Preventive Maintenance
achieve higher reliability with less plant maintenance

Why Do We Need A
Preventive Maintenance Plan?

Most people would answer ‘to prevent failures’.

Anyone who is up to speed with modern maintenance principles would rephrase that to ‘we maintain equipment to prevent unacceptable failure consequences’.

And they would be right.

Some failures we can accept, because the consequence of the failure is not significant. In other cases we might go out of our way to prevent a failure.

The problem is, in most cases our preventive maintenance plans and programs don’t achieve this objective. Typically, we spend a lot of effort on maintenance and still experience unacceptable failures.

And that’s because most preventive maintenance programs don’t apply the principles of modern maintenance.

icon for how to improve reliability with preventive maintenance

poor preventive maintenance programs waste your time and money

and will drive you to a reactive, fire fighting culture

Most Preventive Maintenance
Programs Are Ineffective

The problem with our PM programs is that most of them were never developed properly, to begin with.

As John Moubray, the father of RCM II, pointed out in his book “Reliability Centered Maintenance”, typically between 40% – 60% of the PM tasks in a preventive maintenance program add little value.

Some of the most common problems are:

  • Tasks are duplicated
  • Tasks are done too frequently or not frequent enough
  • Tasks are not effective at addressing the failure mode
  • Too many fixed time, intrusive overhaul tasks that would be more effective, less costly and less disruptive to production if they were condition-based.
  • Lack of using existing failure data and experience to set good task frequencies.

The result is that we waste money and time doing things that do not add value.

But far worse, is the many preventable high-impact failures that occur.

This ultimately results in a reactive plant maintenance cycle.

less plant maintenance and a more reliable plant

is possible with a good PM program

Preventive maintenance can range from simple time-based replacement tasks to more advanced condition monitoring tasks. And nowadays may include advanced predictive maintenance using the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT). An effective PM program is absolutely essential to achieving high reliability for many reasons. In this article, I’ll walk you through the 7 reasons why you must have a high-quality PM program in place to become a Reliable Plant.

The principles of modern maintenance have been round for a good 40 years and are well documented in many industry books and other resources. Yet, most organisations and maintenance teams still don’t seem to really know and understand these principles. Let along how to apply them in practice. I this article I will discuss each of these principles in detail and give you some practical tips on how to check if your PM program is up to scratch.

Few organisations have effective preventive maintenance programs. Most PM programs are wasteful, many are ineffective. There are many companies out there that can improve your PM plan for you. But it’s so much better to do it yourself. It’s more cost effective, creates ownership and builds capability. So, here’s a detailed step-by-step guide to optimise your PM program. It’s simple, cheap yet effective. No need for external consultants or expensive software. 

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