5 Core Pillars of Successful Proactive Maintenance Planning
There are two sides to maintenance: proactive and reactive. The more you can perform proactive maintenance, the less likely you’ll have to scramble to provide reactive maintenance. But being proactive takes planning ― lots of it. That’s why it’s so hard for many manufacturers to create proactive maintenance schedules ― there are just too many variables to account for.
Luckily, proactive maintenance planning can be distilled down into five core pillars. Take these five considerations into account the next time you’re planning for maintenance ― the results are sure to be as preventive to future problems as they are proactive to current maintenance.
- 👷 People ― Who’s involved in the upcoming repair process? Often, the answer is more than a single person. Think of it in terms of skillset and scope of work. Does a certified forklift driver need to move the machine? Does a welder need to fabricate repairs? Determining who needs to contribute what skills to facilitate the repair is the first step in planning for it. And, if you don’t have these skilled professionals on-hand, you’ll need to enlist their services.
- 🏭 Place ― Where your machine exists within your facilities is an important determination ― especially if you have more than one area of operation. Will you need to bring in techs from another location to perform the repairs? What’s the proximity to other equipment? Even more important than the machine’s location is the location of the problem on the equipment itself. Documenting the nature of the problem within the context of the machine is part of identifying “place” as a variable.
- 🕘 Time ― Discuss all factors of time involved in the repair. How long will skilled workers take repairing a piece of machinery? How long will the repair process take from start to finish? When can you physically schedule the repair? Knowing the time commitment and the time factors governing the process paints a more complete picture of how feasible repairs are. Accounting for time also means taking into consideration the schedule of other departments and operations.
- 🛠️ Tools ― When it comes down to the actual repairs and maintenance, what tools do you need? Be specific and account for every single tool used during the repair process ― whether it’s a hand wrench or a forklift. Make sure these tools are available during the time maintenance takes place. If you have a checkout system for your specialty tools, submit work orders early to secure the right tools. Materials also fall into this category ― take stock of any spare parts and components needed and get them ready.
- 📃 Information ― What information do you need to get the job done right? It could be the manufacturer’s manual for a particular machine or the skillset of a factory-trained technician. Information also encompasses the repair history of a machine or the last serviced workorder for a similar problem. The more you know about the repair going into it, the better the job your techs will do.
The key to capitalizing on the five pillars of maintenance planning is to be as thorough as possible. Develop good habits for identifying and filling out variables in each pillar. And, of course, take the time to perform the maintenance thoroughly and with care. The more you do proactively, the less you’ll need to worry about reacting to.