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What is Planned Maintenance?

The value of planning is evident in every industry, and when it comes to maintenance in particular, the proper planning of maintenance tasks can be critical to the overall success of a company. The time and effort spent identifying what maintenance tasks should be completed, how they will be done, and what resources are required to execute will pay dividends through improved equipment utilization and decreased maintenance costs. This is the underlying principal behind planned maintenance.

Although planned maintenance is often confused with scheduled maintenance, they are actually independent activities that can be implemented together as part of a robust overall maintenance plan. Planned maintenance might be thought of as the “heavy lifting” component, encompassing inspection and analysis as well as traditional preventive and predictive maintenance practices

Root causes of failure, asset lifespan, and repair history can be analyzed to determine the most effective combination of short and long-term activities to maximize up time and safety. With that foundation established, scheduled maintenance using maintenance software can help to navigate the complexity of resources, dates, and times that keep the system on track. 

What Are the Advantages of Planned Maintenance?

In general the planned maintenance provides a direct benefit to the bottom line. Nevertheless, the energy devoted to the planned maintenance system will directly impact efficiency and cost reduction in many tangible ways. This includes reduced expenses related to unplanned breakdowns, spare parts, and labor.

Repair costs are minimized by identifying potential root causes and performing the planned maintenance designed to head off catastrophic failures. Asset life can also be extended through more strategic planned maintenance activities.

Determining the optimal maintenance plan is a balancing act between maintenance expenses, equipment value, and productivity impact. A maintenance planning and scheduling process that emphasizes root cause and prioritizes critical equipment applies intelligence and analysis to this big picture equation. This also includes an emphasis on indirect benefits that may be less measurable, yet equally important.

Well planned procedures and coordinated workloads reduce employee stress and confusion and create more consistent practices. This common playbook also promotes cross-training and collaboration among employees, leading to improved morale.

Perhaps most importantly, the advantages of planned maintenance lead to improved workplace safety by limiting exposure to potentially hazardous breakdowns and disruptions.

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Planned vs Reactive Maintenance

Reactive maintenance might be considered the opposite of planned maintenance because it requires action only after equipment has been visibly compromised or has broken down completely. This approach is also referred to as “run to failure”. Because no response is required until failure occurs, there is no need to perform planned preventive maintenance or monitor equipment performance. Ongoing maintenance expenses are greatly reduced. The obvious downside of this approach is a complete loss of predictability with potentially high repair or replacement expenses incurred at any given time.

Planned maintenance uses monitoring, analysis, and proactive servicing to avoid these costly breakdowns and resolve minor issues well before they escalate. By incorporating the known root causes of failure, planned activities are designed to maintain peak operating condition until the next planned maintenance cycle arrives. Unlike reactive maintenance, the planned approach emphasizes predictability with respect to spare parts consumption, scheduled downtime, and asset lifespan.

Planned vs Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance is defined as routine maintenance that is performed at predefined intervals on properly functioning equipment. Preventative maintenance tasks are intended to keep equipment running smoothly through inspections, adjustments, cleaning, lubrication, and a variety of other activities that have been shown to decrease the likelihood of an unanticipated breakdown. Planning is one of the most important elements of any preventive maintenance system.

Preventive maintenance plans include triggers that can be either time or usage based. These triggers are often established through manufacturer recommendations or the standard intervals (6 month, 1 year, 2 year) applied to legacy equipment. The planned maintenance approach includes careful analysis and historical review to establish the optimal intervals needed to prevent breakdowns without unnecessarily consuming parts and technician time.

Planning is also critical for establishing preventive maintenance procedures and work orders. Clear instructions and focused planned maintenance operations will streamline the tasks and improve efficiency with each cycle. Over time, this translates to an elimination of temporary solutions, constant firefighting, and undocumented work practices.

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Maintenance Planning and Scheduling Software

Maintenance planning and scheduling software also improves efficiency by automating work requests, standardizing processes, and increasing resource visibility. Planned maintenance software provides tools to help prioritize and assign tasks and track their associated expenses over time.

CMMS software provides the tools and features necessary to establish and maintain a planned maintenance system that supports consistent work practices and optimized performance and safety. Task completion times can be tracked automatically to establish baselines and calculate future requirements. Real time reporting and intelligent analytics are among the many capabilities of this feature-rich platform that directly support these objectives while reducing offline data collection and analysis.

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