Checklist: Set up a smart-tool preventive maintenance program

Here are a few tips for creating an effective preventive maintenance system on your plant floor.


Here are a few tips for creating an effective preventive maintenance system on your plant floor.Here are a few tips for creating an effective preventive maintenance system on your plant floor:

1. Identify the most-important pieces of equipment.

2. Identify tell-tale measurement and inspection points. Common practices include:

  • Noncontact infrared: Scan the bearing housings on motors, switches in circuit breaker panels, and wiring connections at important equipment. 
  • Good/bad vibration readings at each bearing location along the drivetrain while the machine is running in a steady state and at normal operating temperature.
  • Quick voltage and current checks, against the balance and loading thresholds.

3. Adopt a smartphone maintenance app with cloud-based data management.

4. Set up equipment logs for each piece of equipment, with: 

  • Baseline for each type of tell-tale measurement (thermal, electrical, vibration) 
  • Frequency of inspection (ranges from 3 to 12 months)
  • Typed or audio notes, with pictures if helpful, outlining any special setup needed to get an accurate comparison (how much load, etc.).

5. Train the team on the app, equipment log, and utilization during inspection (scheduled vs. troubleshooting).

6. Implement quick periodic inspections using carry-along tools such as multimeters, visual thermometers, and vibration pens that are essentially stepped-down PdM tools designed for nonspecialist technicians.

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