An effective preventative maintenance plan should start by considering the assets that are critical to the business and how to maintain them on a comprehensive, regular schedule. In short, it’s important to know your equipment – which machinery is critical to the business?
It’s also important to consider the must-have tasks at the start of planning, and to prioritise actions accordingly. Naturally, anything that has an impact on employee safety has to be a matter of priority, as does anything that might result in failure of a critical asset if not addressed. Tasks that are not essential to safety, or where delaying will not impact asset performance in the short-term, can be delayed until the fundamentals of your preventative maintenance plan are in place.
Maintenance tasks can be performed on a range of frequencies, from daily to every few months or years. Devising a preventative maintenance schedule, an important part of the overall plan, means deciding on how often to carry out certain tasks. Some elements of this will be dictated to you by regulations and safety legislation. Others will be decisions based on the working practices and experience of the engineering team. The preventative maintenance plan should be put down in writing so everyone can see what it is.
Key performance indicators (commonly used metrics include mean time between failure and mean time for repair) should also be chosen. They’ll give you a good idea as to the effectiveness of your programme. If maintenance training is required for employees, carry it out, and make sure they have the right tools on hand for the job.
Having guides and lists can help ensure employees get to grips with the new maintenance plan. Preventative maintenance checklists are a great way of ensuring technicians carry out tasks correctly. There should be a set series of steps the technician needs to take in order to complete a preventative maintenance work order. Those steps should be carried out the same way every time, no matter who does them on the team. There should also be a record of the maintenance activity.
This can be stored on the asset register of a preventative maintenance software database (known as a computerised maintenance management system, or CMMS). The CMMS can also be used to schedule and prioritise maintenance work orders, allocate resources, track activity, and provide a hub for documentation, manuals and safety information.
Want industrial maintenance solutions that will help you implement an effective maintenance plan? RS has got you covered. Find out more here.