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Creating the perfect maintenance plan for your business

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​​​There are many benefits of planned maintenance as discussed in our recent blog 5 reasons why it pays to keep your manufacturing equipment maintained but what is the perfect maintenance plan to a use in your business and how do you implement it?

Types of maintenance plans

Traditionally it is widely held that here are four types of maintenance plans or maintenance strategies you can apply to your business and they all have their pros and cons. They include:

Corrective Maintenance

It could be argued that corrective maintenance is not a plan at all and more a necessity. It is a reactive reaction to a problem that means that maintenance of an asset is only performed to correct something that has broken.

This type of maintenance plan could be employed entirely by accident due to a company not having a maintenance plan in place at all or it could be a conscious decision by a business.

Advantages of Corrective Maintenance: The decision to go with a corrective/reactive maintenance plan could be down to the business having a lack of budget to repair routinely or a decision to use a piece of equipment until the end of it’s life. This lack of action results in lower short term costs for the organisation.

Disadvantages of Corrective Maintenance: A big drawback of this strategy is that it will almost always end up in higher long term costs when it comes to fixing a piece of equipment at short notice, as there will be a need to source highly skilled maintenance engineers and parts at short notice at a premium price.

It will also more than likely lead to the equipment not performing at its optimal level and with less reliability then it would do if it was regularly serviced.

When should this maintenance plan be implemented: There may be legitimate reasons to use this maintenance strategy these can include: If the equipment is cheaper to replace than fix, if any downtime of the machine doesn’t have an overall impact of the business, if the machine is reaching the end of its life technologically and it makes more business sense to source a new machine rather than keep maintaining .

Preventative Maintenance

​Preventive maintenance aims to prevent failures before they occur.

This is achieved by checking equipment at regular instances to look for faults or issues. The timing of these checkups could be at regular time intervals, after a certain amount of usage or based on the equipment reaching a certain condition indicating a need for maintenance before a problem occurs .

Legal regulations can often drive the need for preventative maintenance too, as defined by the HSE here.

Advantages of Preventative Maintenance: Preventative maintenance improves fault detection and reduces corrective maintenance actions, improving efficiency and leading to less machine downtime. A preventative strategy is also easy to prepare as basing it on machine timings or usage ensure that there is no need to overthink a lengthy strategy.

Disadvantages of Preventative Maintenance: There will be an extra cost to the business as you will need to pay for the maintenance itself and also trained staff will be needed to perform this maintenance, which will bring an extra cost to the business. As well, as this over-maintenance can occur where equipment is maintained more often then it may be required, again resulting in extra costs to the business.

When should this maintenance plan be implemented: Preventative Maintenance should be used when the asset has a predictable level of wear and tear or consumable replacement . Another reason to use this type of strategy could be where failure to do so could result in legal action or health and safety failures.

Predictive Maintenance

​Thanks to 4IR and the development of the IOT, predictive maintenance is no longer a thing of the future. The aim of predictive maintenance is to ensure that maintenance is carried out on a machine at the correct time it’s needed to, not too far ahead of time and not when it’s too late.

Advantages of Predictive Maintenance: This type of maintenance reduces downtime from machines breaking down when you aren’t expecting them, reduces the amount of energy needed in order to maintain and ensures you are not wasting time and money when it’s needed like you may be when following a preventative maintenance strategy.

Disadvantages of Predictive Maintenance: This type of strategy can be costly, due to the need to set up a system which continually monitors the performance of the machine and alerts if any loss of performance triggers are met, there is also the chance that the information it reports could be incorrect or could easily be misinterpreted by someone who doesn’t know how to read it correctly – Staff should be trained on how to read this data which will cost the business time and money.

When should this maintenance plan be implemented: Preventative Maintenance should be used if you have equipment which tends to break down at random rather than at regular intervals, where the break down of the equipment could cause considerable downtime and of course where you have the budget to implement it.

Reliability-Centered Maintenance

A ​Reliability-centered Maintenance strategy takes all pieces of equipment and applies a different model on them based on the factors discussed above – rather than a one size fits all approach to all machines.

Advantages of Reliability-Centered Maintenance: This type of maintenance plan is ideal as it prevents wastage of time and resources maintaining equipment when it doesnt need to be but also ensures more critical equipment is maintained appropraitely too, maybe by predictive means.

Disadvantages of Reliability-Centered Maintenance: This type of strategy will require the most time to set up, as each piece of equipment will need to monitored and evaluated manually to understand which strategy to apply. It will also require the most skill and cost to correctly implement and monitor.

When should this maintenance plan be implemented: Although time consuming this plan is ideal to ensure that in the long term you waste as little time, money and resources as possible, whilst ensuring your equipment is as reliable and safe as can be.

What maintenance plan should you use?

The type of maintenance plan you require will come down to a number of factors – how big is your business? How reliant on machinery not breaking down are you? What is your budget? Have you got a long term need for the equipment?

It is always recommended to have some preventative or predictive analysis in place for your machinery as it is always more costly to have to implement reactive measures.e.g. repair/replace rather than be taking a proactive approach to your maintenance needs.

How can Jonathan Lee Recruitment help you with your maintenance needs?

Whatever strategy you decide to implement, we are here to help – we can provide contract, permanent or interim maintenance professionals for your business at whatever stage it’s at. Whether its someone to carry out maintenance work, assess your maintenance needs or even devise a maintenance strategy for you.

Interested in hiring maintenance professionals? Contact me for more information – – 01384 446105.

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