What is Preventive Maintenance?

What a Preventive Maintenance Program Requires?

An effective preventive maintenance program requires careful planning and scheduling of maintenance on an asset before an actual breakdown. Also, it requires tracking data related to past inspections and maintenance. But it's always worth the investment. A good program delivers:

  • Reduced Costs
  • Reduced probability of failure
  • Increased productivity



Looking at the definition in Wikipedia, we can see that people often use the initials PM as a shorter form of the full phrase. "Preventive maintenance (PM) is a routine for periodical inspections, with the goal of noticing small problems, and fixing them before major ones develop. Ideally, nothing breaks down." It can be a bit confusing, because in other circles, PM is also used to mean project management. And to make it even tricker, a PM is used to mean a task that's a part of a preventive maintenance program. So, someone might say, "I have five PMs scheduled for this week." The good news is not matter what you call it, you still get all the benefits.

How do I get started with preventive maintenance?

While the decision to finally implement a preventive maintenance is the first step toward managing maintenance better, the next and most crucial step is implementing your preventive maintenance program effectively.

A 2004 survey involving 5,000 companies showed that the majority were not satisfied with the effectiveness of their preventive maintenance programs. It is crucial to remember that effectiveness most optimally occurs when 80% or more maintenance activities can be planned and scheduled at least a week in advance. This is the goal: an 80/20 split between planned and unplanned maintenance. 

A computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) makes reaching this goal easier by allowing you to schedule preventive maintenance with a few clicks of a mouse.

Some important steps to do while ensuring the effectiveness of a PM program are:

  • Assemble existing information
  • Compile equipment history
  • Determine PM requirements such as inspections, routine check-ups and such
  • Prioritize critical equipment
  • Create a task description sheet
  • Set up a frequency to perform a PM


The above steps were previously recorded on paper or spreadsheets that made it hard to keep track of them and therefore even an attempt at a preventive maintenance program lead to failure.

With the increase in use of CMMS software and new technology all of the above information and steps can be stored in one location and accessed anytime, anywhere.

Now, providers design systems that are user-friendly and configurable to meet the needs of their widening customer base, some of which can be explored on directories like Capterra, Software Advice, Techradar  and Predictive Analytics.


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