How A Planned Maintenance System Creates Harmony in Your Plant

By Curtis Bird
11 Sep 19

"If you don't schedule time for maintenance, your equipment will schedule it for you."

This statement is so true, it makes me laugh every time I see it. However, in the past it got me upset because I was the one trying to fight the production planners for time on the line. 

How many times does your equipment break down, and the repair made was to simply complete the past-due PM or a planned fix that keeps getting pushed off because the line doesn't have time to shut down? Now it's three hours of unplanned downtime with operators looking for something to do.

It seems like an easy concept to shut down a line and perform preventive, proactive, predictive maintenance to ensure the lines keep running when the production is needed, but for some reason many don't understand the "pay me now or pay big later" concept.

This mentality to run equipment to failure can even lead to catastrophic issues that cause something to "grenade" inside the machine; to take it down and cause massive loss of production. Oh and yeah, you don't have the spare part on the shelf but that's another story

Utilizing a Planned Maintenance System Needs to Involve Everyone!

Downtime is everyone's responsibility. And so is the scheduling of the time needed to ensure planned maintenance activities are completed.

Here are some tips to make that happen:

  • Maintenance needs to have a scheduled plan with parts and resources ready to go for each planned event
  • Maintenance should have a plan to minimize the lost production time needed to do planned maintenance. For example: Separating internal and external activities, breaking larger activities into smaller chunks that can be done during breaks and lunches, machine modifications that help minimize time needed to perform planned maintenance, and etc..
  • There should be a weekly meeting to discuss next week's production schedules that include maintenance/engineering, production supervision, and logistics. You need agreement on all scheduled work (both production numbers and maintenance activities)
  • Now just execute to the plan and use your CMMS system planning tool to make it happen

Why You Need a Planned Maintenance System

If you don't have a planned maintenance system, here's what you can expect:

  • A gigantic stack of work orders on one side of the table and PMs on the other side. All waiting to be completed whenever the technicians have time and the line shuts down (backlog into the thousands) 
  • PMs might be submitted, but no one ever gets around to addressing them because they are too busy
  • There may be jobs that maintenance just doesn't want to touch and so cherry-picking the easy jobs takes place
  • As a result, people may stop submitting Work Orders altogether because they never get completed 

Benefits of a Planned Maintenance System 

As you implement your planned maintenance system, it will begin to foster the "love and harmony" that I mentioned above. Weekly meetings where production and maintenance are working together to ensure production and proactive work gets completed will be the norm rather than the exception.

By having the commitment to planning, it may be harder in the short term to do consistently, but you achieve greater benefits in the long term, such as:  

    • Less downtime (half an hour as opposed to half a day)
    • More reliable delivery (customers receive what they need on time)
    • Maintenance team reliably drives improvements 
    • Optimization of work schedules & resources
    • Improved overall morale for everyone on the floor (more love and harmony)

What Should I Look for in a Planned Maintenance System?

As you look for a system to provide you with these important benefits, it's important that you look for some key capabilities that will ensure you achieve them:

  • Ability to visually see your work load and your resource capacity
  • Ability to see your production plan and all available time
  • Ability to visually see if you're on track or behind with production
  • Ability to easily see the results of performing or not performing planned maintenance

L2L's revolutionary software, CloudDISPATCH, was designed to do exactly this. Discover how easy planned maintenance is with the system designed for manufacturers, by manufactures. Schedule your demo today! 

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