Mastering the Art of Facilities Maintenance

managing time and resources effectively

Preventive Maintenance Database

Preventive maintenance is work that is done to equipment and machinery on a regular, recurring basis. A common example would be getting the oil changed in your car. In order to keep most  machines working properly, companies and people create programs based on the manufacturers recommendations for the specific tasks, checks, and adjustments necessary. For a given facility or company, all of the preventive maintenance tasks, scheduling, and tracking is managed through a preventive maintenance program. Some companies use photocopied task sheets, others use spreadsheet programs, and still others use a computer-based program.

I have worked with several preventive maintenance database projects, several commercial products for preventive maintenance, and have even used the old manual programs- but I think that there is much room for improvement in how PM is performed, managed, and tracked.

First, I think a PM database should be easy to load. The supervisor or technician who initially sets up the database should not have to wade through lines and lines of similar tasks in order to set up a PM for a specific machine or piece of equiment. I think that there should be a se of generic preventive maintenance programs pre-loaded, and then the user should be able to add a few custom tasks as needed.

Next, I think the person performing the PM should be able to enter the data into the tracking system live, instead of writing on a printout. I also think that the person performing the PM should be able to make adjustments to the program on the fly. If the system says “change belts” and the unit has been converted to a direct drive system, then the person performing the PM should be able to remove “change belts” from the program.

Finally, system reporting should done through a console, showing tasks completed, tasks modified, tasks pending with percentages. The console should be configurable for administrators, supervisors, and maintenance techs, and you should be able to drill down and view more specific data as needed. PMs should be able to be sorted by category- like location, machine type, person performing the PM, etc.

A good preventive maintenance program supports the equipment and the people who service this equipment- but for all of the PM programs I have seen, the priority seems to be reversed. I think that the people performing the PM end up supporting the people who manage the program, and it becomes more about the tracking and the administration than it is about the actual work that needs to be done. It seems to me that a simple, elegant program that is easy to use and administer would capture the market.

October 18, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Using OEM Information to Create a PM Program

Everyone says “according to manufacturer’s recommendations” when writing preventive maintenance tasks, but in reality, how often are the OEM-Original Equipment Manufacturer’s recommendations actually followed? When writing a PM program, it should become standard practice to consult the installation, startup, and operation documentation that came with the equipment.

More often than should be the case, the original OEM material is not with the equipment, and it is nowhere to be found on site. So, what do you do when the OEM’s aren’t onsite? Write down as much information you can find on the equipment including model number, serial number, amperage, voltage, etc. and consult the following sources:

1. go to the manufacturer’s website

2. call your local manufacturer’s representative

3. consult a third-party engineering firm to write your program for you

Finally, keep a library of your preventive maintenance tasks for future reference.¬† If you have a PM written for a specfic type of pump, fan, motor, or other piece of equipment, and you later acquire a contract that has that same piece of equipment, you can use the one you have. I prefer to call this my “best practices” book, and I keep both a digital copy, and a hard copy for reference when writing new programs.

December 8, 2008 Posted by | facilities maintenance | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment