Preventive Maintenance Program Pitfalls

Last updated Jan 18, 2018

Preventive Maintenance Program Pitfalls

Preventive Maintenance Programs, or PMPs are initiatives meant to find problems before they occur, thus furthering efficiency and profits within the company. However, when not designed or managed correctly, PMPs can actually facilitate additional problems, completely offsetting their initial intended purpose. So what are some of the key preventative maintenance program pitfalls to be aware of in order to maximize maintenance efficiency and problem prevention? Here is a brief, 3-point preventative maintenance program guide to help in satisfying the very best outcomes in any setting.

Be Realistic

One of the prime reasons for failure in a Preventive Maintenance Program can often be a simple lack of realism. We see so many programs that are misguided, sending technicians in circles, or completely misprioritizing time expenditure. To avoid this, one should consider the priorities of company operations and the equipment and wares that are most important in that effort. If a piece of equipment is rarely used in the process, do not cycle a tech there 8 times in a month simply as part of the program. Prioritize and consider the amount of time being spent in each area, and design your plan accordingly.

Lack of a Trigger

Another one of the most common and often painful Preventative Maintenance Program pitfalls comes in the form of what we call a “lack of triggers”. In other words, technicians will often go around, performing preventative checks and actions, but when significant or otherwise peculiar observations are made, there is no effective and subsequent trigger for the initiation of speedy follow-up.

Many techs will simply note the issue in a maintenance log, which is great, but not triggering the appropriate follow-up attention. Others are inclined to make a mental note for follow-up or additional reporting. None of this is assertive or proactive preventive maintenance. Instead, be sure there is a required communication, or triggering effect, that takes place in such situations. If necessary, consider assigning a designated response team just for such special follow-ups.

Sensible Flexibility Prevails

Finally, no proper Preventative Maintenance Program guide would neglect the subject of flexibility and non-permanence. Most PMP administrators mean the best in their rigidity of their program’s institution. However, sometimes the best service to the company here comes by way of ultimate flexibility.

Certainly, all equipment must be regularly checked and maintained. When a preventive program fails to offer flexibility in emerging situations, though, it can actually serve as a company detriment. Flexibility in emergencies, high-priority projects, and even PMP design are quite important. By being flexible, the program can address its intended areas of focus while simultaneously allowing for necessary change and occasional, important resource reallocations.

In the end, your Preventative Maintenance Program must be custom-tailored to your company’s goals, as well as, the needs of the site and equipment used to facilitate those goals. By avoiding common preventative maintenance program pitfalls such as those listed above, your maintenance department, the company it serves, and the clients and patrons served at the end of the day will unanimously benefit.

Is your company or manufacturing plant in need of assistance with developing your Preventative Maintenance Program or Quality Management System? Contact Ledge today for assistance.


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Adam Marsh

Adam Marsh

President, Ledge Inc.

Adam is a Penn State engineer that has served as a Data Analyst and Engineer at St. Onge Company for 5 years, prior to establishing Ledge Inc. While maintaining a focus on simple solutions, Ledge Inc. has provided quality system implementation, process design, database development, quality tools, quality training, and data analysis to over 35 companies in South Central Pennsylvania and throughout the country. Adam currently serves as the sitting Chair for American Society for Quality Harrisburg Section 503 and as a member of the board for The Manufacturers’ Associations of South Central PA.



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