When it comes to industrial maintenance, it’s important to understand the different types of maintenance available. Preventive maintenance is one of the oldest types and was developed as a successor to corrective maintenance.
In the past, maintenance personnel only repaired machines when they failed and disrupted the production of products or services. Today, preventive maintenance is crucial to keeping equipment running smoothly and avoiding costly failures that could negatively impact a company’s production.
DEFINITION OF PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE
In industrial settings, preventive maintenance aims to prevent equipment or asset failure. It involves scheduled maintenance based on established frequencies and plans.
Unlike corrective maintenance, preventive maintenance is conducted on equipment that is in working condition, so there is no need to wait for a failure to occur before taking action.
Preventive maintenance is planned and executed by maintenance engineers, who coordinate with the production area to ensure that the machines are available for maintenance interventions.
This approach can help to avoid disruptions in production and ensure that equipment operates at optimal performance levels.
MAINTENANCE PLANNING AND SCHEDULING
The processes of maintenance planning and scheduling can be complex and require specialized tools and expertise from maintenance engineers.
For larger companies with a significant number of equipment, dedicated engineers may be responsible for maintenance planning and scheduling. These professionals are responsible for developing and modifying maintenance plans for all equipment, as well as scheduling maintenance activities to ensure optimal operation and minimize downtime.
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Effective maintenance planning and scheduling can have a significant impact on the overall efficiency and productivity of a company.
By ensuring that maintenance activities are scheduled at the right time and using the right resources, maintenance engineers can help reduce costs and increase equipment reliability.
MAINTENANCE PLANNING PROCESS
The maintenance planning process is crucial for ensuring the smooth functioning of a company’s equipment. It is usually supported by specialized maintenance software, commonly known as CMMS.
This software contains the maintenance history of all the machines, as well as the maintenance plans for each of the equipment.
The maintenance planner needs to ensure that all the resources required for the preventive interventions are up-to-date, including spare parts, tools, and necessary time.
Once the maintenance plans are updated, it is crucial to keep the software up-to-date to track pending and completed jobs, as well as the control variables for each equipment. This is important to avoid mistakes in the material requests to the warehouse.
The engineers modify, add, or remove activities to the maintenance plans of each machine, and activate processes in areas such as warehouse and purchasing.
The maintenance planning process is essential for ensuring that the preventive maintenance is carried out as planned, and that equipment failures are minimized.
MAINTENANCE SCHEDULING PROCESS
Maintenance scheduling is a crucial aspect of the maintenance process and is closely tied to the planning phase. The maintenance planner must work closely with the production team to schedule maintenance interventions based on the production schedule.
The maintenance scheduler is responsible for creating the work schedule for the technicians according to the maintenance plan and production schedule.
All maintenance activities must be approved by the production area before they can be scheduled, and once the activities are completed. The equipment must be returned to the production area by the maintenance supervisor.
In larger companies, maintenance planning, programming, and supervision may be carried out by different professionals. However, in small companies, it is common for one engineer to perform all of these roles.
To streamline the maintenance process, many companies use specialized maintenance software, such as CMMS, to keep track of maintenance interventions and schedules.
Machine manufacturers provide maintenance plans for their machines that should be executed based on a predetermined variable. This variable is measured and controlled by the maintenance department to plan preventive or predictive activities accordingly.
For instance, in vehicle maintenance, the variable is usually mileage, while in production machines, it is measured by the number of operating hours or products produced. These control variables are recorded in the maintenance software regularly.
Any errors in the registration of these variables can be costly for the company, as they can result in delays or premature preventive work.
ADVANTAGES OF PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE
Preventive maintenance offers several advantages for companies:
- Scheduled Maintenance: With preventive maintenance, the maintenance plan and control variables allow you to schedule machine maintenance without disrupting production schedules.
- Spare Parts Availability: By planning maintenance in advance, companies can calculate spare parts needs and avoid last-minute purchases.
- Efficient Technicians Scheduling: Preventive maintenance plans include the scheduling of technician shifts, leading to better workload management and shift planning.
- Reduced Corrective Maintenance: Properly executed preventive maintenance can significantly reduce the need for corrective maintenance. This is because it helps to prevent unplanned failures and extend the lifespan of the equipment.
- Cost Savings: Reduced corrective maintenance leads to significant cost savings, including lower production and maintenance costs and improved productivity.
DISADVANTAGES OF PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE
Preventive maintenance is generally considered a highly effective maintenance approach, but it does come with some drawbacks. If there are errors in recording or controlling variables, preventive activities may be advanced or delayed, resulting in increased costs or even corrective work.
Another disadvantage of preventive maintenance is that it may not be aligned with the needs of the machines, leading to interventions that are unnecessary or overlook critical components.
To mitigate these issues, it is crucial to manage data from the machines rigorously and make frequent adjustments to the maintenance plans.
In conclusion, preventive maintenance is crucial for maintaining productivity in companies, and it is better to prevent issues than to deal with the consequences of neglect.
Proper planning, scheduling, and management of maintenance activities can help avoid these disadvantages and ensure smooth operation of industrial equipment.