What is Preventative Maintenance? 

Put in simple terms, Preventative Maintenance is a maintenance strategy. Applicable to any business that operates machinery, it is intended to ensure that asset life is as full as possible, reduce the cost of unavoidable maintenance and increase productivity.  

We apply Preventative Maintenance when we own everyday items such as a car. We regularly have our MOT and Service and some of us go a step further and book ourselves in for seasonal checks. Some of us even check our oil levels on a regular basis. These checks are intended to identify any major problems before they arise in your vehicle and enable you to be proactive and make educated decisions about any work that may need to be done on your car. You really would want to run out of oil in your car and cause serious and expensive damage that you ultimately result in the need for new parts and time that you will not be able to use the vehicle. 

If you would do this for your car, then why would you not do this for assets that work together to be the core of your business? 

Preventative Maintenance has another name. You may hear it described as Planned Maintenance.  

It is important, as part of a maintenance strategy, to include regular Preventative Maintenance. This can be dictated by the asset life cycle or even recommended by manufacturer of the asset. Sometimes these can be recommended to be more frequent than needed but if they are planned, it allows for companies to assign budget to these activities, reserve additional funds for any assets that may need replacing/fixing and allows for the scheduling of the physical work to be undertaken.  

There are systems available to help with Preventative Maintenance which can help to streamline any maintenance which will inevitably reduce the need for emergency work, reactive responses, increase the efficiency of machinery and work toward the safety of the workforce.  

The main incentive for Preventative Maintenance is to reduce the cost of avoidable downtime and expense of repairs and parts, which in many cases, can be a significant amount 

What are the benefits? 

There are several benefits that come from a successful strategy: 

  • Extended asset, lubrication, and machine lifetime 
  • Increased efficient uptime 
  • Reduced unavoidable downtime 
  • Greater productivity and increased efficiency 
  • Lessened unexpected breakdowns 
  • Diminished administration and manual data entry 
  • Effective execution of work 
  • Enhanced audit compliance 

What does a Preventative Maintenance strategy look like? 

A Preventative Maintenance strategy is just one strategy that can be practiced by a maintenance team. The best type of Maintenance strategy is Proactive. 

An ideal maintenance should reflect the goals and objectives of an organisation. The strategy should demonstrate the actions and results required to meet these goals through effective planning, implantation, and finally, evaluation. A Preventative Maintenance strategy is intended to increase the asset lifetime, reduced unscheduled downtime, avoid costly repairs and maintenance, and much more. The main benefit is to increase the Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE).  

Preventative Maintenance allows organisations to move away from Reactive Maintenance, a type of “firefighting” where maintenance is only undertaken when an issue arises. Through planning, scheduling and coordination, Preventative Maintenance can successfully shift an organisation towards a more efficient maintenance strategy.  

Creating and successfully launching a Preventative Maintenance strategy does require time and effort. There are several activities that must take place to ensure an effective strategy. From developing procedures, to training, from communication within the maintenance team to creating schedules for the maintenance to take place, all these activities are vital to ensure a Preventative Maintenance strategy can succeed. 

How do I design this type of strategy? 

There are several steps that we would advise undertaking to make sure that your Preventative Maintenance strategy is successful. 

  1. Identify your goals and objectives
    These should be in line with your organisation’s overall goals. 
  2. Complete an asset critically assessment 
    This will help you identify all your assets and enable you to efficiently coordinate your Preventative Maintenance strategy accordingly. Looking at all your assets and how unexpected failure of these may affect your organisation are a priority 
  3. Review workforce resources 
    Assessing the manpower and tools to undergo the Preventative Maintenance is essential. 
  4. Scheduling 
  5. Long-term 
    Planning which assets will be maintained and when is the core of the Preventative Maintenance strategy. 
  6. Short-term 
    Creating weekly schedules breaking down activity, and also including the option for any emergency work to take place will help strengthen a Preventative Maintenance strategy 
  7. Training and resources 
    Before a successful Preventative Maintenance strategy can take place, you will need to make sure that all your staff that may be responsible for undergoing the maintenance are enabled to do their job. If the resources are not available in-house, it may be worth considering outsourcing the support for companies that can support your Preventative Maintenance strategy 

How can PCMS Engineering help you? 

At PCMS Engineering we believe that Preventative Maintenance is the most successful and rewarding type of maintenance. Our company mission is to support organisations with their maintenance strategies through whatever means necessary. Whether this is to work closely with you as an extended part of your maintenance team to complete your asset assessment or supply you with the tools to understand your asset condition, we can offer varying levels of support to you and can tailor any service we offer to suit your needs. 

We have an extensive workforce that consists of experts from a wide variety of industries with a wealth of knowledge and skill sets, that will undoubtedly be an invaluable addition to help with your maintenance strategy.  

We even have our own independent Condition Monitoring Laboratory where we can assess your lubricants and give detailed reports that can be accessed 24 hours a day through our online reporting tool, OMEGA.  

For more information about our services please contact us:

T: 01709 876712 E:info@pcmseng.co.uk

March 15, 2021 Emily Johnson  Maintenance Management