How to Implement a Preventive Maintenance Program

    Preventive Maintenance Programs are for assets that directly influence the output or production of a manufacturer or the utility of a facility. These programs are cost-effective and prevent unscheduled downtime. Normally, for expensive assets, reactive maintenance (RM) is higher than preventive maintenance (PM) but there are times when the cost of PM exceeds RM and very limited downtime is available for repairs.

    So, a beneficial preventive management plan should be implemented with careful planning. A good plan increases productivity and lowers maintenance costs.

    This program implies scheduling inspections and asset maintenance before any breakdowns occur. Past data needs to be assessed in the least possible time with the best technological equipment and software to keep the assets in good working condition. The least amount of effort is involved, as these are precautionary measures that are taken before the loopholes catch fire.

    What is a Preventive Maintenance Plan

    Preventive Maintenance Plan is all about Inspecting, Detecting, Correcting, and Preventing. Its main objective is to predict failures based on past records and prevent future disasters. Preventive and Predictive Maintenance Program is all about establishing and prioritizing goals. By leveraging the right technology, like CMMS software, a preventive maintenance checklist can be easily maintained to help keep track of asset history and compliance. The manager needs to know the understand these tools thoroughly and it will enable him to make effective decisions.

    Benefits of Preventive Maintenance Program (PMP)

    The end goal of an effective PMP is:

    • Low asset failures resulting in Mitigated unplanned downtime
    • Low downtime leading to cost efficiency and better profitability.
    • Reduced maintenance and Inspection guaranteeing a longer life of assets.
    • Improved safety measures with a low risk of injury
    • The fewer interruption caused by repairs

    Key Performance Indicators for Preventive Maintenance

    • Enhancing Productivity with reference to emergency man-hours to prevent equipment failures.
    • Equipment downtime to be noted down to estimate the effectiveness of a PM Plan
    • Equipment costs and preventive measures are taken for controlling maintenance costs.
    • Preventive maintenance pm efficiency by testing the equipment workability and by the number of work orders created.

    Types of Preventive Maintenance Program

    PMP vary on the needs of the users:

    • Mandatory PMs like OSHA, Safety, EPA must be conducted at any cost.
    • Non-mandatory PMs are service PMs that can be postponed and do not cause any performance failures.
    • Pyramiding PMs need to be generated each time they are due. The previous task if not conducted will be overdue and would need to be conducted later.
    • Floating or Non-pyramiding PMs which do not cater to the skipped tasks.
    • Inspections are about filling a checklist and creating work orders for any action that is required.
    • Task-oriented PMs ensure small tasks or repairs and replacements are done immediately.

    Create a Preventive Maintenance Strategy

    Preventive Maintenance is all about training employees on specific failure modes and apply appropriate skills where they’re needed. To create efficient routes, conduct thorough inspections, stay on schedule and involve operators are the key responsibilities of the preventive maintenance manager. The Maintenance manager needs to schedule for the long term and short term preventive maintenance pm plans and follow each process step by step which include:

    • Reducing manual data entry
    • Mitigating paperwork
    • Enhancing productivity and competency
    • Refining audit compliance with widespread documentation

    Inventory Facility Equipment/Assets

    The plant manager needs to make a list of all the assets he is responsible for and he should record vital details to refer to with the help of a preventive maintenance software program. Certain information helps in cost-cutting and identify if any equipment needs repair or replacing parts. The manager must make a note of the current condition and note details like:

    • Make, model, and serial number of the equipment
    • Basic specification and skills
    • Asset number, or unit number
    • Category (HVAC, plumbing, etc)
    • The location of the equipment and the department it falls under
    • Any expensive items involved

    Create Preventive Maintenance Procedures

    To determine the preventive maintenance tasks required to maintain each piece of equipment and the frequency with which these tasks should occur comes under procedures. Appropriate software can be used to identify schedules based on run-time hours, owner’s manual, and on prior corrective maintenance strategy and experiences. A PMP should include a parts list, safety procedures, estimated time to complete, and SOPs.

    Create Preventive Maintenance Schedules

    pm schedule

    To create PM schedules, the maintenance managers must:

    1. Handle critical assets considering their critical operating condition and assessing if routine maintenance can eliminate equipment failures. Assets that are sensitive should be handled with better care ad strategies.
    2. Use architectural drawings instead of depending on a spreadsheet to locate the supply levels visually and to locate critical assets. This leads to a better time and resource utilization management.
    3. Be thorough with serial codes, operating, and maintenance manuals which help in replacing parts, repairing, and keeping a tap on the make, brand, and service of the asset.
    4. To review the history of equipment repairs and replacements to reflect the usage and performance of an asset. This will identify prior downtime on the basis of which improvements can be determined.

    Train your Maintenance Team

    The maintenance staff are the core users of the assets and prioritizing effective training for them is mandatory. This ensures a high return on investment and efficient maintenance. A workable and high rated software can be bought and worked upon. The staff should be well aware of the future benefits of the training and can take it online or onsite. They need to go through various videos, presentations, manuals, and documentation to be better equipped with the required knowledge.

    Analyze – Adjust – Improve

    It is important to analyze the results of a preventative maintenance program and adjust as needed. Essential Software should be integrated to assess, adjust, and improve preventive maintenance programs which should be done every couple of years eventually saving time, money, and energy.

    Common Mistakes to Avoid 

    The maintenance manager must avoid giving unclear instructions. Completing tasks too early, or too late can be overwhelming for the entire team. Over-maintaining equipment and Lack of prioritization could work adversely for the company. He should avoid using techniques like Pencil whipping and Inadequate MRO inventory which may result in preventive maintenance plan failure to track preventive maintenance programs.


    It takes a lot of planning and diligence to create a successful, operative, and sustainable preventive maintenance program. It is worth the effort as it reaps many benefits in the future. It takes rigorous analyses and fine-tuning to ensure the planning is carefully implemented and the hard work does not go in vain. An attainable and effective preventive maintenance program is a viable option for the maintenance operations of an organization.

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