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Preventive Maintenance
Increasing Equipment Efficiency and Planned Work
By Rey Marquez, Life Cycle Engineering

The idea of Preventive Maintenance has matured into a powerful factor throughout industry. PM’s or Preventive Maintenance has grown due to contributions of knowledge worldwide. Three major areas any organization looks at are:

·         Number of Work Orders produced 

·         Total Maintenance Hours 

·         Maintenance Costs

Critical to any organization is being able to identify and control activities within both the Operation and the Maintenance areas. Efforts to ensure the reliability and maintainability of equipment begin with a solid PM/PdM structure.

Preventive maintenance –PM- is a time based strategy conducted at a set interval or predetermined time when a piece of equipment is taken off line and inspected and based on the inspection repairs are made and the equipment put back on line. 

Predictive maintenance – PdM- is a condition based approach; it is based on monitoring and measuring the condition of equipment in order to assess any needed corrective work. The table below shows the four different maintenance categories used in industry.

The result of moving form Reactive maintenance to planned scheduled repairs is significant to the maintenance repair budget.

Repairs take time and time is MONEY!!!

New and advanced technology will help reduce costs and increase equipment reliability however; business changes must be such that a company operates a profitable operation.

A comprehensive maintenance evaluation is needed in order to be able to measure maintenance functions i.e. Planning and Scheduling, PM process, Continuous Improvement process, etc.

Consequently, a well thought out strategy must be put into place which will yield maximization of capacity utilization and availability.

Business changes need to such that a company can operate in a profitable manner; the management and controlling assets will be the difference between acquiring a profitable business or one that claims a loss. A solid comprehensive Maintenance management strategy consists of: 

·         Planning

·         Scheduling

·         PdM

·         Continuous Improvement

In this section we will concentrate on the PM-Preventive Maintenance area.

It will cover:  Determined Planned-level of Maintenance & PM strategy.  

Rx-TPM/PM Strategy:

The principles of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) demonstrate that solid maintenance practices are essential for effective TPM. For example the following is required to begin building a foundation for this solid process:

·         Team Building: Maintenance planner, Maintenance Engineer, maintenance teams 

·         Maintenance goals and objectives defined 

·          Determine Planned work level of maintenance:  PM’s; PdM; Corrective work

·         Communication: Communication lines open between Operations and Maintenance 

·         Accountability: Compile Bad actor list; review current Work Order system and process; establish PM guidelines 

·         Action: Develop and Implement a disciplined approach for equipment condition monitoring; increase equipment reliability and efficiency  

·         Develop a positive work environment  

Some important factors to consider are: 

  • Asset Functions:   What are the functions of each asset?
  • Asset Failures:      How does each asset fail and how often?
  • Failure mode:        What is the cause of failure?
  • Failure effect:       What effect is incurred with each failure?
  • Consequence of failure:  How can each failure of the asset be prevented/predicted?

Developing a structured Planning and Scheduling maintenance process will address these kinds of issues as shown in Figure 1. The process is made up of four key components as shown below:



Within these four components PM tasks require their respective data to be developed as each task corresponds to a piece of equipment which may require spare parts or special tools.  All of the data from the equipment and inventory databases play a role in the development of PM tasks and their frequencies.

Information that is required includes the steps to perform the actual maintenance as well as safety instructions and spare parts lists.

The key to developing and implementing a successful preventive maintenance process is understanding preventive maintenance itself. Preventive maintenance – PM – is a component of proactive maintenance (PAM) as shown in Figure 2.

However, it is probably the most misunderstood, the methodology or technique applied to develop a successful PM process, is not determining what to do moreover, it is implementing the process.

Any PM or other maintenance discipline such as, PdM-predictive maintenance,

RCM-reliability centered maintenance, etc. should be considered as a process and not as a program.  The difference is a program has a start and an end; a process is dynamic, a live document of action items and procedures.  

In order to implement a successful PM process we must first build a solid foundation. This consists of:


·         Planning methodology

·         Initial Plan & Strategy

·         Establish Standards

·         List of assets to track

·         Partnerships; Operations & Maintenance / Purchasing & Maintenance

·         Criticality assessments 

These are only a few areas, which make up a successful PM process. To begin, a maintenance planner must be in place and a reliable CMMS available. Every PM process developed and implemented will become unique to the plant it is used in. Standard PM lists or charts developed by manufacturers are only a guideline or start; these do not include a particular plants equipment history or practical use. 

