Preventive maintenance: definition and tips
Preventive maintenance comprises the care and servicing of organizational assets to maintain them in satisfactory operational conditions through systematic inspections and observations in order to detect and correct defaults before a total breakdown occurs.
The adoption of a preventive maintenance program is urgently needed when the quality of production gets affected due to unreliable equipment and when the cost of repair is too high due to unplanned servicing.
The purpose of a successful preventive maintenance program is to finally extend the life of equipment and tools by predicting failures. The implementation of the process guarantees the plant’s reliable and efficient performance by ensuring that equipment do not break down when you need it most. Machinery wears over time but it is essential to understand that preventive replacement prior to failure is far more cost efficient than waiting for the potential consequences of a failure in service.
Benefits of Preventive Maintenance
The direct benefits of preventive maintenance can be summarized as follow:
- Minimized asset failure and breakdowns
- Reduced downtimes
- Prolonged assets productive life
- Improved production
Mobility Work’s calendar feature allows you to schedule all your preventive and predictive maintenance tasks.
How to establish a successful preventive maintenance program?
1. If you have already established a preventive maintenance program, update it regularly
If your program has not been recently thoroughly updated, most probably it doesn’t contain anymore the right activities. And without the right content, your preventive maintenance routines wouldn’t generate the desired results. It is important to consider that in the successful preventive maintenance programs inspections don’t cause production interruption and are performed while equipment is running. Some of the crucial questions to be asked while planning your new or updated schedules include:
- How much a consequence of a breakdown of a component will cost a company?
- What resources and maintenance techniques should be deployed to detect a failure before an actual breakdown occurs?
- How often preventive maintenance inspections should be performed?
2. Create and implement a preventative maintenance program
A preventive maintenance program guarantees the continuous quality of all company’s services by preventing failures and thus improving production cycle. It should contain all relevant information as the objectives assigned to production, the number of the manufactured parts or delivered services, interventions inventory, etc.
The Failure mode, effects and criticality analysis (FMECA) makes it possible to determine the criticality level of a piece of equipment in relation to its different functions.
But how to determine the type of maintenance and the type of action to be taken based on this criticality level?
All maintenance operations included in the plan should fulfill the following 3 requirements: applicability, efficiency and profitability. An operation is applicable if it can be implemented; it is efficient if it significantly reduces failure rate and it is profitable if it improves production.
The periodicity of a certain intervention is determined based on the manufacturer’s instructions, the history of corrective operations and tests and the reliability forecast analysis. In any case, the periodicity is not a fixed value and it should evolve according to the feedback of the maintenance team and the evolution of the equipment.
Besides defining the periodicity of the different interventions another important activity related to the maintenance plan is the development of a spare parts list, indicating all items that have been removed and replaced at every maintenance step and at every location.
3. Deploy a modern CMMS to help you schedule maintenance
Mobility Work is a next-gen maintenance management platform, offering a CMMS, a social network and a marketplace. Each member gets connected with thousands of professionals from a wide range of industries (automotive, railway, food & beverages, chemistry, buildings, materials, pharmaceutical, metallurgy, mechanics, textile, electronics and many more). Mobility Work helps to improve your maintenance routines on a daily basis with a user friendly interface and a mobile application, as well as features such as a quick and innovative search, calendars and alerts, intervention reports, document management, an analytics tool, preventive maintenance plans and many more. Furthermore the maintenance management platform can be easily connected to any ERP or other smart systems including sensors to help you produce reliable predictive analytics. The SaaS CMMS significantly improves company’s performance through maximized efficiency during interventions and better budget management.
The platform now also allows equipment and consumables manufacturers and service providers to register a company profile and add their products to the official catalogue. Users can refer to the official Catalogue to search for a provider, and providers can now reach their end users directly through the platform.
4. Obtain data from your assets
The most performed asset condition monitoring practices include oil and vibration analysis, thermography, non-destructive testing (penetrant testing and ultra-sound check), wear and amperage measurements. The so collected data is stored and analyzed in your CMMS in the context of all other available information as intervention history and spare parts inventory to deliver powerful insights.
5. Consider preventive maintenance as a lean manufacturing tool
Preventive maintenance is an important element of the total productive maintenance (TPM) embracing the Japanese concept of the 5S (seiri – elimination of unnecessary thing, seiton – order, methods, seiso – cleanliness, seiketsu – control, shitsuke – discipline) and considered as a critical kaizen tool.
6. Follow the 7 basic preventive maintenance elements
The effective preventive maintenance consists of 7 major milestones. These are testing, servicing, calibration, inspection, adjustment, alignment and installation. Every maintenance team member should be conversant with and apply them accordingly.
A preventive maintenance is a crucial component of every company’s TPM program. Its efficiency and efficacy lean on 6 important elements, which every maintenance professional should be familiar with. When successfully incorporated in the organization’s maintenance plan these elements maximize asset health and limit equipment breakdowns thus improving production and optimizing cost.