How to Set Up a Preventive Maintenance Plan

A recent study from Jones Lang LaSalle found that on average preventive maintenance results in a 545% return on investment. With a ROI like this, you simply can’t afford not to have a preventive maintenance plan in place.

Step 1. Get The Right People on Board

Before you begin to organize your preventive maintenance plan, you need to have the right people on board with the plan. Include top management, maintenance managers, maintenance technicians, and any other staff who understands the way your system operates. This could include people from data processing, accounting, craftsmen, and members of production and production control.

You may not need input from each of these people at every step of the process, but it’s important to have them on board and kept up to date so you can get important feedback as you go.

Step 2. Set Goals For Your Preventive Maintenance Plan

Using your task force’s input, set goals you hope to achieve using the system. Begin training your task force on the computer skills they’ll need when your preventive maintenance plan goes into full effect.

Step 3. Inventory The Equipment and Assets

Go through your facility and inventory all the equipment you’re considering including in your preventive maintenance plan, tagging the equipment as you go. Create a list of all the assets you have responsibility for. Record the following details as you go, and keep in mind that this process is much easier to carry out and organized with the assistance of a good preventive maintenance software program.

  • Make and model of the equipment
  • Serial number
  • Basic specification and capabilities
  • Asset number, brass tag number, or unit number
  • Category (HVAC, plumbing, etc)
  • The location of the equipment
  • The department who holds responsibility
  • Any high cost items of the asset

This information will help you later track costs and help determine whether a piece of equipment needs to be replaced now.

Take note of the equipment’s current condition, and rate its level of priority in relation to your overall operation.

Step 4. Make Decisions

What is the health status of each piece of equipment? You can determine this by asking these questions:

  • Is it operating to manufacturers’ specifications?
  • Is it a high priority asset?

Once you’ve used these questions to analyze your equipment and have determined your highest priority asset, determine how your assets are performing and set a reasonable operational goal. Keep in mind that no system will ever run at a 100% average capacity. Compare your system’s actual performance to your operational goals to determine which systems need the most attention.

It is important to remember that not every piece of equipment should be added to your preventive maintenance plan. Some equipment is just too old and worn out, and reactive maintenance may actually be a more cost-efficient method in these cases. Look at the cost of repairs or replacement, how often this maintenance is typically performed, and what level of priority the equipment has.

Then create a task list per piece of equipment. Include approximate labor time and skill level required for each task in the plan. If you’re going to need parts for the task, make sure you budget for it and plan for delivery time.

A good candidate for inclusion in your preventive maintenance plan will have the following characteristics:

  • The repair/replacements costs are high
  • Maintenance has to be performed routinely
  • The equipment is critical to your company’s success

You’ll find that some items are better left to be replaced or repaired once they break. If so, make sure to schedule modernization of those units. If possible, plan to retire bad units. It is a good idea to actually leave bad units off the system since nothing will be done for them between inspections.

5. Get to Know the Owner’s Manuals

Now that you have a list of candidates for your preventive maintenance program, you need to determine what is best for each piece of equipment individually. Read up on the manufacturer guidelines, as well as the warranty conditions to help you figure out the best tasks for preventive maintenance.

Decide which preventive maintenance clocks you’ll be using. The clock will indicate wear on your piece of equipment. You can set the clock by number of days elapsed, run-time hours, yards or tons of product, etc. Preventive maintenance software allows for these clocks to be set easily, taking a huge task off your plate.

6. Schedule For Long Term Preventive Maintenance

You want to aim to get as many of your high cost/high priority pieces of equipment on a preventive maintenance schedule, but you don’t have to do it all at once. Your tasks should be directed to how the unit might fail, and your goal should be to prevent as many failures as possible.

Start with one piece of equipment and add as you go. Using the first piece of equipment, create a schedule for the year, broken down into daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, bi-annual, and/or annual tasks. You can use the manufacturer’s guidelines to help you determine your schedule. Continue with each piece of equipment until everything has a long-term plan. Preventive maintenance software will allow you to auto-schedule preventive maintenance based on elapsed time periods or other readings, and will automatically generate an editable schedule of pending and active work orders.

Regularly review your reports from your preventive maintenance software to watch for items you need to plan for.

Your long-term operating procedure will likely be revised many times throughout your first year.

7. Schedule For Short Term Preventive Maintenance

Now that you have planned your year, you can more easily create weekly plans for your maintenance crew. Plan preventive maintenance tasks to be performed at pre-planned equipment downtime, but give yourself some flexibility for work orders that come in from preventive maintenance inspection or reactive maintenance needs.

Prioritize the tasks, eventually creating a balance by adding or subtracting maintenance tasks and crew members. You’ll enjoy a longer life on your equipment, lower maintenance costs, and shorter downtime.

8. Train, Train, Train!

Don’t let the careful planning and hard work go out the window by neglecting to train the people who will be working with and managing the maintenance of your equipment. Talk to each machine operator, and demonstrate correct procedures for daily maintenance and adjustments. Train them in service and repair procedures, and make sure they understand how to safely use the equipment. Use simple log forms so that machine operators will use them. Schedule a few minutes before and after each shift to inspect, lubricate, and clean up.

MicroMain Preventive Maintenance Software

With MicroMain’s preventive maintenance software, you have access to more than 240 sets of standard procedures that cover common maintenance activities. You also have the ability to create customized procedures, tailored for your particular industry and company. Our maintenance management software automatically calculates estimated time for your PM tasks, updating and tracking the average time and cost for completing each task.

Plus, with all data stored in one place, you can more effectively manage work orders, purchase orders, inventory, and maintenance records.

How to Get Started

Preventive maintenance is just one of the many powerful features available in our industry leading maintenance management software. Learn more about preventive maintenance scheduling and management along with all the other powerful features available with our CMMS software!