maintenance at the right time with the right information to
make everyone’s life easier.
“One hour of my tech’s time is the most valuable resource I
have as a facilities manager,” Auton says. “If I treat one hour as
money I’m spending, how can I spend that most effectively? If
I have one tech who has 40 hours this week, do I want him to
spend 10 hours doing unimportant stuff or spend it doing critical preventive maintenance so I’m confident this equipment is
not going to fail between now and the next PM?”
What Successful Preventive Maintenance
A good preventive maintenance program starts with everyone
Auton recommends a few simple rules for keeping your pre-
being on the same page about why the procedures are necessary,
Auton says. “If you break it down through the fundamentals,
preventive maintenance is called preventive for a reason. When
you perform preventive maintenance, what specific failure are
you preventing? Do you know? If I experience failures, am I
updating my preventive maintenance plan to add some steps
that will make sure that failure doesn’t reoccur for that piece of
equipment and all similar equipment?”
Focus on the fundamentals of good communication when you
structure your preventive maintenance program, Auton adds.
Document every policy and include visuals whenever possible
so that everyone can follow along.
ventive maintenance program effective and efficient:
n Don’t do any work unless it’s documented on a work order.
That way, you can track when, where and on what piece of
A successful preventive maintenance policy also accounts for
equipment work was finished. If you have to drop everything
to take care of an emergency, fill out a work order after the
fact with the scope of work so that everything is documented.
n Implement a similar documentation procedure for procuring
parts and equipment.
n Have one policy for initiating, triaging, planning, executing
and closing work. “I always say one process, one policy, every-
one complies,” Auton explains.
your limited budget. This may even include a “run to fail” ele-
ment for equipment and parts that are cheaper to replace than
maintain, Whittaker notes.
Analyzing the cost of maintenance versus downtime, repair
and replacement is key to staying on budget. If you can, consider
investing in a predictive maintenance tool to make it easier to
track and complete maintenance.
A CMMS package automates much of the paperwork for you,
but if that’s not financially feasible, Whittaker recommends
starting with inexpensive tools like vibration screening devices
or oil analysis to give you extra information on which equipment needs more attention.
“These tools give you good empirical data to optimize the
preventive maintenance program,” Whittaker says. “They provide greater reliability and better information on optimizing
the program than just doing preventive maintenance. There are
a number of predictive approaches, and they don’t have to be
Janelle Penny firstname.lastname@example.org is a senior writer
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