What is preventive maintenance?
Instead of waiting for a piece of equipment to malfunction in the middle of an important task, companies often devise regular service sessions from the very beginning. This helps firms cut down on overhead costs related to extensive equipment replacement. Practically, these sessions can include oil changes, adjustments, repairs, and even complete overhauls.
Depending on the frequency of use and depreciation rate, most organizations opt for a standardized maintenance schedule. The most commonly adopted schedules are inspired by regulations laid down by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). It leads to preventive maintenance routines which help companies attain the following objectives:
- Prolonged life of equipment for greater ROI
- Reduced downtime and delays in workflows
- Lower risk of error is work tasks
- Enhanced safety and protection for employees
You might have heard people talking about two kinds of maintenance: predictive and preventive. The former works on the actual usage of the equipment instead of predetermined time periods to deliberate when replacements will be needed. For example, a vehicle might need to be serviced after every thousand miles based on predictive maintenance, but the same vehicle might be serviced after every 3 months based on a preventive maintenance schedule.
As far as costs are concerned, predictive maintenance often revolves around the use of advanced technology like infrared thermal imaging or vibration analysis to forecast the cause of equipment failure, which is why it can have high short-term costs associated with it. Preventive maintenance, on the other hand, can reduce downtimes and improve equipment longevity just because it is so regular. This is why a lot of industries seem to prefer preventive maintenance to help them improve productivity outcomes.
Which industries benefit from preventive maintenance?
Companies which deal with a lot of expensive or complex equipment are generally more inclined towards using preventive maintenance. These are also the same companies who invest a lot in CMMS, maintenance personnel, and service equipment.
One example could be the manufacturing industry. Efficient maintenance management is highly crucial in order to achieve desired levels of performance in this sector, where a faulty machine or a broken down belt can hugely affect your bottom line. In order to use preventive maintenance, manufacturing companies first gather downtime costs and calculate the dollar value of maintenance. Doing so allows manufacturing firms to analyze the true cost of maintenance. They then pore over different operational variables which could improve technician response time, lower costs associated with spare parts, and optimize long-term workflows.
Like the manufacturing sector, maintenance is also hugely important for the construction industry. It lets them organize everyday tasks which depend on processes such as belt replacements and oil changes. After obtaining the correct guidelines from manufacturers, contractors can create detailed plans about how they’d like to go about maintenance, and can even break down expenditure based on item category, location, status, and more. A heavy equipment maintenance software can help with this. This is important because construction equipment can be extremely expensive. In fact, the global construction equipment market was valued at 192 billion dollars in 2017.
Working in time sensitive work environments also magnifies the need for a preventive maintenance program. This applies to a majority of food processors. According to a business intelligence study, around 97% of the food industry uses preventive maintenance checklist strategies. These are often based on the information contained within their equipment maintenance log. The data provided by these logs helps firms keep tabs on expiration dates and usage tracking, and even generate user-friendly reports based on the maintenance activities carried out.
What makes for a great preventive maintenance checklist?
Before you consider finalizing your maintenance checklist, carefully decide which maintenance and inspection activities you’d want to prioritize. A robust equipment servicing program should help you achieve the following:
- Well organized: A good preventive maintenance checklist must be methodical and intelligently structured. The first step towards this is to ensure you know what all your assets are, where they’re located, and what their status is at any given time. One way to do this is to tag all equipment using Barcodes or QR Codes to store serial numbers, model specifications and other information. All this data makes is easier to schedule and plan inspection sessions for the longevity of your equipment.
- Process oriented: The best way to conduct successful maintenance practices is to find out exactly what each one of your tools needs. Appropriate strategies must be defined for each category, and the process must be followed through strictly each time. For example, you could ask for all company vehicles to be inspected biannually. This way, you’re less likely to neglect the different kinds of needs associated with different equipment.
- Time bound: Although maintenance is a long-term process, your maintenance checklists must define the timeframe within which a certain activity must take place. Saying that an air filter must be replaced is no good without laying down how often it needs to be done. So there we go, the secret to a dependable maintenance strategy – repetition and consistency!
