Businesses often struggle with equipment failures irrespective of the industry. The number of machines you use somehow increases the loss you suffer with equipment failures. For instance, construction firms, manufacturing facilities, etc. often remain more prone to failures.
To avoid these situations, businesses are adopting a preventative maintenance approach to deal with the struggle of frequent equipment failures. Preventative maintenance refers to regular inspections aimed at identifying faults before asset failure.
But how to effectively conduct preventative maintenance? Focus on creating a detailed checklist handles half of the effort. Let’s now move ahead to understand the meaning and elements of a preventative maintenance checklist.
What is a preventative maintenance checklist?
A preventative maintenance checklist is a list of tasks helping technicians successfully conduct preventative maintenance. It helps them follow a set procedure to avoid missing any crucial step.
Out of the four maintenance programs (corrective, preventive, risk-based, and condition-based), preventative maintenance aims at reducing equipment degradation over time. The overall equipment efficiency improves as small faults are tackled. Out of all the examples of preventative maintenance, a proactive maintenance example, where the root causes of a problem are tackled, must be prioritized.
Forms of preventative maintenance checklist
A preventative maintenance inspection checklist generally takes two forms:
- A time-based checklist for routine tasks
- Condition-based checklist for non-routine or situational tasks. Such conditions are hard to predict during time-based checklist creation.
Note that the preventative maintenance inspection checklist requires timely updates as technicians often come across various areas of improvement. Sometimes the condition of the assets also changes, hence requiring updates in the maintenance aspect.
Now before we move to preventative maintenance checklist creation, here are some things you must do:
- Identify the right people who will handle a variety of different tasks. Have the right blend of individuals from top management, department managers, and maintenance technicians. Remember that you need specialized individuals to rightly handle the technical aspect.
- Set objectives for the preventive maintenance program by considering the current condition of your equipment and long-term plans.
- Knowing your existing equipment remains another crucial prerequisite. Make sure you are completely familiar with your current equipment and document all important details. Note down details like maintenance history, inspection times, production downtime, and all other areas that could affect the program.
- Make sure you have a full list of your current equipment. Now identify the ones that require a full-fledged maintenance program.
- Based on the details of your existing equipment, create a preventative maintenance schedule.
- Monitor the KPIs of previous programs to identify the modifications required in future ones.
Essential elements of a preventative maintenance checklist
Now that we are aware of the meaning and prerequisites of the PM checklist, let’s now move to some key elements to create one:
- Preparation items for maintenance: Jot down all necessary preparation details like estimated time of completion, spare parts and primary tools required for the task, etc.
- Safety requirements: a detailed safety manual, protective equipment, LOTO instructions, etc.
- Visual representation: diagrams, graphs, and other visual elements to represent the tasks for better understanding.
While creating a PM inspection checklist, make sure it’s easy to follow with minimum supervision. If not, the process could delay over time in case the expert help fails to arrive. Also, make sure that all steps are explained in simple language and diagrams for easy understanding. Lastly, follow a sequential approach to avoid any misunderstanding.
Start by understanding the current condition of your existing assets. Then move ahead with a detailed and easy-to-understand checklist. Remember to be flexible and modify the checklist with time. Give your technicians the freedom to suggest any changes that they feel necessary. By adapting and following a thought-out strategy, your assets will have a great lifespan.