April 3, 2020

Implementing a Preventive Maintenance Strategy: Case Study

by Drew MacRae, Training & Solutions Manager, Reliability

Preventive Maintenance (PM) is an important part of any facilities management strategy. The goal of a successful preventive maintenance program is to establish consistent practices to improve the operation and safety of the equipment at your site. It also aims to reduce equipment breakdowns and the number of major corrective maintenance tasks.

Reactive vs. Preventive Maintenance

Poor maintenance strategies can significantly reduce an organization’s productive capacity. Many companies use a reactive maintenance strategy where repairs to an asset are made once a failure occurs. This strategy has significant cost implications due to critical operational outages and rush orders for parts and labour.

Instead, effective PM programs are designed to prevent failures before they ever have the chance to occur by proactively performing maintenance, repairs, and replacements. Preventive Maintenance tasks may include inspections, lubrication, oil changes, adjustments, repairs, replacing parts, or even regularly scheduled partial or complete overhauls.

Implementing a PM program often requires a shift in the organization’s overall maintenance strategy. The technicians doing the work need to buy into the program as it allows them to work alone without close supervision and to have more ownership of the equipment. It is also important to regularly audit the program: adding new equipment and removing obsolete equipment as required.

Case Study: Implementing a PM Strategy

The Challenge:

A large oil and gas equipment manufacturing facility asked Fluid Life to help them with their maintenance programs. When we arrived on site we found out that there was no systematic maintenance program in place; they weren’t using a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS); and they weren’t planning or scheduling maintenance tasks. Their strategy? When equipment broke down, there was a backup asset. If the backup broke down, they would source another backup via rental or new purchase. Generally technicians would tend to wait until something went wrong before acting.

The Solution:

Our Reliability Specialist completed a full review of their current maintenance strategies and programs and put together a plan to implement preventive maintenance across the organization. To develop the plan we assessed every asset on the site, completed a criticality analysis, and determined the correct PM for each asset. Bringing in PM’s was opposite to what the team was used to and there was some push-back. We gained buy-in by including maintenance staff in every step as to what needed to be done and why.

We also implemented our myLab online program management portal to use as a CMMS. This allowed the customer to plan and schedule all maintenance tasks. Furthermore the customer had step by step instructions on how the technicians are to complete the task and provide comments to schedule maintenance for equipment that required corrective maintenance.

The Result:

The customer was pleased with the new maintenance program outlined and have been using this for over a year now. They can now more easily plan and schedule when preventative maintenance tasks need to be completed and ensure that their equipment is properly maintained. They’ve also reduced the high costs of corrective maintenance.

Interested in learning more? Contact our team of reliability specialists and find out how we can help you develop a preventative maintenance program, or optimize your current PM program.