Maintenance Q&As

Why is preventive maintenance important for organizations?

Answered April 18 2019

Some facilities might see the cost of a PM program as prohibitive, but thinking like this is a bit short-sighted. Sure, preventive maintenance programs are not inexpensive, but the amount of money a good PM schedule can save on equipment downtime, emergency maintenance work, and lost profit due to failed assets more than outweighs the initial investment of implementation.

The importance of preventive maintenance

Much like predictive maintenance (PdM), Preventive Maintenance is extremely important for making sure your equipment runs as smoothly as possible at all times. It’s a little like your car – you want to maintain your vehicle before the issues occur so you’re not stranded on the side of the road.

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1. Asset Lifetime

Ideally, an organization wants its assets to be functional and effective for the longest possible period of time. However, when a facility only reacts to maintenance work, the lifespan of an asset becomes compromised because it’s constantly breaking down. Likewise with your car – if you constantly let it run dry, your car is liable to have significant damage that prevents it from running.

Preventive maintenance programs seek to solve issues of low asset lifetime by constantly maintaining assets at their highest potential. This is a double whammy – less downtime overall, as well as a longer and healthier life for the equipment.

2. Optimal Maintenance Planning

When facilities rely on reactive maintenance, their planned maintenance percentage (PMP) generally looks something like 90% reactive – 10% planned. This means that nearly all of their maintenance is reacting to emergencies, which poses some issues for forecasting necessary maintenance hours.

With a preventive maintenance program in place, the facility’s PMP (in world class examples) is reversed (90% planned, 10% reactive). The organization now plans out nearly every minute of maintenance time, allowing them to optimize what their maintenance team works on, as well as for how long.

3. Lower Costs Long-Term

We know that preventive maintenance programs can be expensive to start up, but how much money do they save in the long term? Some studies indicate that cost savings of anywhere from 12% to 18%. These numbers might seem small, but 12% over 10 or 20 years is a massive amount of money, far more than the initial investment to set up the PM program.

Where do these cost savings come from? Money saved comes from factors like lower amount of equipment downtime (increased runtime = increased profit), less frequent emergency repairs, less replacement equipment, better utilization of maintenance hours…Honestly, I could ramble on about the benefits all day.

Note: With modern CMMS software, preventive maintenance is easier than ever to track. UpKeep is one of many CMMS platforms that makes preventative maintenance easy. If you’re interested in starting a free trial, click here.

Asset Management Questions & Answers