What is Preventive Maintenance (PM)?

The very core of maintenance management, Preventive Maintenance is defined as the process of conducting regular maintenance on equipment to prevent sudden failure thereby resulting in the following main benefits:

  • Reduced Costs
  • Reduced probability of failure
  • Increased productivity

Preventive Maintenance is the very first step when a business finally decides to implement a CMMS software to develop/improve maintenance. The goal of preventive maintenance is to ensure no unplanned downtime.

Developing a Preventive Maintenance Plan

While the decision to finally implement a preventive maintenance software is the first step towards managing maintenance better, the next and most crucial step is implementing PM most effectively. A survey involving 5,000 companies showed that majority were not satisfied with the effectiveness of their preventive maintenance program in 2004. It is crucial to remember that effectiveness most optimally occurs when 80% or more maintenance activities can be planned and scheduled at least a week in advance. A CMMS  Software has made this easier by allowing for preventive maintenance to be scheduled at the click of a button.

Some important steps to ensuring the effectiveness of a PM program are:

  • Assemble existing information
  • Compile equipment history
  • Determine PM requirements such as inspections, routine check-ups and such
  • Prioritize critical equipment
  • Create a task description sheet
  • Set up a frequency to perform a PM

The above steps were previously recorded on paper or spreadsheets that made it hard to keep track of them and therefore even an attempt at a preventive maintenance program lead to failure. With the increase in use of CMMS Software and new technology all of the above information and steps can be stored in one location and accessed anytime, anywhere.


Is a preventive maintenance program effective?

It is essential to ensure that all plant and facility equipment is covered by a cost-effective overall preventive maintenance program.

“An effective preventive maintenance program will reduce the amount of unplanned work to less than 80% of the total man-power expanded for all equipment maintenance activities.”

The effectiveness of a preventive maintenance program depends not only the planning but also the execution of the plan. Subsequent sections will cover the roadblocks in an effective preventive maintenance program. From equipment and inventory management to work order management, setting up a preventive maintenance can be tough. Learn preventive maintenance best practices to follow to optimally utilize PM.


Preventive Maintenance Key Performance Indicators

  • Productivity
    More specifically, this refers to emergency man-hours. An effective preventive maintenance should see a significant drop (almost negligible) in emergency hours put and therefore an increase in overall productivity.
  • Equipment downtime
    The total breakdown downtime for an equipment, a plant or even an entire facility indicates the level of effectiveness of a PM program.
  • Equipment costs
    The cost of repairs includes the cost of labor, materials, extra labor hours as well as any direct or indirect maintenance cost. This plays a major role in indicating improvements after implementing a PM program.
  • Preventive maintenance efficiency
    This would go over the amount of work orders generated from a preventive maintenance program. These should see a rise when a preventive maintenance program is installed since it would highlight whether the developing equipment problems are being identified more proactively.

Preventive Maintenance Program Roadblocks

Implementing a preventive maintenance plan can involve several roadblocks ranging from having an overly inclusive inventory list to not having the right CMMS software features. Some of the roadblocks include but are not limited to:

  • Not setting goals
    It is essential to go beyond the basic ROI goals and set specific goals for a PM program depending on the company size and structure. Maintenance goals allow for a business to work towards a more specific target that ultimately helps achieve the broader goal of ROI.
  • Inadequate Training
    Onboarding plays a huge role in ensuring the most optimal use of a Preventive Maintenance program. Failure to consistently and appropriately utilize the PM program will render it fruitless and therefore can be barrier in maintenance management.
  • Not documenting equipment and assets
    One of the most important steps to a preventive maintenance program is to inventory all existing equipment and assets. This should also include details on the kind of PM required for each equipment/asset.

Benefits of Preventive Maintenance:

Preventive Maintenance helps in preventing any asset failure before they occur and help in:

  • Reducing unplanned downtime due to asset failure.
  • Better margins and profits due to less downtime
  • Prolonged life of the assets and less unnecessary maintenance and inspections
  • Less injury risk and increased safety

Increased safety also ensures that organizations are in compliance with the rigorous OSHA  standards.

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