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Deciding the perfect time to schedule and provide maintenance services for equipment in a business can be challenging. This is where planned maintenance comes to play. Planned maintenance is a term used to describe any maintenance activity that is planned, documented, and scheduled.

It is usually put in place to reduce equipment downtime and improve efficiency by reducing the risks of damage. Planned maintenance is an effective tool in running a business. Are you planning on implementing this maintenance strategy in your company? Here is all you need to know about planned maintenance.

Industrial worker indoors in factory doing planned maintenance

What Is Planned Maintenance?

Many businesses depend on equipment or machinery to operate. Without these machineries, the work rate will be reduced drastically, and the quality of work will suffer. For companies like this, it is important to keep equipment in tip-top shape.

This is because the more efficiently the equipment can function, the better the business can carry out its operations. More importantly, equipment is expensive to repair or replace. By keeping this machinery maintained, businesses can reduce the risks of expensive damages and equally expensive repairs.

Planned maintenance makes achieving all this possible. But what exactly does this term mean? Planned maintenance is a type of maintenance management that refers to any maintenance activity scheduled in advance to take place regularly.

This duration might be weekly, monthly, quarterly, or even annually. The duration usually varies with different factors such as the frequency of equipment usage, type of maintenance needed, and environment where the equipment or machinery is used.

Many businesses without an effectively planned maintenance strategy struggle with unplanned machine downtime that grinds business operations to a halt. These downtime sessions can become extremely expensive as they slow production.

For example, the average automotive manufacturer loses $22,000 per minute when the production line stops. Planned maintenance is a form of preventative maintenance that involves knowing the spare parts, tools, services, and maintenance tasks needed to solve a problem ahead of time.

Types of Planned Maintenance

There are two major types of planned maintenance. These include:

1. Planned Preventive Maintenance

Planned preventive maintenance (PPM) or planned preventative maintenance is dedicated to preventing unexpected equipment breakdown. It involves conducting regular and routine equipment maintenance to prevent unexpected equipment downtime and reduce costly damages. 

The objective of planned preventive maintenance is to create a schedule that tackles equipment faults before they arise and degenerate into more serious repairs. By scheduling these preventive maintenance tasks, companies can keep machine damage to a minimum. For example, a company can choose to maintain their vehicles after they run 3,000 miles.

Planned preventive maintenance utilizes industry standards and data insights to determine the best time to perform maintenance procedures. Some data factors used to determine the best scheduling plan include usage, duration, or condition-based factors. The goal is to maintain these assets while they are still in functioning order.

Some benefits of planned preventive maintenance include the following:

  1. A reduced risk of business interruptions 
  2. More efficient machines with an extended life span
  3. Reduced need to replace or repair equipment constantly
  4. Organized workforce management with a schedule that reduces time-wasting and wasting of resources 
  5. Improved health and safety compliance that results in a safer work environment
  6. Better budget management thanks to the elimination of expensive machine repairs

Planned preventive maintenance is the best for critical assets or equipment with vital roles in a company. Primary equipment drives the operation of a business, such as a truck in a logistics or moving company. This way, if this asset suffers a downtime, it directly and detrimentally affects the business. 

In this case, planned preventative maintenance ensures the asset does not suffer unexpected downtime. Planned preventive maintenance is also great for assets with statutory requirements and high replacement costs.

2. Planned Unscheduled Maintenance

Planned unscheduled is the less organized version of planned maintenance. It does not involve consistent scheduling of maintenance services. Planned unscheduled maintenance focuses more on delaying the upkeep of an asset until a breakdown occurs. 

The concept of planned unscheduled maintenance as a form of planned maintenance might sound ironic, especially since it waits for an asset to require repair service. However, while this type of planned maintenance might adopt a run-till-failure approach instead of a proactive one, it is just as effective.

In planned unscheduled maintenance, the breakdown is unexpected and cannot be guessed. However, although the time of the breakdown is not known, the business will already put in place a maintenance task, team, spare parts, and necessary equipment to handle the problem when it arises.