- Regularly updated: The constant use of all your tools and equipment means that special records need to be maintained and updated regularly. Keeping such useful information lets you tweak your service sessions to account for the required changes. You can, for example, alter a checklist to include additional maintenance sessions for tools that are beginning to be checked out more often.
- Purposeful: The rule of thumb for success in any operational endeavor is to know what you’re hoping to achieve by the end of it. Maintenance checklists are no different. Say you want a machine to have a 98% uptime in the first 5 years of purchase, after which you’d allow for the uptime to fall slightly. The best move would be to record this preferred outcome, and design a maintenance program around it.
What functional areas need preventive maintenance checklists?
A) Interiors: Every workplace comprises of specific types of interiors to facilitate its employees. Depending on the preference of the staff and nature of the work, the administration department allocates a budget for furniture, fixtures and carpeting. Due to the daily use of such items, they are subject to frequent wear and tear as well. For this reason, it is suggested to regularly inspect them for loose parts and broken switches with the help of a preventive maintenance checklist. All office appliances also fall under this category and need to be supervised for optimal functions.
B) Exteriors: If you recently faced a heavy rainfall season, then you must already realize how critical it is to manage exteriors. Direct contact with harsh weather conditions make the repair and servicing of grounds, drains and dumpsters quite challenging. A maintenance checklist lets you organize a schedule to keep exteriors looking perfect, all the time.
C) Technical infrastructure: With the rise in demand for technical infrastructure, the ratio of IT assets to employees in various sectors has increased considerably. This means that the average business invests more computers, printers and electronic devices than it did in the previous years. Such a trend signifies the need for high level data security through timely maintenance. Hardware and software both need frequent check-ups to avoid unwarranted data loss and tampering.
D) HVAC: For the prolonged life of your office building, you need to keep your HVAC equipment in good condition at all times. This broadly includes plumbing and electricity along with all the heating and cooling appliances installed. Poor maintenance practices can lead to HVAC equipment breaking down more often and disrupting workflows. Such incidents create disturbances and makes it harder for employees to focus on their daily tasks.
E) Safety: Unforeseen natural disasters and bad practices in health and safety pose a great threat to office buildings. To tackle such situations, it always helps to make the necessary preparations in advance. To guarantee safety for its staff, every company has fire escapes, security cameras and fire extinguishers installed in the building. Since such equipment might not be regularly used, it is common to neglect their maintenance. This is a bad idea. Safety tools should be serviced and inspected on time so that they are ready for use in emergencies.
F) Vehicles: Employees are required to travel for meetings and conferences across locations. For sectors like the construction industry, vehicles are a primary asset for off-site projects. Varying from company cars to delivery trucks, organizations own different types of transportation. Just like every other physical asset, vehicles also need to be scheduled for service. A preventive maintenance checklist lets you keep track of oil and tire changes and other mechanical repairs.
Source: Applied Computer Research, Inc.
Basic checklist templates you can build upon!
The best solution to take care of all your office equipment is to prepare a preventive maintenance checklist. Here are a few things to include on various functional checklists to improve the efficiency of your work operations:
Interior Maintenance Checklist:
- Conduct a timely examination of the condition of the flooring, walls and ceiling and furniture to spot for evidence of degeneration.
- For pipes and other water resources, check if there are any leaks.
- Do a thorough inspection for any electrical device hazards.
- Make sure that the toilets, faucets and showers are in working condition.
- Depending on your usage, test the smoke detectors and fire alarms installed.
- For electrical devices, keep an eye out for loose wires or fixtures. Call an electrician if necessary.
- If you are a multi-story building, you want to keep your elevators functional.
- Ensure cleanliness by vacuuming the carpets.
- Empty all garbage containers within the building.
- Check all kitchen equipment especially stoves and hood filters. Make it a point to clean them, and get rid of grease and any inflammable waste.
- While using complex wiring structures, ensure that you don’t overload a circuit and avoid creating tripping hazards.
- Keep your stairs and railings properly fixed to lower chances of injury.
Exterior Maintenance Checklist:
- Schedule frequent check-ups of the paints on the walls of the building.
- Ensure all locks and main gates are properly functioning.
