Reducing Machine Downtime with PM Optimization

So many things can go wrong in maintenance management. Every asset features a host of various components that can wear down or become dislodged, thereby causing a failure that can translate into thousands of dollars lost in machine downtime. There needs to be a certain level of ultrasound inspection and assessment of all types of assets in order to cut back on downtime, which can prove to be costly.

In order to make sure these scenarios don’t happen, managers come up with preventive maintenance (PM) schedules that can effectively lower the odds of any machine downtime by performing maintenance tasks prior to an issue occurring. In fact, approximately 87% of maintenance managers make use of preventive maintenance.

However, if a particular schedule is not working, or if the level of unscheduled downtime or reactive maintenance is not satisfactory, then PM optimization can prove to be extremely beneficial. Many consulting firms provide optimization services, each of which may have its own process to tackle the job. In addition, some companies may have in-house employees that have a certain level of experience in PM optimization.

With a proper plan in place, a maintenance manager will be able to use historical data about machinery and other assets to come up with a sound PM schedule, which is crafted in such a way as to keep assets running for as long as possible. A manager can store this data and analyze it by using a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) and the appropriate reporting tools to keep their maintenance schedule up-to-date. The goal is to pinpoint when a machine will be most likely to break down, and therefore conduct maintenance right before that time.

Done right, this process can reduce labor costs and keep assets operating much longer. In many cases, it may even boost profits. However, when it’s not done properly, companies won’t be able to fully see what areas require improvement.

A proper PM optimization process should include three basic steps, such as :

  • Selecting which assets need to be tracked and monitored.
  • Determining the most effective maintenance plan for all types of machine and failure, this can help avoid repetitive work.
  • Putting a new maintenance plan in place.

A CMMS tool can automate a preventive maintenance plan, thereby decreasing the odds of missing any scheduled work and risking having a machine falter. Of course, if the data that’s input is flawed, the system will not produce accurate results. Once PM optimization has taken place, organizations can learn which maintenance procedures are the most effective and appropriate for every scenario. Companies will be able to see major improvements with this information input into a CMMS.

Should the costs associated with machine downtime negatively affect your business, implementing a PM optimization process can be of great help.