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Designing a Successful Preventative Maintenance Program

It’s one thing to understand how preventative maintenance works and another to actually implement a successful preventative maintenance program. Additionally, it is important to know the difference between preventative maintenance and predictive maintenance, the latter being a series of dynamic inspections of machine components while the machines are operating in their normal production modes. Great preventative programs should follow these four key steps:

1. Lay down the groundwork and having the right systems in place

Designing and implementing a preventative maintenance program requires a different mindset than operating and managing a normal maintenance department. Companies must:
understand facility goals

  • set equipment performance standards
  • document preventative maintenance procedures and schedules
  • upload information to a computerized maintenance management system

2. Ensure other things don’t get in the way

Companies often delay or stall their preventative maintenance program for a variety of reasons. But the primary reason is because a profit motive was not included. Companies should instead:

  • incorporate a way to benchmark and track the savings their program generates

3. Roll out the service program

Companies that fail quickest simply hand over preventative maintenance implementation to their maintenance staff without the proper training and oversight. Instead, they should:

  • focus their objectives
  • create preventative maintenance tasks correctly the first time around
  • train their team
  • oversee all the implementations
  • ensure a management system is in place to sustain the program’s success

4. Understand why breakdowns occur, then weigh preventative maintenance activities correctly

Preventative maintenance tasks must be documented to address the root causes of breakdowns in order to positively impact productivity. Comparatively, companies should:

  • have a good work order system in place
  • use a computerized maintenance management system to measure the program effectiveness

If a company’s in-house experts can initiate and manage a successful program, then great. But if not, it is imperative to find a qualified organization to get and keep the ball rolling.


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