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Planning For The Year Ahead – Get A Planned Preventive Maintenance Schedule In Place

Planned preventive maintenance is the concept of making a schedule of items in a business that need to be attended to and inspected on a routine basis, to ensure they continue to function efficiently and to avoid unforeseen breakdowns as far as is possible.

In a commercial environment nobody likes unpleasant surprises, and breakdowns can result in inefficiency, lost production, health and safety violations, a disgruntled workforce and a costly repair bill. Ignoring problems not only does not solve them, but will contribute to making those problems worse. So important assets in the business need to be looked after via a planned preventive maintenance schedule.

The benefits of a planned preventive maintenance schedule

Relying on corrective maintenance is proven to be more costly and is also considered to be a poor way to run a business. Setting up a planned preventive maintenance schedule gives you more control and certainty over the future of your business, and also allows you to spread known costs throughout the year to help with budget planning. It can also extend the lifecycle of a piece of equipment, so you are getting more value for your investment.

In order to start a planned preventive maintenance schedule you need to carry out a thorough inventory of your key installations and equipment, asking yourself ‘what are the consequences of something failing and can I carry out planned maintenance to reduce the likelihood of that happening?’ In an industrial business, it is likely that this inventory will include a compressor, maybe water cooling equipment, high voltage electrical equipment, lifting equipment and possibly also fork truck vehicles and air extraction units. This is in addition to key process equipment specific to that business. In any commercial business you are also likely to have electrical wiring installations, a boiler, air conditioning systems, alarm systems and CCTV.

All these systems will be costly to repair if they break down, but you also need to calculate the cost to your operations of them not working, and build that risk into your schedule frequency. Many installations have an ongoing maintenance agreement built into the installation contract, but even after this expires, or after a warranty period expires, it still makes absolute sense to keep a planned preventive maintenance schedule going.

How can I design a planned preventive maintenance schedule?

In many cases, manufacturers’ information or your installation engineers should be able to recommend the frequency in which equipment should undergo routine maintenance. This is also sometimes dictated by legislation, for example with fixed electrical wiring installations, but essentially you need to ask yourself:

  • How critical is this machine/equipment to my business?
  • Do parts regularly wear or break, or does the system require regular cleaning for it to run efficiently?
  • Are repair and replacement costs high?
  • Are replacement parts readily available?

Based on this list you can draw up a timetable of key equipment, maintenance frequencies agreed to (ie. quarterly, six-monthly, annually etc), when the next visit is due and which organisation is responsible.

At Robinsons Facilities Services we have engineers with years of experience in designing planned preventive maintenance schedules, so we can visit your premises and work with you to put a cost effective system in place. We then implement this into our own systems so that we turn up whenever a visit is due and you don’t even need to worry about remembering to call us. We can even work out a return on your investment to assist with any justification for the costs of a planned preventive maintenance schedule, as ultimately, the preventive maintenance work we do is designed to save you money. Contact us today and we can get started on planning your year ahead.


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