Key preventive maintenance pitfalls to avoid

Companies boarding the PM bandwagon must work pragmatically and avoid these implementation errors.

Preventive maintenance strategies are now industry-standard among manufacturers and industrial firms. Why? These methodologies can effectively support the sophisticated shop-floor technology associated with Industry 4.0 and work within workflows that lean on older equipment. Consequently, industrial enterprises on the outside looking in often rush to implement PM strategies in hopes of quickly catalyzing change across the organization and boosting profit margins. However, this hurried approach rarely yields positive results, laying the groundwork for future failures.

With this in mind, companies boarding the PM bandwagon must work pragmatically and avoid these implementation errors:

Lack of understanding
Managers often assume that executive stakeholders and shop-floor personnel can easily understand the concept of preventive maintenance. However, this is not always true. Sometimes, business leaders and maintenance teams can go into the PM implementation process without a clear understanding of the end goal. This not only causes immediate issues but creates problems down the line, as these individuals struggle to grapple with the new processes later on. The solution is simple, according to Plant Engineering.

Project point people must explain the underlying principles of PM and map them to operational and business goals. This way, everyone can get to work with a solid understanding of the end goal.

PM plans alone cannot produce major operational gains. Industrial firms must also improve related processes and provide employee training.PM plans alone cannot produce major operational gains. Industrial firms must also improve related processes and provide employee training.

Placing all hopes on PM
PM programs are indeed powerful, especially when integrated into particularly antiquated industrial operations. As a result, adopters often make the mistake of believing these initiatives alone can completely address the issue of equipment availability and essentially negate the need for unscheduled or even scheduled downtime.

This is an unrealistic expectation, Maint World reported. Machines are going to fail no matter how closely they are watched and serviced. Project leaders must establish realistic goals out of the gate and put in place ancillary processes to support PM strategies. What might these be? Hiring well-trained maintenance crew members who can effectively care for and repair equipment is a good start – as is drafting a detailed job scheduling plan. These extra improvements can optimize PM programs and lead to long-lasting operational improvements.

Skipping employee training programs
PM strategies complete with proactive equipment management targets and the latest technology are nothing without well-trained maintenance personnel to make them run. Yet, many firms skimp on pre-implementation instruction, leaving employees to engage in self-managed, on-the-job training. This is obviously a huge mistake. Even the most seasoned professionals are going to need some direction before diving into PM-based workflows, according to Plant Engineering.

Maintenance workers not only need instruction on how to navigate the new processes, but also refreshers on essential machine-management tasks. Without this instruction, employees will rely on inference. This unfocused approach can lead to major problems, including costly administrative and even equipment-related slowdowns – basically the opposite of what most firms hope for when they embrace PM.

These mistakes are easy to avoid with a little planning. Of course, it's also not a bad idea to connect with a trusted implementation partner that can offer insight as the process unfolds. Here at eRPortal, we offer the latest asset maintenance management software, perfect for industrial firms looking to embrace PM strategies and reach new operational heights. Additionally, we work with our clients to help them craft effective workflows that meet their specific needs. Contact us today to learn more about our solutions or request a cost-free demo.

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