Preventative maintenance (or preventative maintenance) is scheduled maintenance performed on assets or equipment to improve performance, extend asset life and prevent breakdowns.
Just like oil changes and repairs you perform on your own car, preventive maintenance is a way to prevent issues and keep equipment running strong. Whether you work in operations or manage maintenance planning for a school, hospital, manufacturing plant, local government, senior living community, club or association or other organization, you know that the longer your assets run (and the better they perform), the more time and money you save as opposed to dealing with replacements, run to failure or interruptions in service for critical assets. Successful preventive maintenance programs effectively minimize downtime and extend asset life through scheduled routine inspections such as condition monitoring.
Preventive maintenance can be done on various parts of a facility or building and any number of assets, such as HVAC, air handling units and boilers. Large or small, equipment and building preventive maintenance tasks like adjustments, repairs, inspections and replacing equipment parts keep assets functioning at full capacity, minimizing unexpected work orders and costs.
The good news with balancing your preventative and corrective maintenance is the benefits you can experience in the short and long term with moving to more proactive practices.
Benefits to using preventive instead of corrective maintenance include:
Productivity, efficiency and uptime are critical to your operations – this, you know. To meet your bottom line and maximize your productivity, you have to keep your critical assets running at 100%.
Our research shows that 80% of facility maintenance issues can be addressed by performing preventive maintenance on only 20% of facility systems. In addition, a preventive maintenance program can help you cut costs by 12-18% and save more than $135,000 per year.
Preventive maintenance helps you move away from emergency or reactive work to a proactive approach where you know better what you need, when and how much to be at full capacity. A good PM program can also reduce insurance claims and overall risk.
See more research in our Preventive Maintenance Education Report.
The key to sustaining preventive maintenance is making it regular and scheduled. The more PM is a part of your technicians' day, the fewer fires and breakdowns will take up their time. This means that they get to spend more time doing their daily work instead of getting sidetracked by unexpected emergencies, and you can save 12-18% per work order.
Our research shows that a PM program can create a 50-65% reduction in the rate of emergency work and a 28.6-39.3% reduction in average cost per work order.
Benjamin Franklin said it best: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This is directly applicable to any asset-intensive industry. That “ounce” of preventive maintenance starts with a cultural acceptance that a “run-to-fail” (or “firefighting mode”) is not sustainable. You can start slowly – this is a continuous improvement process. The cultural and operational changes that embrace a preventive maintenance environment are contagious.
World-class organizations call for a 90% preventive and 10% corrective maintenance work order ratio. Many who read this will think “no way, I am not even close to that!” Acceptance and commitment to these changes is the most critical first step. Measuring where you stand today is the second step (easily done with a CMMS system). Progress is the continual third step, and over time, especially with a well-implemented CMMS, you will eventually get there, and your controlled costs/improved profitability will make you an organizational rock star.
It is easy to do the basics. Get your critical assets in the CMMS and schedule calendar-based PMs with basic instructions. Just having the visibility and schedule reminders will help you progress. Eventually, you will extend to more assets with better instructions. Maybe start to add the parts you need. Later, you might consider usage-based (meter-reading) PMs based on run-time hours, cycle-count, etc. Condition based maintenance (temperature, vibration, pressure, etc.) will turbo-charge your efforts. Over time, you will move from run-to-fail/reactive maintenance toward the world-class 90/10 ratio!
We suggest setting a goal of 30-50% preventive to reactive maintenance to be a PM All-Star. This goal may be adjusted based on your industry.
Read our article on Can You Do Too Much PM.
Predictive maintenance uses the condition of equipment to determine when maintenance is needed or when equipment or assets will fail. Preventive maintenance is more time- or age-based. Both approaches can have benefits to your operations.
Read our article on 3 Common Reasons PdM and PM Plans Fail.
With the right tools, a sustainable preventive maintenance program is well within your reach. Check out this blog on starting a preventive maintenance program and learn more about our PM software for a range of industries.
The more automation you can introduce to your preventive maintenance (PM) plan, the less time your team will have to waste on keeping the wheels turning, leaving them free to complete work orders and get your assets running smoothly when you need them. This is to say nothing of the accuracy you could have with a good maintenance automation plan.
This goal — more and better automation powering a preventive maintenance plan — is achievable with the right plan of action and a modern enterprise asset management (EAM) or computerized maintenance management system (CMMS). While maintenance automation may not be available for plants with basic work order systems or maintenance reporting from spreadsheets, a modern EAM or CMMS can give you the inherent components necessary to make automation a reality.
The following areas are just a few ways that CMMS automation can impact maintenance:
When choosing preventive maintenance tools or software, you must also consider the company or partner you will be working with. You should make sure that a predictive maintenance partner has a history of offering exceptional products and a strong support team.
At Dude Solutions, we have 12,000+ clients using our CMMS, as well as a 97% client satisfaction rate. We've seen clients save thousands with better preventive maintenance — just see our success stories.