Is your maintenance program doomed to failure?

No maintenance program can succeed without effective inter-department communication and cooperation. Program discipline and management is just as important as choosing the type of maintenance program your facility utilizes.


Image courtesy: L&S Electric, Inc.For any industrial setting, a maintenance program works to minimize problems. In some cases, the maintenance program is proactive, and unfortunately, at times, they are reactive. In both instances, the importance of having a maintenance program is something that most would agree on.

Although maintenance programs are one of the best ways to ensure the functionality of your facility, many problems still occur. It’s important to make certain your program works to solve problems.

Preventive or predictive?

Although there are fundamental differences between these two types of maintenance schedules, both can be used to keep your business operating smoothly at any given time. In fact, it is often a combination of these two which is utilized by successful companies to avoid downtime and associated issues. Predictive maintenance helps you avoid problems related to planned problems, and preventive maintenance helps you to avoid issues associated with unplanned problems.

Preventive maintenance

Preventive maintenance is a routine service to any equipment at your facility according to a set amount of time or according to its use. These types of maintenance programs, referred to as planned preventative maintenance or planned maintenance, can be established and scheduled far in advance. It gives you the opportunity to plan for any downtime necessary and to schedule it when it has the least impact on your business.

During a typical preventive maintenance routine, various parts of the equipment are either going to be rebuilt, replaced, or removed and serviced on a scheduled basis. The program comes from the manufacturer of the equipment, but there are also some other guidelines that you can use as well.

Predictive maintenance

Servicing your equipment through predictive maintenance is different from preventive maintenance, in that you try to “predict” when a problem is going to arise. Predicting problems comes from regularly testing and monitoring the equipment to ensure that it is functioning properly. Ongoing data collection is part of a predictive maintenance program that allows you to set a base level for the equipment and determine if problems are now occurring.

Predictive maintenance is necessary for the operation of the equipment as it ages. Preventive maintenance still helps to keep the equipment operational for the long-term, but predictive maintenance avoids serious mechanical issues. Besides, it may not be cost-effective to maintain the equipment frequently when reaching the limit of the lifespan of the equipment so predictive maintenance may be more likely to occur during that time.

So, is your maintenance program doomed? It sounds cliche or even like a cop-out, but it depends. If your various departments communicate properly, the odds are your program will survive. However, complacency and lack of program discipline lead to failure.

David Manney is marketing administrator at L&S Electric. This article originally appeared on Watts New, L&S Electric's blog. L&S Electric is a CFE Media content partner.

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