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What does a planned maintenance schedule look like?

Businesses that wait for something to go wrong before addressing safety issues in the workplace are just waiting for trouble. They are also spending thousands of dollars each year reacting to crises instead of preventing them from happening in the first place.

Although you can use an old-fashioned printed calendar system, service management software offers a better way to manage planned maintenance. With a sound schedule of planned maintenance activities in your organization, you can prevent costly delays resulting from defective equipment. 

If you don’t currently have an active planned maintenance schedule in place, it’s time to create one. In this post, we’ll help you understand why you need a preventive maintenance schedule, what it should include, and how to implement it in your organization.

What is PMS

Planned maintenance is a proactive approach to maintenance that focuses on minimizing the downtime and costs associated with breakdowns. 

The process starts by identifying a maintenance challenge you want to address, such as reducing downtime or increasing the lifespan of your assets and equipment. You can then anticipate, schedule, and document the various tasks that help you reach your goal. 

Regular inspections, parts, and materials inventory control, process descriptions, and work prioritization are all part of the planned maintenance process. The frequency of those tasks depends on the asset you want to maintain and is based on measurable factors, including the number of items produced, equipment running time, and distance traveled. Once you have created a maintenance schedule, you then have to put the parts and materials, tools, and resources in place to make sure the team completes the work correctly and on time.

Who Will Benefit From PMS

All equipment and supplies like bathroom tissues and paper towels eventually run out. But it is the dream of almost all managers for their equipment to last longer and break down less frequently. Therefore, adhering to a planned maintenance schedule often proves to be one of the best decisions of building or facility owners or managers, for good reasons.

There are two main advantages of using preventive maintenance as your main maintenance strategy: Being able to plan maintenance tasks and not requiring condition-based monitoring.

A preventive maintenance program allows you to plan maintenance tasks that reduce your costs and increase your productivity in the long term. Facility managers are able to prevent incipient failures.

Business owners, facility maintenance personnel, and asset planners stand to benefit more from planned maintenance schedules. It’s also useful for safety managers, quality control managers, directors of operations, and logistics coordinators among others.

When to Set Frequency Of PMS

Planning maintenance allows you to allocate resources to the job properly so that you have the time, personnel, and tools you need when you need them.

Some scheduled maintenance can be planned years in advance, like changing the tires on an industrial transport vehicle every winter. Other tasks require shorter lead times, such as swapping out air compressors after 100 hours of use. 

Think of it as a time-based approach schedule, which uses a set time interval, such as every 10 days of regular inspection or once in a three-month period.

Other types are usage-based which triggers a maintenance action when your asset usage hits a certain threshold like a certain number of kilometers, hours, or production cycles. A good example of this trigger is routinely using Signature Dumpster Control Granules with Citronella to counteract malodors at landfill sites.

The last type is condition-based which often monitors the actual condition of an asset to determine what a maintenance task needs to be done. This commonly happens when certain indicators show signs of decreasing performance or upcoming failure. For instance, preventive maintenance will be scheduled when vibration on a certain component reaches a certain benchmark, indicating that it should be replaced or lubricated.

Overall, planning maintenance lets you look ahead in your calendar and see what’s coming up, so you are rarely caught reacting to breakdowns and spreading your resources too thin.

Where To Create And Implement PMS

Creating an effectively planned maintenance schedule involves understanding the innermost workings of a facility in order to practically assess the business needs and develop a planned maintenance schedule that is practical, cost-effective, and efficient. 

You can work with a professional to assess your business needs and budget, before developing one that works for you. This can include a ‘forward maintenance service’ which involves all non-critical issues being grouped together and completed in the same pre-planned visit which can reduce the number of call-outs and therefore the overall cost.

Keep in mind that not all planned maintenance schedules are the same, as they differ depending on business type and needs but will begin with an assessment of your facility. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to developing a planned maintenance schedule. 

Different companies and facilities often have different maintenance needs and therefore require different approaches. However, these tips are the baseline for implementing a general planned maintenance schedule:

1. Conduct a Criticality Analysis

Outline which assets need routine checks and which ones do not. Identify critical assets, their failure modes, and the likelihood of failure. Non-critical assets can receive scheduled unplanned maintenance.

2. Determine PM Intervals

When starting out, maintenance intervals are according to your manufacturer’s recommended maintenance guidelines. Asset maintenance can also be scheduled by date, meter readings, monitoring alarms, or based on completion of other work. A proper maintenance schedule should result in fewer unplanned downtimes.

3. Maintain an Asset Manage System

A well-organized asset management system is imperative to optimized scheduling. Make important information, such as asset serial codes, recommended maintenance procedures, and troubleshooting procedures easily accessible to technicians. Knowing an asset’s model and serial code is essential to replacing parts. A mobile Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) can help streamline this process. 

4. Assign Work Orders

Assign recurring work orders for times that will cause the least disruption to in-house operations, procedures, and your customers. If you run a 24/7 operation, scheduling around production and/or service lines may seem intimidating. However, you don’t need to shut down all production lines to briefly service particular components. Prepare your technicians with clear standard operating procedures (SOPs) to perform the task with minimal disruption.  

5. Track KPIs

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can keep track of how assets are maintained and of the safety of your personnel and the environment they work in. They also track the performance of your equipment and any hidden costs associated with keeping it up and running. The decision to finally retire machinery or equipment may depend on a variety of factors: From the total number of breakdowns, cost of replacement parts, time spent fixing equipment, and more. You may phase out an asset due to the need for a newer model, changes in your operational requirements, or because the cost of maintaining it has become too high, and you are running the risk of total equipment failure. 

The bottom line: the more information you collect about your individual equipment service history over time, the more you can optimize scheduling intervals. The easiest way to automate the maintenance scheduling process is via a user-friendly CMMS. 

What Products Work Great For PMS

Technology today plays an integral role in implementing planned maintenance. Leveraging software products, such as CMMSes, Spreadsheets, and Calendars allows you to organize all the resources necessary to plan maintenance, like labor and parts. 

Such products make it easy to handle schedules, inventory, work orders, and reports. This ensures triggers are set up properly, technicians can respond to work quickly, and the right parts are always in stock so maintenance can be completed with little disruption.

How To Automate Your PMS

For businesses to stay competitive in the global, and even local, market, businesses must adopt technology that brings immediate efficiencies and impact. Being a small business used to mean that powerful software solutions were too expensive or complicated. 

Luckily, you can use simple tools like calendars to empower teams and grow your business. Modern-day calendars are designed to lets you organize your schedule and share events with co-workers and friends. They are equipped with advanced features, which make it easy to keep track of your planned schedules.

You can easily integrate your planned maintenance schedule with your calendar by creating a work order in the form of new task, which will then be added as an event in your calendar automatically. The best part is that you can move the tasks around for better scheduling, set up alarm triggers as well as due date, and share with your team.

Alternatively, you can also use a favorable CMMS software that will let you build numerous calendars or meter-based tasks for your planned maintenance schedule. You can further provide a clear description of task procedures, instructions, and other essential details within the maintenance task record.

Moreover, all your PMSes will be recorded and easily availed for future references, mostly as part of your asset’s history. Whichever tool you choose to use, your planned maintenance schedule will provide you with crucial data that will help support your reporting insights about maintenance operations.

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