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How to Create a Maintenance Plan?

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A maintenance plan, preventive plan, or PM schedule is an essential tool for project management inside an industrial plant or manufacturing operation. They are ideal for reducing or even eliminating emergency reactive maintenance and unplanned downtime, as well as the run-to-failure machine cycle.

They are also indispensable for increasing productivity, as they offer various benefits to different areas of a company: from the team responsible for financial management, to the technicians in charge of implementing any type of maintenance strategy.

In this article, we will delve a bit further into the concept of maintenance plans, examine details of its benefits, and discuss how to implement them in your operation.

Check out our guide on all things Predictive Maintenance

What is a Maintenance Plan?

A preventive maintenance plan is a document prepared by the maintenance department, and its goal is that of determining the frequency and periodicity of preventive maintenance actions.

In addition to this, it is also intended to detail the type of action that each machine requires and how it should be executed.

The concept of a maintenance plan or program has several advantages, as it allows for proper structuring, which can be divided according to the sectors of the company where it is applied.

In the administrative and financial areas, the plan provides predictability, helping to reduce costs and align necessary tasks with the maintenance budget. Proper planning cuts down on excessive maintenance expenses and resource waste, as well as overtime hours, allowing for labor optimization.

Equipment Failure Prevention: A Guide for Senior Management

For technicians, the advantage of using a plan lies in increased availability and reliability. This allows for timely and effective repairs, reducing the probability of equipment failures.

And, of course, if the plan is executed thoroughly, opportunities are created to implement actions aimed at increasing process and employee safety.

benefits of implementing a schedule for maintenance

How to Implement a Maintenance Plan

Now that we know more about the concept of maintenance planning and the benefits it brings to operations, it’s time for the most important step: implementation.

Here are 6 essential steps you can follow:

Make a list of all your machines and equipment

Create an asset tree that can help you locate each machine and component easily and quickly. This is so that important information such as equipment data and maintenance histories will be easily accessible, and can serve as a base for the master maintenance plan.

List of all assets of a manufacturing operation inside a maintenance management software

Classify them according to their level of criticality

Identify which are the most critical assets in your operation specifically. To put it in simpler terms, the machines that, in case of a failure, could affect the entire production line or the safety of those operating them.

In this case, you can create a criticality table for machines and equipment, listing them in order of priority.

Everything you need to know about the Criticality Matrix

Define a plan for each category of machines

Establish a PM schedule for each category of machines. For example, a preventive maintenance plan for electric motors.

Maintenance needs based on each machine will then be addressed effectively and within the annual budget for those assets.

Consult manufacturer information

Gather information from the asset manufacturer’s user manuals and websites. The way you operate equipment can be as important as warranty periods, so follow the factory recommendations closely.

Other members of the maintenance team, such as techs and analysts, can also have valuable insights on machines obtained from their daily activities.

It’s worth noting that the plan should never be the same even if it’s for identical machines, precisely due to the context of use. An electric motor used in a fan and another of the same type used to move a conveyor belt cannot have identical maintenance procedures.

Maintenance Procedures and Their Importance

Define when, who, and what will be necessary to make it work

In order for the maintenance plan to be as productive as possible, you must define a maintenance policy. That is, prioritize tasks and assign responsibilities for managing each machine: from a visual inspection, replacing parts, to oil changes.

Organize each intervention and all management in a maintenance schedule, define the availability of resources, and anticipate that the equipment will fall into a routine of reactive maintenance.

Information necessary to carry out a maintenance plan: when, who, and what?

Manage your maintenance plan

Finally, when everything is in its proper place, the last step is to ensure the execution of your plan according to your maintenance strategy.

Manage and monitor the progress of maintenance tasks, have visibility into each activity and its outcome, and adjust the scheduling and control in case of any changes in your maintenance goals.

Steps to implement a PM schedule

Learn to Automate Maintenance Plans and PM Schedules

The last of all six steps in preventive plan implementation was to track the progress of activities and have visibility into all things maintenance within an organization, but we know that is not as easy as it sounds.

In order to do so and achieve comprehensive maintenance management, most companies need an integrated system like a CMMS or an EAM (Enterprise Asset Management) software.

What Is CMMS Software and How to Use It in Maintenance

An EAM software such as TRACTIAN’s TracOS™ provides resources like real-time, mobile-first visibility into maintenance operations with a mobile app, automatically calculated maintenance KPIs such as MTBF and MTTR, automatic inventory management, accessible asset tree, and so much more.

work orders in a maintenance software

But since the topic of this article is preventive plans, let us dive deeper into that. In TRACTIAN’s maintenance software, you can create PM schedules seamlessly and effortlessly – the system will also automatically create work orders when the frequency you’ve set for the plan is reached. 

The team can then implement the plan and all its stages with total control over machine condition, maintenance criteria, and safety measures – whilst keeping an eye on inventory levels, maintenance costs reports and machine criticality, since all information is centralized in a single platform.

With TracOS™, it is possible to create, automate, customize, assign responsibilities, and monitor the status of work orders remotely and in real time.

If you would like to understand more about how TRACTIAN’s maintenance software can help you execute maintenance plans and revolutionize maintenance management at your company, get in touch with one of our experts and schedule a demo.

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About the author:

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Vincent Meyers

Former Chief in the US Nuclear Navy, Maintenance Manager, Reliability Manager and now a Customer Engineer at TRACTIAN. He uses his experience in maintenance, people, and processes to help manufacturing facilities increase safety, uptime and ROI.

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