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An Overview of Preventive Maintenance | Descase

Jul 2, 2020

What is Preventive Maintenance?

Your equipment needs consistent maintenance and the level of maintenance is driven by the maintenance strategy identified. Preventive maintenance is useful when a proactive maintenance strategy is not cost effective for an asset. Preventive maintenance is valuable when determining the actual condition that a machine is operating under, when the asset is still functional. The idea is to prevent unexpected breakdowns and failure during its scheduled operations by scheduling maintenance tasks. The preventive measures taken vary depending on equipment type and levels of wear. Equipment that is utilized less regularly does not require frequent maintenance and a few preventive measures can be used to protect it. Lastly, most organizations use software which informs key maintenance personnel when maintenance is needed.

What Does Preventive Maintenance Include?

Preventive maintenance includes regular and critical inspections of equipment. This includes time based inspections such as visual oil analysis and oil changes. Preventive maintenance such as changing oil in a one gallon reservoir can be useful where kidney looping the oil is not cost effective. Preventive maintenance is designed to reduce breakdown of machinery. Some firms tend to downplay preventive techniques and depend on reactive maintenance, which is running a machine to failure and replacing after failure. The problem is reactive maintenance is very costly. A study showed reactive maintenance is 39% and 200% more costly than preventive maintenance and proactive maintenance, respectively.

What are the Benefits of Preventive Maintenance?

Preventive maintenance helps to identify methods through which scheduled maintenance will make the jobs of people involved less difficult and can add more benefit. The benefits of applying preventive maintenance are varied. Some of these benefits include reduced running costs due to lower maintenance expenses dependent on your current maintenance strategies. Another benefit is increased production as there is potential lower unscheduled downtime for equipment. Resources can last longer because of preventive measures put in place. A company should consider adopting at a minimum preventative maintenance techniques. There is improved execution by employees since they are sure of their safety and it provides insight into future uptime and operational KPI’s. Maintenance is an inevitable cost that all organizations face. However, with preventive maintenance, an organization has the opportunity to lower these costs and experience fewer interruptions in its processes because of preventive measures in place.


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How can Preventive Maintenance Software Help?

Preventive maintenance software, Centralized Maintenance Management System (CMMS), helps companies’ leadership with proper workflow order. It visualizes and helps to get work order procedures automated, as well as keeping accounts of preventive techniques in place. They track activities and help with assigning tasks to employees on an individual basis. The usage of preventive maintenance software can only be marked as complete or less by authorized users. Therefore, it makes it easy to monitor the progress in the maintenance process. It becomes easy to create work order templates that help to communicate task information between the technicians and planners easily. It becomes quite easy to see what preventive measures have been used and which have not. There is accountability on when and how these preventive maintenance tasks were performed and the CMMS can get the reports systematically without failure. Companies with large support staff need maintenance work delegated to each staff mostly in a department with more than three individuals. The software creates a visual system that helps workers maintain their preventive tasks without duplicating anyone else’s task. The CMMS shows what has been done on the portal and the data is saved. It assists in asset monitoring designed to enable employees to maximize the assets available. Depreciation information assists you to know what to do with such resources. When the preventive measures in place are effective, an organization experiences longer life-span for its equipment.


How do you Implement a Successful Preventive Maintenance Program?

Proper maintenance is scheduled based on a time interval (i.e. calendar dates), but mostly at the manufacturers’ recommendation. During specific time periods, preventive maintenance professionals shut down the equipment to carry out numerous maintenance tasks. Preventive maintenance can be set up by time-based software triggers using a CMMS system. The CMMS often assists planners to know that operational level preventive maintenance is required urgently and on which used parts. Software triggers occur when there is an urgent need for maintenance, when a part of the equipment has been tampered with, or when the maintenance time approaches. However, preventive maintenance rarely requires extra tools, other than CMMS recommended by the manufacturer. The CMMS is normally set to detect the need for maintenance for different equipment. In addition, it gets to be set with a timer that informs the relevant person when the time period or usage hours for a machine or preventive technique has expired and maintenance is needed.



What are Some Examples of Preventive Maintenance?

An example of this would be with water supply maintenance,  which requires proper filtration. Preventative measures for such a system are meant to ensure safety of the water and protect the asset from breaking down. Another example is Electrical systems that comply with the legislation and also have a longer operational span. In this example, the preventative measures ensure compliance with regulation by ensuring timely maintenance of the systems. Internal lighting used, the stairways support, doors and also flooring need constant maintenance as well. For this one, regular checks are preventive enough. However, an organization can step up the preventive techniques by having a technician inspect for tools and techniques to reduce the rate of breakdown.


Why is Preventive Maintenance Required?

There are tons of other costs that are often associated with sudden downtime. Therefore, regular maintenance and preventive measures are required to help reduce other hidden costs. These costs include overtime; less life expectancy for the organization assets and risk to employees’ safety. In addition, maintenance costs like hiring technicians may be involved too. These factors play a critical role when it comes to production, use and customer satisfaction for goods. Operations heavily rely on the machine’s performance and its inspection. Any shortcomings to the equipment running, everything falls behind schedule. Different preventive techniques are useful depending on the condition of the organization in question. Some preventive techniques focus on training employees on safety guidelines. Other preventive techniques are meant to put safety measures in place for the machines. An example is coating metallic equipment to prevent rusting. Other preventative measures look at how the tool or machine is used. The measures can suggest using the machine for a given number of days or hours then giving it a break. Not necessarily for maintenance but for the sake of a break. Other preventive measures require having spare parts always on the ready even when the machine has not broken down. This is meant to reduce the number of times maintenance has to be done as the parts that wear out fast do not affect the entire plant or machine. The preventive measure of choice for your organization is dependent on the kind of equipment your firm operates.


What are the 4 Types of Maintenance?

There are many types of preventive maintenance but the four common ones are calendar-based maintenance that has a constant work order designed for use when specific time intervals are reached in the machine’s computerized maintenance management system (CMMS). Used-based maintenance that relies on meter readings found in the machine’s CMMS and is triggered when a set unit is reached thus a work order is created for scheduled routine maintenance. There is predictive maintenance that helps the management to predict a breakdown based on the history and therefore creates maintenance to prevent it from happening again. Last of them are prescriptive maintenance that relies on the software logged to the machine to help manage maintenance but under authorization.


How do you Conduct Preventive Maintenance?

Preventive maintenance involves four important action plans for a successful maintenance program without downtime, these are:


  1. Inspection: Inspections are necessary since they help the organization know that the equipment is safe for use, reduced injuries and increased liability. These regular inspections ensure that the machines are functioning as intended by the manufacturer and protect company resources. In addition, they inform if maintenance is required.
  2. Detection: Detection software reduces the amount of money spent on run to-failure repairs and downtime. Facility managers can detect problems earlier, therefore, reducing the expenses associated with emergency maintenance.
  3. Correction: This measure is preventive after a problem in the system has been identified. Maintenance is ordered and done immediately to prevent the issue from escalating. This technique is similar to reactive maintenance except since its proactive, preventive measures are taken at onset.

Prevention: This plan is dependent on past data to predict possible maintenance needs and then take preventive measures to reduce them. It acts on the problem before it even arises hence protecting the production process from disruption. The idea is to ensure the problems do not arise even before maintenance is needed.