What is Preventive Maintenance?

Preventive Maintenance also is known as Preventative Maintenance is an activity performed on the equipment to reduce the risk of failure. It proactively identifies potential failure points, replacing the worn out spare parts and carrying out general servicing, all of which is to impact the equipment functioning positively.

Equipment breakdowns are costly, resulting in wasted working hours, suboptimal use of associated equipment and missed opportunity costs. Therefore the primary goal of preventive maintenance is to avoid such equipment breakdown before it occurs. Preventive maintenance refers to Planned Maintenance or Scheduled Maintenance, Preventative Maintenance.

Benefits of Preventive Maintenance:

  • Improves equipment reliability resulting in higher production and product quality
  • Increases equipment life due to fewer failures and prevention of excessive damage
  • Keeps equipment in good condition increasing resource utilization and efficiency
  • Reduces unplanned downtime by resolving problems when they are tiny
  • Ensures other upstream and downstream equipment on the assembly lines utilized to their full potential
  • Increases productivity, avoids repetitive failures and optimizes labor and operational costs.
  • Institutionalize the process thereby ensuring repeatability and consistency
  • Increases the overall safety of the equipment

How do you administer a Preventive Maintenance program?

Preventive Maintenance is a crucial part of any business activity since its principal objective is to preserve the availability of the assets that can use for the business. Preventive Maintenance program follows the Enterprise Maintenance Plan and adheres to the goals and objectives laid out in that.

1. Preventive Maintenance Planning (Preventative Maintenance Planning)

Efficient preventive maintenance requires careful planning and preparation. Based on the asset hierarchy, equipment grouping and usage conditions, detailed plans including maintenance task checklists, spare parts replacement, and tools required for supporting the maintenance activity described. Checklists and spare parts replacement schedule are drawn using a combination of manufacturer’s specifications, operating knowledge and past learnings.

The principal deliverable is to design a preventive maintenance procedure that is comprehensive, adequately, repeatable, clearly specified granular tasks with estimated duration and optimal recurrence frequency of preventive maintenance.

2. Preventive Maintenance Scheduling (Preventative Maintenance Scheduling)

Scheduling is a long-range planning activity and includes the recurrence pattern or conditions that trigger the preventive maintenance. It’s based on

  • Time-based Maintenance (TBM): The time is used to construct a maintenance schedule is based on elapsed calendar time
  • Condition-based Maintenance (CBM): Equipment conditions drive the preventive maintenance activity. Critical parameters can identify, and the control range is defined, often more stringent than manufacturer’s specifications based on the operating conditions. Breach of control levels trigger the deployment of the preventive maintenance plan
  • Event-based Maintenance (EBM): – Occurrence of a specific event drives the preventive maintenance. It can be planned for annual shutdown maintenance or in response to an unplanned natural or human-made disaster (e.g., earthquake, fire)

Comprehensive preventive maintenance program involving multiple steps from preparatory activities to continuous improvement, to meet the business needs of uninterrupted equipment availability and reliability.

3. Planning & Administration

Administration of preventive maintenance based on prevailing on-ground situations, taking into account equipment availability for support, finetune the preventive maintenance plan based on spares, tools, and maintenance team availability, scheduling the activities in the appropriate holidays or shifts, communication to ensure proper coordination and sequencing.

4. Execution

Preventive maintenance execution consists of multiple tasks, often involving cross-functional teams, and has performed in a specified sequence. For efficient utilization of time and quicker turnaround, adherence to preparatory activities listed in the plan is a must. Includes collecting the spare parts specified, booking of standard tools and securing necessary work permits.

Efficient execution requires following the laid out task plan and also ensuring conformance to duration and timeliness. Abnormalities observed, if any, should be reported back for proper analysis and remediation. Adequate handover upon completion and documentation of completion status and spares consumption has followed.

5. Continuous Improvement:

Ongoing improvements to the processes, operational tasks, schedules, etc., based on the learnings from the history and industry best practices help to institutionalize the knowledge and standards and to roll out a world-class preventive maintenance program. Includes identifying opportunities for streamlining the practices, eliminating waste and deploying horizontally.

Horizontal Deployment is the process of sharing the learnings and best practices laterally across the organization. In preventive maintenance context, the improvements made for specific equipment, to avoid a potential breakdown can be copied over to all the other stuff belonging to the same class of material. Propagates peer-level learning and avoids expensive failures.

