If you’re a business-minded professional, you understand the value of a proactive management style. However, it’s very easy to overlook one critical area that inevitably begins to drain both financial resources and valuable time – asset maintenance.
If you frequently operate in “emergency mode,” constantly reacting to costly machinery and equipment setbacks, you need an effective preventative maintenance program. Whether you’re in the business of fleet management, retail, hospitality, property management, or manufacturing, your company will reap the rewards of a top-notch, technically savvy plan of action.
What Is a Preventative Maintenance (PM) Program, and Why Do I Need One?
A PM program will break the reactive cycle and lift your maintenance department out of costly emergency mode. Rather than performing sporadic maintenance and constantly waiting for problems to occur, a PM program provides the necessary structure to consistently perform maintenance on active equipment according to OEM guidelines. The proactive approach allows you to catch and resolve problems before they begin.
According to Technology Transfer Services, preventative maintenance includes:
- Non-destructive testing
- Periodic inspections
- Lubrication tasks
- Preplanned maintenance activities
- Minor repairs
A preventative maintenance program has the potential to offer an ROI of up to 545% for some companies, and that’s not hyperbole. Consider the savings when the operational life of all equipment is extended, and overall maintenance costs are decreased. A PM program drastically reduces equipment downtime and expensive repairs, along with the associated labor costs.
How to Make a Maintenance Plan in 7 Steps
Depending upon your resources, and how quickly you want your preventative maintenance program in place, you have the option to outsource or handle the setup and management in-house. Whatever you decide, it’s important to have a member of the management team either leading the new PM process or remaining closely affiliated with the outsourced program.
Your preventative maintenance plan becomes the blueprint for building your program and is critical to its success. The structure you provide in the planning stages will save you time and money, allowing you and your employees to quickly and efficiently activate the program.
These steps will show you how to implement preventative maintenance in your facilities:
1. Select Your Preventative Maintenance Team
Your PM program’s success rests on effective and informed leadership. The size of your team depends upon the size of your facility and the breadth of your maintenance needs. Select individuals who understand OEM maintenance requirements and safety regulations. Also, consider a professional who collaborates effectively with leaders from other departments.
2. Take Inventory
Your PM program should include systems such as HVAC, electrical, lighting, waste management, data, and general facility maintenance, in addition to equipment. It’s always an option to outsource preventative maintenance for specialized systems such HVAC, electrical, lighting, or data as needed, while keeping other PM, such as equipment, in-house.
It’s critical that you prioritize your equipment maintenance needs. Inventory all of your equipment, with higher-value assets coming first. Include equipment descriptions and locations. An accurate inventory of assets is a prerequisite for creating PM procedures and schedules.
3. Create Procedures
Once you’ve inventoried your assets, create a step-by-step “how to” procedure for each maintenance task required. Include information such as the skills required, estimated labor costs, materials and tools necessary to perform the task, required permits and references, and a maintenance log or report to record outcomes.
If your facility contains a sizeable number of machines with moving parts, give special attention when creating lubrication procedures. Maintenance employees frequently overlook lubrication requirements, which eventually cause expensive equipment downtime that is easily preventable.
All this sound daunting? Remember that the process is an investment in the future and will reap large-scale returns.
4. Create Maintenance Schedules
Different systems and equipment require maintenance of differing degrees and frequencies. Create schedules for equipment requiring daily, monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, and annual maintenance. Some equipment will appear on several different schedules, while other equipment might require only annual preventative maintenance. Consider OEM guidelines as you create your PM schedules.
5. Implement an Effective Training Program
Ultimately, even the most thorough and effective plan will fail without trained professionals to carry it out. Start your training with an emphasis on how this preventative maintenance program is unlike previous (less successful) programs. Help your employees understand the time, effort, and financial resources that your company has already invested.
Assign each employee their role and provide them with the following information, based upon your recorded procedures and schedule:
- What needs to be done
- When it needs to be done
- How it needs to be done
- How to capture outcomes
Each company must decide how much time to invest in the “how” portion of the training, and some companies should consider testing employees in critical areas of preventative maintenance.
6. Monitor Results
Once your preventative maintenance program is up and running, you’ll want to measure the cost versus the savings generated. According to Plant Engineering Magazine, a good work order (WO) system is the key to successful PM program metrics and is used in conjunction with routine PM logs.
A WO that includes the reason for the work order, the maintenance labor hours, and materials used will help your team determine how much has been invested in PM and how much has been invested in repairs and breakdowns.
Consistent monitoring informs you of the strengths and weakness of your program. It’s another way to be proactive and stay in front of inevitable equipment problems.
7. Make It a Team Effort
A successful PM program gets everyone on board, from the highest-level CEO to the part-time employee. Remind your employees that your management team appreciates every individual effort. Keep them informed about failures and successes and recognize those who go the extra mile.
Your employees will soon realize the personal and overall benefits of the program, especially as their own workloads decrease with time. Remind them that a successful PM program benefits everyone.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Preventative Maintenance Program
Planning, executing, and monitoring will set you on the right track to a successful PM program. However, as assets increase and facility systems become more sophisticated, PM can become cumbersome and less efficient, even with a solid program in place.
Enter IoT solutions, specifically CMMS (computerized maintenance management systems). Technology has unveiled limitless possibilities for maximizing PM efforts and reaping a larger ROI. Today, it’s all about timely, accurate data collection and processing. According to Cemtrex, a diversified technology company, “Aggregated performance data and real-time analytics drawn from IIoT sensors will offer an accurate forecast of maintenance issues before they occur.”
Highly specialized software programs analyze the data that Industrial IoT sensors collect in real time. The software then relays valuable asset information to you in report form, allowing you to take action as needed. Companies now have the option to retrofit IIoT sensors to existing equipment or purchase new equipment with sensors pre-installed.
Consider implementing IoT technology into your preventative maintenance program if you need to increase efficiency and cut the time and labor costs involved in maintaining your assets.
How Sensa Networks Can Bolster Your PM Program
Sensa Networks provides a diverse offering of Industrial IoT smart devices and M2M (machine-to-machine) data sharing that optimize operations and lessen environmental impact. Organizations such as universities, hotels, retailers, waste consultants, and manufacturers implement Sensa’s technology services for their waste management needs.
Sensa’s IIoT services include:
· Remote monitoring of trash compactors
Automatically schedule pickups and issue purchase orders to haulers only when compactors reach specified fullness levels, ensuring that you only pay for pickups you need.
· Remote diagnostics
Sensa can track equipment and system performance in real time to indicate if your assets are working correctly and efficiently. Remote sensing devices also allow managers to detect misuse of assets.
· Insights reporting
Sensa’s insight reporting enables companies and municipalities to better track the efficacy of their environmental sustainability programs. Sensa works closely with their clients to design and develop customized reports to suit their needs.
We welcome you to contact us for further details about how our technology can maximize your company’s efficiency.