A well structured PM process opens the door to many exciting and profitable avenues, for example, the opportunity for reverse engineering in plant processes, introduction of vibration analysis, thermography, oil analysis and so on. Once the PM process is coupled with PdM-predictive maintenance techniques increased asset management effectiveness will be realized and plant performance barriers removed. 

All the management parties must declare ownership before rolling out any TPM effort. By using these principles all users will be trained on the software’s features and functionalities.  They should be able to understand how the software impacts and supports the initiatives of their Organization’s business process. 

A very important step in the TPM strategy is to conduct a performance assessment. 

Assessing Maintenance Performance requires measurements that are:

·         Finite

·         Repeatable

·         Real 

The initial assessment should provide an in-depth look at a given site and a consensus, which provides a priority of issues that the team can use to drive the strategic planning.  Second, a more quantitative process must take place, which includes scoring the site against an excellence model or best practices model.

The assessment process delivers an enhanced view of maintenance practices, which are in need of improvement. The main issue is to establish a clear objective for implementing the strategic planning. Strategic planning efforts often are overwhelming because of the large list of tasks required for the implementation. 

Detailed PM sheets must be developed to capture the activity and history of equipment therefore; the old PM checklist must be abandoned! PM checklists do not show what actual PM work or activity was performed during the scheduled PM on a given asset. The detailed PM sheet is comprehensive and allows for feedback from the craftsman to the supervisor and planner.  See Figure 3.


Unlike a detailed PM sheet, the typical “Old style” PM sheet does not offer any room for improvement or any opportunity to allow for a complete PM inspection.  The old PM sheet as seem in Figure 4; is more like a check-off list whereas, the detailed PM sheet allows for valuable information from the technician that helps develop the Work Order.


Consequently, work orders are generated from the detailed PM sheets and work is assigned as required.  One area that is greatly misunderstood is the relationship between Operations/Maintenance. When the PM process is implemented the operational team has a big role to play and ensure that the operation/maintenance marriage is successful.

Reliability covers a wide spectrum of advanced maintenance technologies, some of these are fairly simple to put into place and others require a more thought out plan and implementation.  The advanced techniques produce data that is instrumental in avoiding equipment failures and can help predict the potential failure of a given asset.

The strategic plan will also include the following areas:

 •Determine planned level of maintenance

 •Team Building:

·         Develop alliance between Maintenance, Operations & Purchasing


·         Develop & communicate plan to implement new P/S, how it will be done and its effects on all employees


·         Establish who will champion the PM/Scheduling efforts and how this will be executed

Successful PM/Scheduling implementation is dependant on how well it is prepared and planned; a formal detailed plan integrates Maintenance, Operations, and Purchasing and Quality issues forging a business alignment.

Part of the Strategy Plan is to develop and establish a solid foundation outlining the work to be done in simple logical steps. First a review of the current PM and work procedures, equipment history and MRO, inventory, BPF – Business Process Flow charts – and maintenance costs to name a few.

Steps required before beginning a formal plan are:


·         Identify steps needed to begin:  i.e. PM modifications, Scheduling process, etc.

·         MRO: Materials management, Purchasing, warehousing, etc.

·         Maintenance management: Work Order process, PM’s, PdM, equipment hierarchy and history.

·         Coding:  Equipment coding, parts coding, etc.

·         Set standards of Frequency and types of work to done, performance quality, reporting format and MTBR measures.

·         Obtain and keep Senior Management support

·         Vendor selection 

One top issue is to get the most out of the PM/Scheduling being implemented.  Company culture, management philosophy and style are some of the top issues which seriously need attention. Part of this company culture and philosophy when enrolled in the Preventive Maintenance effort will help yield cost benefits. 


 Senior Management support is critical to the success of the PM/Scheduling effort. This support enforces the discipline required to obtain full cooperation from all those involved whether directly or indirectly with the implementation and roll-out.

Business intelligence provides features, which include: tracking maintenance costs, cost per volume produced, equipment analysis, total cost of repair or replacement costs.

Use of a solid PM/Scheduling process will help build an accurate equipment history and comprehensive analysis capabilities; this will help to balance the cost of maintaining vs. replacement.

All these fundamentals that affect Maintenance Planning and Work Flow must be considered.




Keeping a balanced view and perspective of the Preventive Maintenance effort is critical in order to obtain maximum results and optimize benefits work practices must be formally changed in a structured planned methodology. As results are obtained, feedback and control loops can be use to compare the new data with the original plan.

Specific feedback includes:


  • Job Control / Daily Scheduling: This describes how work is distributed within the workforce. It includes priorities for planned work.

 The Final outcome will provide: 




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