What is Shutdown Maintenance?

Process industries run continuously and thus isolated preventive maintenance without impacting the more extensive operations is difficult. Planned maintenance for such sectors involves a shutdown of the entire services to facilitate the preventive maintenance activities.

The scale of operations, complexities and interdependencies demand a great deal of planning to determine what needs to be shut down and in what sequence, and what must be done during the shutdown, what may be done to restart the plant and resume operations, including contingency plans, and what can be done after the restart.

Shutdown maintenance is done once in a few years and preparation and planning draws extensively from history, statistical techniques, risk analysis, project management and coordination.

Future of Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance programs started with simple planning exercises with wall charts and card indexes. Visual schematics, project plans, process diagrams and color codifications aid in simplification of preventative maintenance planning and execution. History cards, job control, safety and sustainability procedures and past learnings were used to improve effectiveness. Larger plants went for Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) to streamline the various equipment that they manage.

While early CMMS tend to focus more on preventative maintenance scheduling, resource management and inventory, advancements in technology brought in many more conditional monitoring capabilities inbuilt in CMMS. Technological advances in real-time data capture, large-scale and cost-effective storage systems and analytics enabled quicker adoption of condition-based maintenance across industries. Simultaneously the significant shifts in the cloud, analytics, and mobile CMMS technologies made such sophisticated CMMS available for even small and medium organizations at affordable costs.

Evolution of preventive maintenance to predictive.


Breakdown MaintenancePreventive MaintenancePredictive Maintenance
FocusFix failures after they occurAvoid failures
  • Forecast failures
  • Control
TriggersEquipment breakdown
  • Run hours
  • Elapsed calendar time
  • Breach of critical parameters
  • Statistical analysis
  • Trend  deterioration
  • Actions arising out of predictive algorithms & sophisticated equipment modeling
  • Troubleshooting
  • Maintenance support
Maintenance checklists
  • Condition Monitoring
  • SCADA, Internet of Things
Maintenance Behaviour
  • Run to failure
  • Reactive
Organized and SystematicOptimized and Futuristic

Condition monitoring has become ubiquitous today with most equipment manufacturers providing data access to critical parameters. CMMS integration with sensors, programmable logic controllers (PLCs), SCADA, smart devices and other automated sources of data capture is leading to a data explosion. Humongous data inundation has shifted the focus of tools from consumption to management by exception and action-oriented insights.

Real-time data availability simultaneously from multiple types of equipment has led to the modeling of systems behavior more accurately. Powerful algorithms and system modeling is redefining modern shop floor and leading to a holistic understanding of equipment, operating conditions and helps us predict their failures. Preventive maintenance today is transforming itself into predictive maintenance.

Why is MaintWiz an ideal solution for you?

MaintWiz is a new age platform that helps you to digitize your maintenance operations and assist you with powerful tools to manage Predictive, Preventive and Breakdown Maintenance programs. MaintWiz is a Simple, Easy to use, Integrated, Cost effective and Scalable solution.

Key benefits of MaintWiz in designing and administering Preventive Maintenance plan include:

  1. Robust feature set to manage the entire preventive maintenance program, including scheduling, checklists, spare parts, tools management, resource management and tracking.
  2. Comprehensive scheduling capabilities to match the unique needs of every industry. Support time-based maintenance (fixed and floating), condition based maintenance and event-based maintenance.
  3. Sophisticated functionalities under the hood are simplified for the user, with easy to use excel uploads. Excel uploads support schedule setup, task lists design and spare parts recommendations. Copy paste functionality to copy assignments over from past work orders is also available.
  4. Planning Workbench: Adjusting the preventive maintenance work orders generated out of the long-range scheduling to meet short-term, tactical on-ground realities without impacting the master schedules. You can optimize the plan based on equipment availability, resource leveling, spare parts and tools availability
  5. One-click maintenance to help maintenance team complete their preventive maintenance tasks at the point of work, via a mobile app.
  6. State of the art analytics and interactive reports to monitor schedule compliance, cost of preventive maintenance, horizontal deployments and more.

With MaintWiz there are no entry or exit costs. It’s offered on a monthly subscription basis. Excel templates based data upload enables you to start quickly on Day 1. Experience the complete power with Zero Capital Investments and Zero Implementation Time.