How can you reduce spending on preventive maintenance while sustaining equipment efficiency?

Every facility wants to reduce its spending, so it makes sense at some point to look at reducing maintenance costs. A lot of the time, though, those costs link directly to how reliable your equipment is, making it rather difficult to find ways to cut costs while maintaining the health of your assets. However, even the best PM programs probably have some places where they’re creating waste or not using their money effectively.

With all of these suggestions, it’s always important to constantly monitoryour equipment while implementing. When cutting costs in a preventive maintenance (PM) program, ideally your reliability should not take a hit.

Schedule optimization
There are two big ways you can reduce spending by optimizing your planned maintenance schedule.

The more obvious of the two is the case of under-maintenance: your equipment isn’t being maintained frequently enough, so the PM schedule should be widened to accommodate for more maintenance hours. While this might not seem like a money-saving strategy, you will save money on unplanned downtime and equipment replacements because your assets will be more reliable in the long run.

However, it’s also important to make sure your equipment isn’t being over-maintained. Some people may argue that this isn’t possible. I’d argue that if a piece of equipment requires inspections weekly and a facility does them daily, that might just be a waste of man-hours spent inspecting equipment that doesn’t need it.

Use available KPIs
For everyone who doesn’t know what a KPI is: the term KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator, which is a metric that helps you gauge how your organization or facility stacks up to others in the same industry.

Today it’s easier than ever to look up industry-specific KPIs and use them to measure your maintenance efforts. If your wrench time is much lower than industry standards, for instance, and you’re seeing low reliability as a result, it’s easy to pinpoint the problem and implement a solution.

Monitor your equipment
Without equipment monitoring of any kind, it’s difficult to understand the true health of your assets. In fact, with things like condition-based maintenance (CBM), it’s possible to monitor parameters that you didn’t even know played a role in your equipment’s health (like vibration analysis, for example).

As expensive as it can be to implement sensors, CBM can help optimize costs for a PM program because it allows you to only perform necessary maintenance. For instance, if a part needs to be lubricated only when it reaches a certain vibration level, then that’s the only time it needs to be done – no more wasting time and materials on daily lubrication.