Apr 26, 2020
6 Steps Toward An Effective Preventative Maintenance Strategy
A preventative maintenance program is, ideally, your connective tissue between the machines that are running your operation, and the people that are running the machines. When you have an effective preventative maintenance program being utilized, the idea is that everything is running full steam ahead, and without the hiccups that occur with overworked and under maintained machinery.
Think about it in terms of your family sedan: when your family sedan is run on the freeway on bad gas, without oil and lube jobs, on bald tires, you’re not going to travel at optimum speeds for fear of a blowout, or engine failure. That’s the same precept behind failed maintenance programs and our heavy machinery that is being utilized to run our production facilities, building sites, and packing houses. If you can’t operate your assembly lines box maker at full production speed for fear of the belt snapping, you have a serious hitch in your preventative maintenance program.
CMMS is used in a wide variety of industries and deals primarily with maintenance work, orders, maintenance tasks etc. It has some, if not all, the same properties as telematics systems, including vehicle inspections tracking, as well as digital archives, records and more.
1. Do The Research On Your CMMS Choices
There is no one size fits all CMMS program. That’s the exact reason that there are so many to choose from, and they offer multiple functionalities, many different user interfaces, and you have your choice in the bells and whistles that are necessary for your facility.
When you properly research the CMMS system that is a good fit for your operation, it shows in the preventative maintenance results. Don’t just assume that because it is a CMMS, it is going to solve all of the preventative maintenance issues that were holding back your plant’s successes. The idea is to work with the software, and the software will then work for you.
2. Have A Maintenance Department With Capable Technicians
A CMMS program is a fantastic tool to get everyone on the same page with maintenance and preventative maintenance of your equipment. What it can not do, however, is inform your technicians, or train your technicians. You need to have capable mechanics, those that really know your machines, and know their way around your machines. No preventative maintenance program is going to be able to substitute mechanics that know the machinery, because ultimately that is who is performing the work at the end of the day.
3. Every Preventative Maintenance Program Needs A Point Man
You need to have an administrator for your CMMS. This person should be the guru for all things preventative maintenance, and they should be well versed in every aspect of the CMMS and the preventative maintenance program itself. This person traditionally is the administration in the maintenance department, as they work hand in hand with the maintenance staff, and see the everyday ins and outs of the technicians and their struggles with the preventative maintenance program. That doesn’t mean it has to be a member of your maintenance administration, but this has proven to be a successful tactic in the past.
4. Proper Data Input Is Crucial To Reading Trends
Having mechanics on the floor performing preventative maintenance is amazing. It means that machines are being well cared for, and that you are achieving exactly what you set out to do when you put the CMMS into place in your facility. However, without the proper input of that data, you will not be able to read the reports and look at the trends as you set out to do.
If your technicians aren’t equipped with handheld scanners to scan their times in on bar codes linked to equipment, you will need to have a data entry person that will key the work as it is notated by the mechanics. Depending on your facility and maintenance staff size, this can be quite the undertaking. Without proper data entry, you cannot expect to have accurate reports.
5. The Preventative Maintenance Program Only Works If You Use It
Just like the family Sedan, you can have all of the oil and lube stickers in the windshield that one windshield will hold, but without actually going to have the oil and lube job performed, you’re just wasting stickers. Preventative maintenance programs behave in exactly the same fashion. It’s great to have a preventative maintenance program in place: it’s pointless to have one if you don’t stop production for long enough to allow your technicians to perform their jobs.
6. Read Your Reports And Look For Trends
Once the preventative maintenance program is in place, and things are running, for lack of better terminology, like a well oiled machine, we tend to stop reading our reports and searching for the trends that can improve our facility. That’s a bad habit to start, because the great thing about a CMMS is the ability to have all of the data compiled and shown in a complete encapsulation that shows you exactly where your equipment stands, and what lines or machines just aren’t giving you the maximum output that you should be getting. Familiarize yourself with the reports that are available from your CMMS and use them to your advantage.
About Talmage Wagstaff, Co-Founder and CEO of REDLIST
Raised in a construction environment, Talmage has been involved in heavy equipment since he was a toddler. He has degrees and extensive experience in civil, mechanical and industrial engineering. Talmage worked for several years as a field engineer with ExxonMobil servicing many of the largest industrial production facilities in the Country.