FAQs

on Preventive maintenance​

Preventive maintenance (PM) is a crucial strategy for any manufacturing plant.

 Proactively performing maintenance tasks can avoid costly breakdowns, extend equipment life, and ensure smooth production.

Here are few frequently asked questions about preventive maintenance in manufacturing plants:

Preventive maintenance involves regularly inspecting, cleaning, and lubricating equipment to prevent problems before they occur. 

It’s like taking your car for an oil change – catching small issues before they lead to major breakdowns.

  • Reduces downtime: Unplanned equipment failures can disrupt production and cost businesses money. PM helps minimize downtime by identifying and addressing potential problems early.
  • Extends equipment life: Regular maintenance keeps equipment running smoothly and efficiently, preventing wear and tear. This can significantly extend the lifespan of your machinery.
  • Improves safety: Properly maintained equipment is less likely to malfunction and cause accidents. PM helps create a safer work environment for employees.
  • Boosts production efficiency: Well-maintained equipment operates at peak performance, leading to increased production output and improved quality. 
  • Saves money: While PM requires upfront investment, it saves money by preventing costly repairs and downtime.
Time-based PM: This involves scheduling maintenance tasks based on a predetermined timeframe, regardless of equipment usage. For example, you might lubricate a machine every month, irrespective of how many hours it has been operating. Condition-based PM: This involves monitoring equipment for signs of wear and tear and performing maintenance only when necessary. It can be done through sensors, vibration analysis, or other monitoring techniques.

Developing a preventive maintenance plan involves the following steps:

  • Identify your equipment: Make a list of all the equipment in your plant, including its make, model, and age.

  • Determine maintenance needs: Research the recommended maintenance tasks for each piece of equipment.

  • Set frequencies: Decide how often each task should be performed based on the manufacturer’s recommendations and your own experience.
  • Assign responsibility: Decide who will be responsible for performing each task.
  • Document your plan: Create a written document that outlines your PM schedule and procedures.

Several tools can help you manage your preventive maintenance program, including:

  • CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System): This software helps you track your equipment, schedule maintenance tasks, and store maintenance records.

  • Condition monitoring equipment: Sensors and other devices can monitor equipment for signs of wear and tear, helping you identify potential problems early.
  • Data analysis tools: You can identify trends and improve your PM program by analyzing maintenance data.
The cost of preventive maintenance will vary depending on the size and complexity of your plant, the type of equipment you use, and the tools you choose to implement. However, the cost of PM is typically much less than the cost of unplanned downtime and repairs.
Demonstrate your PM program’s return on investment (ROI) by calculating the potential cost savings from reduced downtime and improved equipment life. You can also share case studies of other manufacturers successfully implementing PM programs.
  • Not having a plan: A well-defined PM plan is essential for success.

  • Over-maintaining: Save time and resources on necessary maintenance tasks.
  • Not training your staff: Ensure employees are properly trained on PM procedures.
  • Not tracking data: Monitor your PM program and make adjustments as needed.
  • Regularly review and update your PM plan.
  • Use data to identify areas for improvement.
  • Invest in new technologies and tools.
  • Seek feedback from your employees.

There are many resources available to help you learn more about preventive maintenance, including:

  • Industry associations: Many industry associations offer resources and training on PM.

  • Maintenance consultants: Consultants can help you develop and implement a PM program.
  • Online resources: Some many websites and articles provide information on PM.