Planned maintenance can keep uptime intact, increase efficiency, and save organizations money. It’s often implemented as an alternative to costly run-to-fail processes.
On the other side of the spectrum, emergency maintenance can quickly deplete an organization’s maintenance budget. From paying overtime to repair or replace equipment to spending extra on wages while lines return to optimal output, lots of not-so-little things can add up fast and reduce profitability.
Nevertheless, 22% of manufacturing plants use run-to-failure methods in their day-to-day operations. Fortunately, there is a way to break that expensive cycle while also providing benefits like extended equipment life, balanced budgets, and improved operations.
What is planned maintenance?
Planned maintenance is a maintenance strategy that uses proactive planning, documentation, and scheduling for maintenance work. Its goal is to reduce equipment downtime and asset failure costs.
A well-thought-out planned maintenance strategy will include the following components:
- Asset inspections
- Ordering spare parts
- Inventory control
- Manufacturer-recommended maintenance
- Process descriptions
- Priority work scheduling
Together, these components build a maintenance strategy and planned maintenance schedule that ensures teams, equipment, and parts are regularly available to remedy specific asset issues.
What are the benefits of a planned maintenance strategy?
Organizations can benefit from planned maintenance in the following ways.
Reduces unplanned downtime
Planned maintenance reduces downtime by fixing minor asset issues before they become catastrophic breakdowns. Preventing assets from failing means that production time is not lost.
Lowers maintenance costs
When assets fail, the cost of repair or replacement can be substantial. Planned maintenance allows for yearly budgeting plans that include smaller, inexpensive, and expected repairs, which in turn reduces the likelihood of an unexpected asset failure.
Extends the life of assets
Routine, scheduled inspections and tasks (e.g., lubrication and chain or belt adjustments) extend asset lifespan when performed regularly.
Improves time management
Planned maintenance schedules ensure that your maintenance team’s day is laid out ahead of time and that everything’s ready for quick servicing.
Planned maintenance continually creates a solid groundwork for the future. It keeps a maintenance planner’s finger on an organization’s operational pulse.
How do different types of maintenance fit into a planned maintenance strategy?
There are two types of planned maintenance: planned preventive and planned unscheduled maintenance.
Planned preventive maintenance
Planned maintenance strategies use preventive maintenance on high-value, essential assets. It’s a proactive and structured approach that allows for scheduled maintenance tasks which focus on preventing asset failure before it occurs.
Preventive maintenance consists of routine inspections based on the manufacturer’s suggested repair sequences. These tasks occur at regular intervals (e.g., every three months, every week, etc.) or according to meter readings (e.g., every 5,000 miles or every 10,000 rotations).
Planned unscheduled maintenance
Planned unscheduled maintenance comes into play when low-value, noncritical assets break down. This strategy is best suited for replacement parts such as light bulbs or tires. For this strategy to be effective, having spare parts on hand is essential. Having spare parts means you can get an asset back up and running quickly.
|Planned preventive maintenance||Planned unscheduled maintenance|
|Maintenance performed||Routine inspections to prevent asset failure||Efficient parts replacement to fix assets after failure|
|Frequency of maintenance||Set intervals of time or meter readings||At set intervals or meter reading markers|
|Likelihood of equipment failure||Low to medium||High|
|Upfront cost||Low to medium||Very low|
|Suitable assets||High-value, essential assets||Low-value, noncritical assets|
|Technology required||Maintenance management software||None|
|Example||Regular belt changes and inspections on machinery||Replacing a blown-out tire with an on-hand spare tire|
Pairing these two strategies together leads to less overall asset downtime. Planned preventive maintenance reduces the likelihood of asset failures, while planned unscheduled maintenance ensures that you are prepared to remedy a failure quickly if one does occur.
For example, let’s say an operation has a fleet of buses. Maintenance directors would put each bus into a planned preventive maintenance schedule to ensure that oil changes, tire rotations, and belt replacements are performed at time- and meter-based intervals. They would also put a series of planned unscheduled maintenance tasks into the system to remedy a burned-out headlight, a blown tire, or a sudden radiator leak.
Keep in mind, however, that one planned maintenance task series is rarely like another. Each asset type needs its own methodically planned maintenance strategy.
Implementing planned maintenance
Implementing a planned maintenance workflow requires that facility managers self-examine their processes. Scrutinizing processes is necessary to build a solid planned maintenance strategy.
Inventory assets and set inspection dates
The first step is for facility directors to inventory all assets and set inspection dates. Using manufacturer-recommended maintenance timelines and their team’s knowledge of an asset’s operation, inspectors can assess the worksite, identify any problems, and create work orders if necessary.
Sometimes planned maintenance inspections will reveal that an asset is working correctly and may not need servicing. That’s an excellent indication that maintenance planning is working properly.
Assigning the work order
Suppose a work order or maintenance activity is issued. In that case, managers assign it a priority level, put it on the work docket for the day, complete the task, record the outcome, and track it for later analysis. This is an efficient and cost-saving process that ensures technicians only perform the work that needs to be done.
If this workflow seems similar to preventive maintenance, that’s because it is. Remember that planned preventive maintenance is a part of a planned maintenance strategy.
Unscheduled maintenance tasks follow the same flow, but they are pre-planned and “float” in a planned maintenance system. Think of them as having an ace up your sleeve for when something goes wrong.
The above flowchart is an example of a typical planned maintenance workflow. However, an organization may choose to add, remove, or adjust steps to fit its unique processes.
How can the planned maintenance features of a CMMS help?
Pop-up fires need to be put out. However, through planned maintenance, not only is the cost of rushing to fix hotspots reduced; the wear and tear these fires cause on assets and the stress they put on maintenance teams is also diminished.
A computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) can organize planned maintenance strategies and eliminate the embers that can later create a flare up. It does it through planned maintenance work orders and preventive maintenance management.
Capabilities of a CMMS also include:
- Planned maintenance notification reminders
- Automatic part reordering and low inventory alerts
- Analytics and KPI tracking
- Approval flows for asset replacement
Planned maintenance is easy with FMX
Planned maintenance is a proven maintenance strategy that keeps uptime intact, increases efficiency, and saves organizations money by extending equipment life, reducing maintenance costs, and improving operations.
Add planned maintenance to your organization’s maintenance plan with FMX’s customizable system. Start with our preventive maintenance assessment. These eight short questions can help pinpoint your organization’s top preventive maintenance priorities and get you started on addressing them today.
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