7 Ways to Improve Preventive Maintenance

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Unplanned downtime is one of the most fear-inducing phrases in most industries. Every minute of unplanned downtime adds up to big costs. The industrial manufacturing industry, for example, loses $50 billion annually due to unplanned equipment downtime.To combat this, maintenance personnel are turning towards a preventive maintenance strategy. Studies show that preventive maintenance reduces machine downtime by 30-50% and increases machine life by 20-40%.

What is Preventive Maintenance?

Compared with reactive maintenance (repairing equipment after it’s already broken down) preventive maintenance requires regular, routine maintenance practices. The goal is to prevent assets from breaking down in the first place, which in turn extends their working life.

Challenges of Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance requires more time, scheduling, communication, data collection and record-keeping. While some companies still follow a reactive approach because it’s easier to simply wait for a problem to occur before fixing it, we know the ROI of preventive maintenance is huge.

How to Improve Preventive Maintenance

Whether you already have a preventive maintenance strategy in place or are ready to make the switch, you’ll benefit from our list of seven ways to improve preventive maintenance for your team:

#1: Utilize a mobile forms platform

One way to ensure frequent, routine inspections without hassle is to equip your maintenance teams with a mobile forms platform. This way, technicians can simply pull out their smart device on site, open up an app and access all their maintenance forms and assignments.

It’s also a lot easier to customize and update digital forms compared with paper forms. With FastField, for example, you’re able to build fully-customizable digital maintenance forms and manage them all in one place.

By equipping your team with the power to complete up-to-date inspection forms and checklists at their fingertips at all times, maintenance tasks can be performed more often and efficiently.

#2: Allow rich data capture

Optimize inspection and maintenance reports by allowing your team to capture photos, video and audio directly in the form. This helps streamline data collection to allow for quicker and more frequent inspections. It also improves communication by providing clear evidence of asset conditions and performance.

FastField not only allows multimedia capture, but annotations, captions, and time, date, and location stamps. This allows for more accurate reporting and record-keeping to improve preventive maintenance.

#3: Send work orders from the field

Preventive maintenance involves identifying signs of wear and tear, damage and potential problems before they become bigger issues. When components are in need of repair or replacement, it’s important to assign corrective action as quickly as possible to prevent failure.

Empower anyone on your team to send immediate work orders when issues are discovered. FastField’s Tasks feature lets maintenance personnel assign corrective actions with due dates, priority levels and detailed instructions – directly from the app.

#4: Automate maintenance reporting workflows

Work order assignments can also be automated. If a component was indicated to be in need of repair on an inspection form, for example, an automatic work order could be sent to the appropriate person.

This is possible by setting up conditional rules in your form (when “X” is inputed, do “Y” action). Create conditions throughout your form to trigger multiple corrective assignment actions at once to streamline maintenance processes. Automating your maintenance workflow leads to faster issue resolution and prevents mixups and misdeliveries of forms.

#5: Track the progress of maintenance tasks

Another essential aspect of preventive maintenance is keeping track of maintenance schedules and tasks. To improve this, use a system that lets you set up custom statuses with your digital forms, along with color codes, labels and due dates.

You’ll then be able to easily view the status of all assigned forms on your system’s database. The ability to search and filter forms by due date, form name, user and more will give you even better awareness of the status of your maintenance tasks.

#6: Receive automated notifications

Aside from actively monitoring the status of your maintenance forms, why not let the updates come to you? Set up automated notifications for issues that matter to you: failed items, overdue inspection forms, scheduled maintenance tasks and more.

Notifications can be automatically triggered by conditions that you predetermine. You can also set the channels that you’ll receive them on (e.g., email, SMS, Slack).

#7: Monitor KPIs at a glance

How do you know if your preventive maintenance practices are effective? Setting and monitoring maintenance KPIs will give you the insights you need to know if your team is performing well. Some metrics to consider are:
  • Equipment uptime
  • Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF)
  • Mean Time to Repair (MTTR)
  • Planned maintenance percentage
  • Inspection compliance rate
FastField lets you determine the KPIs that are important to you. Monitor them at a glance on your dashboard and receive alerts when standards are not met.

Gain More Uptime With FastField

Effective preventive maintenance requires a robust, dependable system to streamline data collection and provide meaningful insights.

FastField is an all-in-one platform that adapts to your maintenance needs. Create and dispatch dynamic mobile inspection forms for completion on any mobile device. Set up automated workflows to ensure instant delivery and quick response times. View KPIs and other insights at a glance on your custom dashboard.

Don’t let preventive maintenance slide into reactive maintenance. See how FastField can help your maintenance team work smarter and your assets live longer.
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