Prolong equipment lifecycle and lessen operational downtime with a maintenance plan.
Updated 21 Dec 2022, Published 19 Jul 2021
It is common knowledge that by conducting regular maintenance, assets are kept in their best condition and prolong their life cycle. However, there are still many who do a poor job at it. Neglecting maintenance will only result in a backlog of repairs leading to equipment failure, and worst-case scenario, accidents. This is more costly and can even lengthen operational downtime, but how can businesses avoid this mistake?
This is where a maintenance plan becomes vital. A maintenance plan refers to the strategy of a company in maintaining machinery, equipment, and other types of assets used for operation. Having a maintenance plan secures long-term success for the company as it enables to improve safety, reliability, and productivity.
If we are talking about where maintenance can be applied, the answer is: to everything. Maintenance isn’t just concerned with corrective activities like repairs and replacement needs, but also preventive activities such as regular inspections. Maintenance covers a wide array of use cases like in engineering, maintenance have 3 major areas, which are the following:
Civil Maintenance – covers maintenance services for buildings and facilities such as water, gas, steam, compressed air, heating and ventilation, air conditioning, plumbing, carpentry work, and painting. Some other services include landscaping, housekeeping, gardening, drainage, and fire fighting equipment.
Mechanical Maintenance – this refers to maintaining, troubleshooting, and repairing machinery used in factories, medical facilities, construction, laboratory, and transport vehicles such as aircraft and cars.
Electrical Maintenance – this area covers equipment and systems maintenance which supplies electricity to residential, industrial, or commercial buildings. So electrical equipment such as lighting, fans, generators, transformers, telephone systems, electrical installations fall under electrical maintenance.
The following elements should be considered and determined in building an effective maintenance plan:
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Say you now have everything mentioned above, how does it all come together? Here’s a brief 5 step guide on maintenance planning and scheduling:
The 5 Step Maintenance Program | SafetyCulture
Take note that this guide is set in the scenario of a maintenance worker conducting a maintenance check, and he encounters an issue.
A work request should provide details including what, when, where, likelihood, actions, and risks involved.
Upon the work request is submitted, it is now subject to review. During the review, the problem indicated in the work request is diagnosed and a work order is prepared. The work order should include what tools and resources are needed, also, identify if there is a need for outsource. Preparation of requirements also fall under this step.
Once resources are completed and have been reviewed, a draft schedule is created based on the priority level of work orders. In creating the schedule, it is best to consider grouping works on the same equipment or area to maximize crew efficiency.
Discuss draft schedules with relevant teams, especially those departments or functions of the business that will be affected by the maintenance work. Once teams reach a consensus for the finalized work schedule, they will sign on a written document to formalize the agreement and to notify the rest of the business of the planned work arrangements.
After finalizing the schedule, maintenance work is then sent across the maintenance teams. As the team completes their work, they have to keep a daily record of the time spent on the job and provide detailed technical feedback once the job is completed. The information from that document is used to analyze and improve equipment performance, as well as the maintenance planning and scheduling process.
Maintenance planning and scheduling are at the heart of an effective maintenance management system. Just like in the guide above, it proves that with proper maintenance planning and scheduling, organizations are able to make maintenance a standardized and efficient process for everyone; providing people with the right tools, materials, and work instructions to do the right work at the right time.
With all these steps and details to take note of, records management also becomes an important part of an effective maintenance management system. By organizing and tracking records, businesses can make sure that everyone has the right information to complete their work, effectively and efficiently.
One of the main objectives of maintenance is to keep equipment and machine tools in optimum working condition to prevent operational downtime and keep equipment and people safe by preventing the development of safety hazards. This can be achieved through the power of inspections.
Jai Andales is a content writer and researcher for SafetyCulture since 2018. As a content specialist, she creates well-researched articles about health and safety topics. She is also passionate about empowering businesses to utilize technology in building a culture of safety and quality.
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