Planned Maintenance

Planned Maintenance

Determining the type of work required to solve a problem and how it must be done is referred to as planned maintenance. By beginning with the problem, planned maintenance works to identify all the necessary items needed to solve the issue. That goes as far as equipment inspections, ordering parts, and prioritizing projects.

The simplest example of planned maintenance the average person undertakes is changing the oil in their car. Normally done every 3,000 miles, changing a car’s oil on a regular basis prevents the engine from having problems at an unexpected moment in the future. The consequences of avoiding an oil change may entail the car leaving its driver on the side of the road, high repair costs, and lost time. The same results apply to those in the industrial sector, except for the fact that those consequences are often on a much more massive scale in terms of time and money.

planned maintenance

With that being said, facilities need to have a detailed planned maintenance program to ensure all their machines and other pieces of equipment are working properly at all times. When a well thought out planned maintenance program is in place, facilities will have a predictable set of expenses. This is because the costs of most types of maintenance are known, whereas repairing costs for something after it has been broken is often unknown until a diagnosis is made.

What is a Planned Maintenance System?

Planned maintenance systems, such as CMMS software, are a type of maintenance software made to keep track of the intervals between regular maintenance requirements. With this type of application, maintenance managers have the ability to oversee everything that needs to happen, maintenance teams can plan tasks, and operators can prepare for the upcoming maintenance work.
This type of asset management tool makes keeping track of planned maintenance much easier. There won’t be any missed dates, lost records, or problems with maintenance supplies since all the information can be recorded and tracked within a single database. Use these systems to list equipment failures, critical assets, maintenance checklists, maintenance tasks, and even the costs associated with each task completed and scheduled.

There are a handful of basic needs this type of system must have for improving facility reliability. Those include:

  • Work order management for the creation and design of tasks.
  • Inventory management for equipment maintenance parts.
  • Basic meter reading software to track asset lifespans.
  • Preventative maintenance scheduling based upon meter readings.
  • Tracking downtime for the purpose of data driven decisions.
  • Tracking key performance indicators to determine if any practices needs to be changed.

While a PMS requires quite a bit of set up, the ease the company will experience in terms of planned maintenance will be well worth the effort.

Types of Planned Maintenance

There are many types of planned maintenance the average workplace performs. Something as simple as general cleaning can be considered a type of maintenance, since removing dirt and debris from an area can help avoid problems with many types of critical assets. Some other types of planned maintenance include:

  • Lubrication - Most machines require lubricants to keep things running smoothly. Replacing the oil or other lubricant on a regular basis helps avoid many equipment failures.
  • Parts Replacement - Some parts are designed with a set lifespan. A saw blade, for example, will wear out after a set amount of time. If the blade is not replaced on a schedule, it will begin to cut less efficiently. This can also result in cuts that aren't "clean".
  • Upgrades – Upgrading equipment is a part of many planned maintenance programs. Keeping things up to date with the latest options can help improve the safety and efficiently of machines. Planning upgrades on a schedule like this also allows for predictable expenses.

Who Performs Planned Maintenance?

One of the benefits of planning maintenance activities ahead of time is you can schedule experts to perform the work. If a machine breaks down unexpectedly, the person who is best able to fix it might not be working that day. This can make it much more difficult to complete the repair, and it may take far longer.

By planning maintenance weeks, months, or even years in advance, it’s possible to ensure the right people are there to do the job. It also allows them to make sure they have the right tools, parts, and equipment to get it done right.

Maintenance Planning vs. Maintenance Scheduling

Maintenance planning and maintenance scheduling are, in fact, two very different concepts. Though, both planning and scheduling are integral to a facility’s maintenance program. Computerized maintenance management systems are the programs that put both maintenance concepts together.

To break it down, maintenance planning comes first. Maintenance planning is simply planning what needs to be done and how. This is a critical part of all maintenance programs. On the other hand, maintenance scheduling directly deals with reconfiguring workloads during the manufacturing process to accommodate the maintenance being performed. Overall, scheduling is the allocation of resources, both human and machine, and planning the production process. To put their differences even more simply, planning deals with the “what” and scheduling handles the “when.”

There are five steps involved in the planned maintenance process, they go as follows:

  1. Identify the problem and proceed to create a work order.
  2. Inspect the asset that will be worked on as well as the surrounding area.
  3. Order the necessary parts and specify the process in which the asset will be worked on.
  4. Assign a priority level to the work order after everything has been gathered.
  5. Schedule the planned maintenance and complete.

