That’s right, it’s January - time for starting the year fresh, setting resolutions, and planning goals for the coming year. Why should running a manufacturing or industrial facility be any different? Why shouldn’t we establish plans for improvement for our physical plant just like we would set goals for revenue and capital expenditures?

For any manufacturing facility to run efficiently and effectively, existing equipment, systems, and lines have to properly cleaned, maintained, and corrected. But with so many different infrastructure systems, production components, and complex machines, this may seem like a daunting task. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to implementing planned maintenance as every facility has their own processes and production schedules. However, here are a few basic steps maintenance teams can take to build a successful planned maintenance schedule.


Survey Your Assets

Your first step to creating a planned maintenance schedule should always be to take a survey of your systems, equipment, and automated lines. Then, decide which ones should be included in your planned preventative maintenance and which ones fall under planned unscheduled maintenance or run-to-failure maintenance. By correctly categorizing your assets, you will understand which machines and systems will require the most attention and which ones will tend to lend themselves to a preventive approach.


Build a Planned Maintenance Checklist

Once you have surveyed and inventoried your assets and categorized them into the planned maintenance class, the next step is to create a checklist of maintenance tasks for each piece of equipment. Thoroughly review each piece of equipment and consult any accompanying documentation for manufacturer’s recommendations and specifications. This will help you determine and set benchmarks based on current performance for efficiency, quality, uptime, maintenance and more. It is also helpful to document your checklist for each system or piece of equipment so that all employees can easily access and review it. This can be done through a company wide “library” of preventative maintenance documents or utilizing a planned maintenance software. Planned Maintenance software is ideal in that it can help create schedules, track parts inventory, generate work orders and run reports. This ensures triggers are set up properly, in-house technicians can respond quickly, and can prompt when additional resources outside of the maintenance department are needed to complete certain functions. 


Execute the Strategy

Planned maintenance requires your entire maintenance department to be aware of their responsibilities and the deadlines associated with each planned maintenance task. It is also crucial that you have the right skill sets and training on new technology, processes, and procedures, to carry out the planned maintenance tasks. Additionally, it is importanti to understand which planned maintenance strategies will require additional outside help and to be able to plan for those accordingly. When everyone on your team knows your preventative maintenance strategy, how they fit into it and the resources, both internal and external available to them, it makes implementation much smoother and more effective. 


Overall, creating a planned maintenance schedule is critical for making sure your facility works more efficiently and effectively. These plans guarantee you have the right strategy and resources in place to tackle any kind of maintenance quickly and easily, whether it’s scheduled or not. With these tools and plans in place, your team will spend less time putting out fires and more time looking for opportunities to improve.


If you are looking for help in creating an effective Preventative Maintenance Plan or want to discuss supplementing your team with our skilled staff, give us a call today at 828-684-2000. At IMOCO, we specialize in being the Carolina's Industry Experts. We can help you identify and implement preventative maintenance schedules that keep your plant running smoothly and productively.