Planned unscheduled maintenance is a great maintenance option for assets where the cost of repair will be less than the cost of continuous maintenance. It is also best for single-use assets with affordable spare parts, non-critical assets, assets without statutory requirements, assets with low financial value, assets with sporadic failure patterns, and assets with a short lifespan.

The major benefit of unscheduled maintenance is it replaces maintenance costs with repairs. Planned unscheduled maintenance is best when the equipment is:

  • Not designed to be repairable
  • Located where it cannot be accessed for constant maintenance services
  • Designed to be replaced at the end of its lifespan
  • Easily bypassed or redundant systems are in place.


engineer people on construction site check drawing and business workflow

Planned Maintenance Workflow

Many businesses struggle to build a sustainable and effective planned maintenance strategy. Because there are lots of assets with different maintenance needs, it is important to be knowledgeable about the best way to schedule maintenance.

While every planned maintenance schedule is unique to the business, they all share one common workflow foundation. Below, we have highlighted the step-by-step parts of a planned maintenance workflow.

1. Identify The Problem And Create a Work Order

The first step in a planned maintenance workflow is to highlight the scope of the work. To do this, identify the asset to be maintained and gather information about it, including its failure modes and other useful information. 

Failure modes, in this case, describe certain ways that an asset and its components can fail. Other useful information refers to the asset’s major failure problem and other minor issues that may be related to it. The information collected plays an integral role in creating the maintenance schedule.

This information is often collected in response to a work order, although it might also be gathered based on a repeating schedule. Regardless, the information collected in this stage must be accurate.

2. Inspect The Asset And Its Surroundings

After gathering the necessary information about the asset(s) to be maintained, the schedule can now be outlined, and details of the work to be performed emerge. However, the manager and maintenance team must inspect the asset and its surroundings, as this environment is where the repair will take place.

When inspecting the environment, team members should take note of the layouts to determine possible obstructions (such as awkwardly positioned poles or scaffolding) and temporary equipment on-site. In this stage, the maintenance planner will also outline the scope of the maintenance task, what tools will be used, and the replacement parts or materials needed to complete the maintenance operation.

3. Order Spare Parts And Define The Work Process

Some maintenance operations require a clean-up service, such as a simple oil change. However, some require more advanced operations, such as replacing worn-out or damaged parts. In this workflow stage, the maintenance planner will order spare parts for future maintenance processes. 

The price of every spare part is fitted into the maintenance budget. The planner will also outline a process to complete maintenance tasks successfully. This will include standard operating procedures, shutdown procedures, access requirements, precautions, and other essential information.

4. Affix Priority Level To Work Orders

Every piece of equipment or machinery in an organization is essential to the operation of that organization. However, some are more important than others and must be urgently treated when providing maintenance services. In this stage of the workflow, the work orders in the schedule should be assigned a priority level that is low, medium, or high.

This will make it easier to know which asset requires urgent attention when necessary. To assign a priority level to a task or work order, the maintenance planner should consider factors such as equipment criticality, the risks or problems the task fixes, and the resources currently available to provide the necessary services.

The types of priority levels and what they mean include:

  • Low priority: The maintenance task is not sensitive and does not require critical equipment to be executed.
  • Medium priority: These are time-sensitive tasks that require critical equipment.
  • High priority: These are emergency and urgent maintenance tasks.

Businesses may also choose to use a number scale of 1-5 to assign priority. In this case, 5 represents emergency while 1 means least critical.

5. Schedule And Complete Planned Maintenance

At the final stage of the planned maintenance workflow, the scheduling phase begins. This marks the end of the planning stage, as the scheduling stage is often called a very different stage. In this stage, the tasks will be assigned to the necessary technicians.

A maintenance planner usually handles the maintenance schedules. However, sometimes a scheduler might take over the job. A CMMS application software can also be used in this final stage. A CMMS or computerized maintenance management system is software that centralizes maintenance information and facilitates maintenance operations.

It makes it easier to track assigned tasks to know and makes planned maintenance more efficient.

Benefits of Planned Maintenance

Planned maintenance offers numerous benefits that enable a company to be more efficient and productive. One major benefit is that it makes it easier to schedule maintenance tasks in a way that does not obstruct or interfere with regular operations at work. By having a plan for maintenance tasks, businesses can optimize time and resources to schedule maintenance effectively.

