Preventive Maintenance Plan

So, let's just get this out of the way right now: Preventive Maintenance is also sometimes referred to as Preventative Maintenance. And that's okay. Use whichever term you're more comfortable with and/or the one that's used most frequently at your facility.

A Preventive Maintenance Plan is a set of procedures put in place to proactively deter the occurrence of equipment failures. The objective of an effective Preventive Maintenance Plan is to establish consistent maintenance protocols that not only have a positive impact, but are also repeatable. Think of your Preventive Maintenance Plan as a favorite recipe that is always well received, but still open to tweaking. Be mindful of these as you are designing your Preventive Maintenance Plan. 

The Objectives of a Preventive Maintenance Plan

There are several end goal objectives around which to design the Preventive Maintenance Plan for your facility:

  1. To improve the consistently reliable performance of your equipment.
  2. To ensure that equipment operates safely and will continue to do so for as long as possible. 
  3. To extend the life expectancy of your equipment and machines. 
  4. To forestall equipment and machine failures. 
  5. To reduce machine related downtime. 
  6. To increase machine uptime, throughput, and productivity. 
  7. To reduce the potential for machine driven quality issues.
  8. To decrease the number of necessary major repairs. 
  9. To save money on costly repairs, equipment replacement, and downtime related expenses, including loss of income (you can't sell product you can't build). 


Having a Preventive Maintenance Plan in place is a great approach to systematic maintenance for many organizations. They utilize their Preventive Maintenance Plan to perform various upkeep activities, including repairs and replacements, before failures occur. Formulating an effective Preventive Maintenance Plan can potentially incorporate any number of methods.

Elements of a Preventive Maintenance Plan

Let's look at some of the most frequently utilized options that are available to your maintenance team. Your Preventive Maintenance Plan may include: 

  • Calendar-based maintenance: recurring work is scheduled at specific time intervals. 
  • Usage-based maintenance: you plan and schedule work based on a predetermined number of hours, number of cycles, or other usage rates as recommended by the manufacturer. 
  • Seasonal or seasonally based maintenance: some components of machinery and equipment are affected by fluctuating temperatures, extreme temperatures and humidity. 
  • Predictive Maintenance: although Preventive Maintenance and Predictive Maintenance sound alike, there are some important distinctions between the two. One of the major differences between Predictive Maintenance and Preventive Maintenance is that Preventive Maintenance involves regularly scheduled maintenance activities performed on a recurring basis, while Predictive Maintenance is generally scheduled based on equipment and machine conditions. 
  • Prescriptive Maintenance: also referred to as RxM. Prescriptive Maintenance includes all the recognizable features of Predictive Maintenance but goes way beyond. Prescriptive Maintenance incorporates machine learning and artificial intelligence. This combination can prescribe farther reaching solutions for optimal outcomes.

    The resulting prescription, if you will, is not limited to merely a diagnosis of the problem or how to perform maintenance tasks. RxM will also offer suggestions on improvements when operating the equipment: better ways to run the machine or equipment to extend the time between maintenance cycles and the life of the machine. With more machine learning and AI, the RxM approach will be increasingly incorporated into existing Preventive Maintenance Plans. 

Now that we've outlined some options to consider including in your Preventive Maintenance Plan, how do you go about creating a Preventive Maintenance Plan? One that is ideally suited to your facility. 

Creating a Preventive Maintenance Plan 

Realistically, there are many factors to take into consideration. It is very important to act. Don't be afraid to make decisions, even the hard ones. If it was easy, anyone could do it. Many of us are far too familiar with the expression, 'Analysis paralysis.' Data is fantastic! Having collected a great deal of relevant data is imperative when formulating your game plan. However, all the data in the world will not create your Preventive Maintenance Plan for you. It's like that one road that is paved with good intentions. 

So, jump down off that fence and get out of your office. It's game time! Let's get started! Take that precious data and go. Make sure you have the right mix of people on your Preventive Maintenance Plan development and implementation teams. This core group has to have a vested interest in making sure your Preventive Maintenance Plan and your Team is effective and successful. Surround yourself with a core team and execution teams who are committed to the goals and are in this for the long haul.

Use that data to establish ground zero. Know where you're starting out. It will be hard to recognize when you get there if you don't have a solid grasp on where there is compared to where you started. It may sound like a cliche, but that's because you know it's true.

This may seem obvious, but inventory the assets. Have an accurate accounting of machines and equipment as well as all the tools and supplies that are needed for you and your team to tackle the tasks ahead. Be sure you have all necessary and pertinent documents: owner's manuals, warranties, manufacturer's recommended guidelines and any required documentation around servicing and can't miss dates. You don't want your well intended actions to invalidate any manufacturer stipulated compliance. Remember that bridge we crossed a while ago on the road to you-know-where? It's paved, but it's still pretty scary. 

As soon as you know where you are, start setting goals to get you where you want to be. Make sure your objectives and strategies are in line with and appropriate to help ensure your organization succeeds in meeting and exceeding the goals. 


Your Preventive Maintenance Plan must take into account both Short Term and Long Term Preventive Maintenance. Here's another time honored cliche: Communicate, communicate, communicate. Vocalize your vision of the big picture, share where you want to be when the whistle blows. If everyone knows that performance in their position on the team is essential to success, there are a lot fewer fumbles. Train your teams. That's your job. You are the leader. Your Preventive Maintenance Plan is the playbook. 

Execute! Execute! Execute! 

Having the right tools will make this process much easier. L2L's next generation CMMS was designed by maintenance pros with real world experience. See how it can help you, here.

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Kevin Bryan


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