to avoid any malfunctioning in the future.
Furthermore, there still remain some insightful details that can’t be found in manuals, logs, or reports. This knowledge can only be obtained by conversing with the maintenance staff working on the ground with the machines.
Checks and Adjustments
A major mistake that an individual should avoid during the implementation of preventive maintenance is scheduling maintenance work without proper assessment of the work done and its progress.
This involves tracking the amount of maintenance work done on the equipment and detailed records of failure since the preventive maintenance program’s installation. If a piece of equipment hasn’t suffered any breakdown in a fairly long stretch, then it can be intuitively assumed that it can function properly even with less maintenance work.
Also, assets experiencing repeated failures despite regular inspection and maintenance should be given higher priority, and scheduling for more preventive maintenance work should be incorporated for them in the plan. Therefore, it is necessary to regularly check for signs for any future breakdown and to find its causes so that appropriate adjustments can be made to prevent them.
Moreover, you should acknowledge the technical staff’s feedback to make the necessary changes to the maintenance plan.
Calculation of Return on Investment
The support of top-level management is crucial in the decision-making process. For this, you need to know what interests them, and what tops that list is higher turnover or profit. To convince the heads of the company to implement a preventive maintenance program, you must talk to them about its potential return on investment (ROI).
To estimate returns, you should learn about the frequency of preventive maintenance required by each piece of equipment or machine. This information can be obtained from the user manual.
Simultaneously, analyze the average cost spent each time on maintenance or repair work from the past maintenance records. With all this data and corresponding analysis, you will be able to present your plan in the most effective way to the company’s decision-makers.
Setting up an impactful preventive maintenance program takes time. It involves plenty of planning and effort, but it’s a gift that keeps giving at the end of the day.
It is necessary to prepare a strategy before executing a preventive maintenance program by setting a justified maintenance worker job description, identifying long and short-term business goals along with key performing assets, making use of the correct technology, and more.
Last but not least, remember that setting up and executing a smooth preventive maintenance program is not the result but a viable means for conducting effective maintenance work.