Some major benefits of planned maintenance include:

1. Reduced Asset Downtime

Assets do not last a lifetime. When operated continuously without being provided adequate maintenance or repair services when necessary, they break down or are extensively damaged. Faults, failures, and asset depreciation are unavoidable when operating equipment.

When they occur frequently, they can be costly to handle. Maintenance provides a solution by ensuring assets suffer minimal breakdowns that could interrupt the asset’s operation. With planned maintenance, businesses can reduce asset downtime. This is a great benefit, as downtime costs money and puts productivity at a standstill.

Planned maintenance makes it easier to resolve minor asset faults before they snowball into more serious problems. By handling pressing issues before they deteriorate, businesses can protect their assets better.

2. Reduced Maintenance Cost

As mentioned above, planned maintenance makes it easier to catch and tackle problems before they become worse. By doing this, businesses can catch small faults before it requires expensive replacements. This makes it easier to spend less on maintenance instead of the more expensive replacement options.

It reduces maintenance costs and keeps costly repairs at bay, helping the business save money and spend resources wisely.

3. Extended Asset Life

All equipment will, at some point, need to be replaced. However, planned maintenance increases asset lifespan and makes assets last longer. By ensuring that assets are properly maintained, businesses can enjoy maximum value on these assets before they need to be disposed of. This will also help businesses save money on constant replacement.

4. Increases Asset Salvage Value

Disposal is the last stage of an asset’s life cycle. It eliminates an asset from a company’s records, usually by selling or scrapping it as waste. Asset salvage value or scrap value is the amount that an asset is estimated to be worth at the end of its useful life.

An asset in good shape (at least by reasonable standards) at the end of its life cycle is worth more than one in bad shape. Planned maintenance ensures assets are in optimal condition. By doing so, it reduces the appearance of wear-and-tear and controls extensive damage to the assets.

This leaves the asset in manageable condition during disposal, increasing its salvage value.

5. Increased Workplace Safety

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) emphasizes the importance of employee safety. One way to provide this is to ensure all working equipment or assets are in great condition to reduce the possibility of an accident.

Planned maintenance prevents equipment failure by quickly attending to assets that need maintenance. This is especially important for workers that work in close proximity to assets that may overheat or cause electrocution when faulty.

6. Improved Workplace Culture

Planned maintenance leads to more efficient employees. This is because assets are usually in tip-top shape and encourage workers to be highly productive. Essentially, planned maintenance reduces not only asset downtime but also reduces the possibility of employee downtime.

Some other secondary benefits of planned maintenance include:

  • Improves communication between maintenance and operations, thereby ensuring everyone included is on the same page
  • Creates a way to monitor asset performance 
  • Establishes a way to evaluate maintenance activities to know how they can be improved
  • Ensures the manufacturer’s requirements for warranty compliance are met 
  • Makes it easier to budget around spare parts.

Role of Maintenance Departments

Maintenance departments are crucial to the success of planned maintenance strategies. They have toles they need to meet as the bulk of the maintenance responsibility rests on their shoulders. Some roles and responsibilities of the maintenance department in planned maintenance include:

  • Train supervisors to provide them with the skills and knowledge necessary for a successful planned maintenance strategy
  • Keeping the staffing level sufficient to meet the scheduled tasks
  • Ensure all instructions are followed, including doing all tasks to the required specifications
  • Informing managers and the purchasing department ahead of time when spare parts are needed
  • Maintain records of the work that was done and keep track of tasks
  • Provide reports of every maintenance task to the supervisor.

Implementing Planned Maintenance In Your Business

Planned maintenance is a great maintenance strategy for asset protection. By scheduling regular asset maintenance, you can reduce equipment downtime, reduce interruptions in production operations, and guarantee the safety of employees.

While this is great, implementing planned maintenance requires planning and allocating available resources. To achieve this, you need enough capital. At Coastal Kapital, we provide financing options to bring your planned maintenance vision to life. In 3 easy steps, you can easily and quickly access a financing solution you can trust.

Let us help your planned maintenance vision become a reality. Fill out the application form on our website to get started!

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