- Try to keep the building aesthetically appealing by investing in a care routine for plantation.
- Remove any signs of algae or other dirt from the walls or grounds.
- Due to ill-frequent use, rooftops are often a mess. Make it a point to inspect them regularly for litter or cracked tiles. Be careful when working on high places and use safety precautions.
- Conduct frequent water tests through the roof gutters and drains. Check whether they are in working condition by flushing water through the downspouts.
- Get rid of water blockages outside the building after a heavy rainfall.
- Keep an eye out for any cracks in window frames and glass. If broken, handle with care.
- Sometimes, the door handles get loose. Service all external hardware regularly.
- If you have a playground, inspect all equipment to make sure no one gets hurt.
- In case of an accident, examine the ground for cracked glass or debris.
- Go over the stack and all roof penetrations.
- If there are any trees in your vicinity, inspect for chances of falling branches.
- Ensure that the fencing you have installed is standing strong. Replace if it seems flimsy.
Technical Infrastructure Maintenance Checklist:
- Storing all data in a cloud- based software requires you to update systems whenever needed
- To avoid accumulating a lot of extra information, clear out your browser files as soon as possible.
- In order to make preparations beforehand, configure your startup programs in advance.
- Scan official laptops frequently to avoid data loss.
- For safety purposes, it is recommended to get anti-virus programs installed and renewed as required.
- Clean your monitors, keyboards, printers and other equipment to remove any dirt and debris.
- Use a suitable liquid to polish projector and monitor screens.
- Make sure you organize your cables to avoid short-circuits.
- Make it a point to run disk cleanups.
- If your employees have their own hard drives, defragment them for optimal usage
- To keep all data safe, perform timely system backups.
- After any technical changes, reboot the system to ensure everything is working as before.
HVAC Maintenance Checklist:
- While using equipment like flashlights and smoke detectors, make it a habit to change batteries every now and then.
- Note down confirmations on the working conditions of timers and photocells.
- Thoroughly inspect cover plates for any cracks and maintain proper tightness.
- Keep ventilation working by cleaning all exhaust fans.
- Regularly replace air filters depending on usage.
- If blower motors are making excessive noise during operations, get an electrician to examine them.
- Fix and secure any loose guards and panels.
- Perform regular tests on safety controls and relevant equipment.
- Monitor compressed air lines frequently and spot any leaks in pipes, tubes or fittings.
- Inspect oil levels of air compressor pumps and have them replaced when necessary.
Safety and Inspection Checklist:
- Conduct an inventory check and replenish all your first aid supplies.
- Make sure safety signs are in place and all your equipment is labelled properly.
- Carry out regular inspections on respirators.
- Keep all your fall protection harnesses and kits in good condition.
- Frequently check on security cameras and get them fixed if need be.
- Fire extinguishers should be serviced on a timely basis.
- Lubricate all heavy equipment to prevent any accidental breakdowns.
- Properly segregate any areas where access is denied due to safety risks.
Vehicle Maintenance Checklist:
- Have your cars checked for fuel levels every other week.
- Check fluid levels in the coolant and antifreeze by using gauges or dipsticks.
- Ensure all safety items like the brakes, horns and steering are working properly.
- Schedule regular service sessions for drivability issues like misfire and rough idle.
- In case of accidents, refer the respective personnel to get the broken glass and windows fixed.
- Keep track of when to repair the heaters and air conditioners of all your vehicles.
- Inspect to get your serpentine belts changed when necessary.
- Examine the batteries and contacts in case of vehicles heating up.
Conclusion: The need for structure in preventive maintenance
Preventive maintenance is widely adopted by numerous organizations and firms to lower overheads, increase equipment longevity, and promote safety across the board.
It can get quite difficult to manage multiple assets and tools through manual repair sessions. For this reason, companies must draft preventive maintenance checklists to make service events much more streamlined. With details on vendors and manufacturers available, you can easily get the best advice you need regarding routine inspections and examinations of all your tools. Listing down all maintenance activities also allows you to measure progress and design budgets for replacements when needed. This gives you a chance to derive the maximum possible outcomes while simultaneously raising ROI!
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