Preventive Maintenance Best Practices

staff looking at preventative maintenance schedules.

Minimizing downtime and maximizing equipment efficiency are critical factors that can make or break a company’s success. As a maintenance manager responsible for machinery, equipment, and infrastructure, you understand the significance of staying proactive rather than reactive. 

That’s where preventive maintenance programs are the ultimate solution. This article will delve into the best practices of preventive maintenance, aiming to help you optimize your maintenance processes, ensure on-time work order completion, enhance employee safety, and achieve industry compliance. 

Preventive maintenance is a commonly used approach to equipment maintenance that involves regular inspections, servicing, and replacements before any signs of malfunctioning or failure appear. The primary goal is to avoid unplanned breakdowns and extend the lifespan of machinery and equipment, ultimately leading to increased productivity and reduced maintenance costs. Instead of waiting for something to go wrong, preventive maintenance empowers maintenance managers to be proactive, identifying potential issues before they escalate.

Why Preventive Maintenance Is So Vital 

  1. Minimize Downtime: Unexpected equipment breakdowns can bring production to a screeching halt, causing significant financial losses. By implementing preventive maintenance, you can keep your machinery in top-notch condition, minimizing unscheduled downtime and keeping production lines running smoothly.
  1. Enhance Efficiency: Regular maintenance ensures that equipment operates at peak performance levels, leading to improved overall efficiency and output. Well-maintained machines consume less energy and perform better, resulting in cost savings for your facility.
  1. Complete Work Orders On-Time: Preventive maintenance enables you to schedule maintenance activities in advance, reducing the risk of delays in work order completion. This proactive approach empowers your team to stay on top of maintenance tasks and meet production targets consistently.
  1. Ensure Employee Safety: Well-maintained machinery is safer for operators and maintenance personnel. Identifying and addressing potential safety hazards in advance helps create a safer work environment and reduces the likelihood of accidents.
  1. Maintain Industry Compliance: Manufacturing facilities are subject to strict industry regulations and standards. Implementing preventive maintenance ensures that your equipment is always up to code, helping you stay compliant with relevant regulations.

According to recent research, preventive maintenance can save 8-12% over preventive maintenance models and up to 40% over reactive maintenance. 

man looking at preventative maintenance results

Preventive Maintenance Best Practices

Preventive Maintenance can help your business in several ways, but you can maximize your results by adhering to best practices. These preventive maintenance best practices are designed to ensure the longevity and optimal performance of equipment and machinery in various industries. By following these practices, businesses can reduce downtime, prevent unexpected breakdowns, and save costs in the long run. The top preventive maintenance best practices include:

  1. Conducting Comprehensive Equipment Assessments
  2. Developing a Customized Maintenance Schedule
  3. Implementing Condition Monitoring Techniques
  4. Empowering Employees with Training
  5. Regularly Inspecting and Cleaning Equipment
  6. Embracing Predictive Maintenance

Conduct Comprehensive Equipment Assessments

Regular equipment inspections to identify potential issues or areas that require maintenance are crucial. These assessments may include visual inspections, performance testing, and other diagnostic techniques. By catching problems early, you can perform proactive maintenance to prevent more significant and costly breakdowns later.

Start by performing thorough equipment assessments to identify critical assets and their maintenance requirements. Keep detailed records of equipment specifications, maintenance history, and recommended service intervals. Utilize Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) to streamline data management and optimize maintenance planning.

Develop a Customized Maintenance Schedule

Because every piece of equipment is different,  each one may have unique maintenance requirements. A well-planned preventive maintenance schedule should be tailored to the specific needs of each machine. It should outline tasks, frequencies, and personnel responsible for carrying out maintenance activities. A well-structured maintenance calendar will help you stay ahead of potential issues and ensure timely servicing.

Implement Condition Monitoring Techniques

Condition monitoring involves using various tools and technologies to monitor the health of equipment on a continual basis. Examples include vibration analysis, thermography, oil analysis, and acoustic monitoring. By tracking the condition of equipment in real-time, it becomes easier to detect anomalies and predict potential failures.  These techniques enable you to detect early signs of equipment wear and impending failures and allow you to address issues proactively.

Empower Employees With Training

Well-trained employees are more likely to perform maintenance tasks accurately and efficiently. Providing training and education on equipment operation, maintenance procedures, and safety protocols ensures that employees are equipped to handle their responsibilities effectively. When you invest in comprehensive training programs for maintenance personnel and operators, you’ll have well-trained employees who are more likely – and able – to identify and report potential maintenance concerns early on.

Regularly Inspect and Clean Equipment

Routine inspections and cleaning help prevent the buildup of dirt, debris, and contaminants that can adversely affect equipment performance. Proper cleaning also contributes to maintaining the accuracy and efficiency of equipment. Routine inspections and cleaning are fundamental preventive maintenance activities. Dust, debris, and contaminants can adversely affect equipment performance. Regularly inspecting and cleaning machinery will enhance its efficiency and prolong its life.

Embrace Predictive Maintenance

Predictive maintenance relies on data and analytics to predict when maintenance should be performed based on the actual condition of the equipment. It considers real-time data from condition monitoring techniques and historical data to anticipate potential failures before they occur. Combine preventive maintenance with predictive maintenance techniques to take your maintenance strategy to the next level. 

By combining these preventive maintenance best practices, businesses can extend the lifespan of their equipment, improve reliability, and reduce operational costs associated with unexpected breakdowns. It’s essential to have a proactive approach to maintenance rather than waiting for equipment to fail before acting.

Preventive maintenance is the foundation of a successful manufacturing facility, where every minute of downtime counts. By implementing the best practices outlined in this blog, you can maximize equipment efficiency, reduce downtime, ensure on-time work order completion, enhance employee safety, and achieve industry compliance. Embrace preventive maintenance as a proactive approach that empowers you to take control of your maintenance processes and steer your facility towards increased productivity and success. To streamline your preventive maintenance journey, consider LLumin’s CMMS+ maintenance management software.  

Getting Started With LLumin

LLumin develops innovative CMMS software to manage and track assets for industrial plants, municipalities, utilities, fleets, and facilities. If you’d like to learn more about the total effective equipment performance KPI, we encourage you to schedule a free demo or contact the experts at LLumin to see how our CMMS+ software can help you reach maximum productivity and efficiency goals.