Three Preventive Maintenance Issues and How to Fix Them

Have you ever run into issues with effective preventive maintenance at your organization? Are your processes inefficient, inaccurate or forgotten altogether?

 · 3 min read

Three Preventive Maintenance Issues and How to Fix Them

Have you ever run into issues with effective preventive maintenance at your organization? Are your processes inefficient, inaccurate or forgotten altogether? As such an integral part of asset management, preventive maintenance problems can cause ripple effects throughout your department or even organization. This blog details some effective solutions to dealing with three common preventive maintenance issues.

Solution #1: Preventive Maintenance (PM) Schedule + PM Checklist

Preventive maintenance is a good way to avoid unexpected problems, reduce risk and minimize costly downtime. So how do you keep your staff from forgetting to actually do it? An Enterprise Asset Management system supports the forecasting and scheduling of work that is expected to be performed in the future. An EAM system also provides notifications to prevent humans from forgetting things and making simple mistakes.

Why PM Schedule?

A PM Schedule is a procedure that can be set up for all assets that are similar in design or construction because they are maintained the same way. For example, if crews go around checking air conditioners once every year (the inspection) followed by cleaning the air conditioning unit (the service), that schedule can be programmed into the system so that work tasks are created each year via an automated process rather than a manual one. Supervisors won’t have to wonder whether an asset has had its annual service yet.

Why PM Checklist?

When was your vehicle’s last 50-point inspection? Did you count all 50 points? Do you think your mechanic did? How do you think the mechanic remembered?

Even people who do the same thing every day are bound to forget a step now and then. Checklists give a clear, ordered set of tasks to help guide technicians toward completing PM services efficiently and effectively. A proper EAM system allows users to check off tasks as they go, pause their work when needed, and allows other technicians to work on the same checklist. It should be easy at-a-glance for supervisors to see the completion progress of a checklist.

Solution #2: PM Checklist + Test Results

Why PM Checklist? Why Test Results?

Testing is a process of observing and recording results. An EAM system will support recording of a wide variety of input types, including qualitative and quantitative observations. An EAM system also allows capturing other types of information, such as multimedia like photos and video (like video of an electrical inspection), timestamps, and even calibrations (when an observation is out of tolerance, some inspectors are qualified to calibrate the equipment to bring it back into tolerance).

Often, a checklist can drive test results. When these two things are used together, the benefits of formally-recorded observations are combined with a step-by-step checklist-based procedure – the result is a higher quality of data capture, less time spent moving from step to step, immediate results and accountability and a complete audit trail of what was logged in the system.

Solution #3: Date-based PM + Meter-based PM

Why Date-based PM?

Date-based is the simplest way to “schedule” preventive maintenance activities because the calendar is sort of predictable. For most assets, this is probably the ideal strategy. For many assets this strategy also follows seasonal patterns. In climates where snow and winter weather is common, there is a well-known “construction season” during the summer. Date-based maintenance is easy to understand, easy to set up and easy to predict.

An EAM system supports a mix of preventive maintenance strategies, including:

  1. Corrective maintenance: fix it when it breaks
  2. Preventive maintenance by meter: fix it based on usage being near some recommended limit
  3. Preventive maintenance by schedule: fix it based on a due date
  4. Predictive maintenance: sensors, usually found in industrial equipment, that can detect and automatically report their own problems like calibration issues or low quality-of-service.
  5. Condition-based maintenance: prioritizing preventive services based on the state of an asset’s repair


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