Notice here that scheduling is at the very end of the planned maintenance process. This is the reason why both concepts must work together.

Reactive maintenance and unplanned maintenance, while may happen from time to time, become increasingly common when maintenance planning and maintenance scheduling are not used in tandem. Not only will equipment downtime increase if either maintenance strategy is neglected, but critical company assets may end up with shorter lifespans. Both of those may culminate into thousands of dollars in repairs and replacement equipment/parts.

Benefits of Planned Maintenance

Overall, the goal of planned maintenance is an increase in productivity and efficiency levels. The following are only a few additional reasons as to why establishing a planned maintenance schedule works in the company’s favor:

  • Decrease Downtime – Production interruption costs companies thousands of dollars per hour, or even per minute. Avoid this by planning maintenance procedures to catch problems before they arise.
  • Asset Life Span Increase – Performing regular maintenance is excellent at keeping equipment in working order. In fact, it’s so effective that the lifespan of equipment can last far longer than if left running until a catastrophic failure occurs, resulting in the need for new equipment entirely.
  • Maintenance Cost Reduction - Waiting until equipment breaks is often more expensive than performing regular maintenance. Try using maintenance checklists to direct your maintenance team on their assigned tasks.
  • Improved Safety – Regular planned maintenance is essential for keeping operators and other workers safe around heavy machinery. Poorly maintained equipment can fail and cause serious injuries.
  • Higher Customer and Employee Satisfaction – When there’s less downtime, that means product is getting to the right place at the right time, creating a happy customer base, and workers that don’t feel frustrated with the frequency of equipment breakdowns.

Every company benefits from adding planned maintenance to their agenda. When done correctly, there are better retention rates for both customers and employees, and the process has a chance to run smoothly without hiccups. Overall, this leads to more profits and a much safer environment.

What is Preventative Maintenance

Preventative maintenance is the effort put into a maintenance program that prioritizes regular and routine maintenance. Its primary goal is to keep equipment running without experiencing any downtime relating to instances of surprise equipment failure.

There are several types of preventative maintenance tactics that companies can use to keep their equipment in good working order. Those include:

  • Periodic Maintenance – This method is also referred to as time-based maintenance. Periodic maintenance works well with equipment that runs regularly, as the method of maintenance is based upon the manufacturer’s guidelines on what’s called the Mean Time Between Failure, or MTBF. With the ability to accurately estimate when maintenance needs to occur, the efficiency of that machine can be maintained.
  • Meter-Based Maintenance – This method is also referred to as performance-based maintenance. It primarily uses meters to monitor time that passes and uses that data for determining when regular maintenance should occur. Whether that be miles driven, hours used, or the number of items produced during production.  
  • Predictive Maintenance – Sensor devices are primarily used for this preventative maintenance strategy. If the monitoring equipment notices any sort of abnormal aspect of production a work order can be created by CMMS software, therefore allowing it to reach the right people at the right time.
  • Prescriptive Maintenance – Maintenance decisions for this preventative maintenance strategy are based upon gathered data. This particular option for maintenance allows the company to reduce costs even further by only performing maintenance when absolutely necessary but doing it before a machine breaks.

What is the Difference between Planned and Preventative Maintenance?

This is a trick question! Preventative maintenance is actually a form of planned maintenance. This is because once an issue has been identified, the planning for maintenance can begin, and finally finish out with scheduling the maintenance work.

Planned maintenance is the centerpiece to problem recognition and their solutions. Without the planning process, maintenance tasks become jumbled and maintenance costs become outrageous.

Planning Maintenance and Total Productive Maintenance

The goal of Total Productive Maintenance is zero breakdowns. Its structured approach is based upon eight pillars that all work together to achieve that goal. They are as follows:

  1. Focused Improvement
  2. Autonomous Maintenance
  3. Planned Maintenance
  4. Training and Education
  5. Early Management
  6. Quality Maintenance
  7. Office TPM
  8. Safety, Health, and Environment

Notice that planned maintenance is third on this list of pillars. This is because planned maintenance is one of the driving forces of downtime prevention. By working together with the autonomous maintenance pillar, a preventative maintenance system can be made to be sustainable. Without standardization of a maintenance system, there is a higher possibility of the strategy failing.

Overall, planned maintenance is a core concept that companies can immensely benefit from. As long as they have the right tools such as a CMMS software system in place, and a clear goal in mind for their financial endeavors revolving around asset management, then they will be in a good place to begin their planned maintenance journey.


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