Maintenance Q&As

Planned Maintenance Systems (PMS) + 6 Features

Answered September 23 2019

A planned maintenance system, or PMS, helps maintenance teams track recurring maintenance tasks. These systems are designed to make sure each preventive maintenance task occurs exactly as expected by managers, based on set intervals.

Image of man in business uniform standing next to gears, describing a planned maintenance system.

What is a planned maintenance system (PMS)?

A planned maintenance system is a software system that allows maintenance teams and operators to plan maintenance tasks. They’re able to request and schedule tasks in set intervals based on each asset’s requirements. Once the work is done, the task is recorded as complete.

Benefits of a planned maintenance system

Planned maintenance systems help your crew organize their maintenance tasks in a way that improves efficiency and reliability. In addition, the data provided by the system makes reporting and compliance easier. To accomplish that, a PMS does the following:

  • Centralizes maintenance and equipment management into one platform.
  • Keeps consistent records of all maintenance tasks.
  • Gives easy access to information needed for maintenance planning and reporting.
  • Defines necessary tasks, whether based on condition monitoring, meter readings, or calendar dates.
  • Schedules necessary tasks as needed.
  • Maintains up-to-date records on individual pieces of equipment.
  • Keeps records of stock-counts for MRO items.

The end results are extended asset life, reduced maintenance costs, and decreased equipment downtime.

6 Features of a Planned Maintenance System’s Needs

The most effective PMS’s have specific features that allow maintenance teams to keep on top of tasks. The features listed below will make the ultimate planned maintenance system.

1. Work order management

Perhaps the most basic feature your PMS should have is work order management. You should be able to easily create, assign, and manage work orders through your planned maintenance system without any hassle.

In addition to work order management, a PMS should allow your operators to submit work requests. Those requests get sent to your software platform where your maintenance planner can approve or reject each one, set priority levels, and set specific deadlines for their completion.

2. Inventory management

Along with planning actual maintenance tasks by creating work orders, your PMS should help you manage replacement parts and equipment. Each maintenance task requires specific tools and parts, so you need to make sure those are available with an inventory management system.

Ideally, your system should allow you to log the number of in-stock parts you have for each asset. Having that information on hand helps planners make sure parts are available when it comes time to complete each assigned work order. Once the work order is complete, that information is automatically updated.

3. Meter reading software

A large percentage of maintenance teams use a time-based approach to preventive, or preventative, maintenance. However, sometimes it’s not the number of days of operation, but the number of rotations or cycles your equipment goes through that determines when the next checkup should be.

A PMS that allows you to log meter readings for individual assets will allow you to schedule PMs based on data that’s more reliable than a set number of days, weeks, or months.

Tip: Meter-reading software can take your maintenance team from a purely preventive maintenance approach to condition-based and predictive maintenance strategies.

4. PM scheduling

Preventive maintenance scheduling is central to keeping on top of recurring maintenance tasks. Each asset has components that need to be checked on every so often.

Your PMS should make it easy to set recurring PM tasks for each asset, allowing you to set specific time or meter-based periods for each one.

Tip: Manufacturers will typically recommend specific time or meter-based intervals for equipment checkups.

5. Downtime tracking

Equipment downtime tracking gives you insight into how often equipment fails and how long it stays down when it does. When cross-referenced with work order information, your downtime tracking can help you pinpoint exactly what’s going wrong and why.

While it might cost a bit extra to get downtime tracking with your planned maintenance system, it can help you reduce costs in the long run by giving you greater insight into your equipment’s performance.

6. KPI dashboards & tracking

Once work orders are complete and maintenance data has been logged into the system, that data should be easy to access. Access to key performance indicators (KPIs) through a central software dashboard helps your maintenance planner make important decisions about what adjustments should be made to current practices.

For example, information on schedule compliance can alert your team to potential barriers to completing work orders. Equipment downtime and mean time between failures (MTBF) could provide insight into the effectiveness of your current practices. Making that information easy to access through a KPI dashboard helps your team become more responsive and adaptable.

How to implement a planned maintenance system

Once you’ve resolved upon a PMS to use, you’ll need to implement it. Typically, PMS implementation follows these steps:

Step 1: Get your current data together

Before you do anything else, you’ll need to get your current maintenance data together. Doing so will make it easier to send it over to your PMS platform.

Step 2: Choose and install a software platform

Select a software solution—typically a CMMS like Upkeep—that includes the features listed above.

Step 3: Plug in your data

Add assets and past work order data to your new PMS. That might take a while, so you’ll want a team dedicated to porting the data over.

Step 4: Train up

Having new software won’t automatically improve your maintenance management. Your team needs to be trained to use it (which is easy for systems that are user-friendly, fortunately).

Step 5: Follow-up

Keep an eye on KPI data and meet with your maintenance team to discuss further improvements.

Tip: This process is simple with a packaged system like Upkeep, which strives to make implementation as straightforward as possible. All the features you need are included, and it’s easy to integrate the system with your current maintenance practices.

Key takeaways

Implementing a planned maintenance system allows you to manage your maintenance tasks in a precise and intentional way, make data-based decisions, and ultimately improve reliability at your facility. With the right system, implementation is easy, and the end result will be reduced maintenance and operation costs.

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