← Back to the UpKeep blog

How to Execute Planned Preventive Maintenance with Meter Readings

One of the best ways to plan preventive maintenance is to use meter-based readings. Meter-based readings track and measure the condition of equipment, machinery, vehicles, and other assets. Readings are often logged with meter reading software.

For maintenance-related purposes, a meter reading app is often used to log measurements. This app is included with most computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS).

Meter reading software can track any piece of equipment or machinery that has a gauge attached to it. With a meter reading app, operators or technicians can easily log the following to help plan preventive maintenance:

  • Odometer readings: Truck operators log mileage on a scheduled basis. When a specified mileage is reached, a PM is automatically created for vehicle maintenance inside the CMMS.
  • Cycle counts for machinery: Machine operators or technicians log cycle counts. For an injection molding machine, for instance, a PM is created when ~250,000 cycles are logged. When the cycle count is reached, a PM is created.

These are just a few examples of readings that support planned preventive maintenance. But you can also take measurements of assets that don’t have affixed gauges. For instance, you can measure vibrations of machinery with vibration recorders. If hazardous vibrational activity is logged, a work order is automatically created in the CMMS.

How meter readings support smooth operations

To better understand how meter-based triggers work, let’s look at a construction company that has a large fleet of trucks for deliveries to and from its facilities. Knowing the condition of each truck — especially on busy nights — is essential for running a successful operation. If a truck suddenly breaks down, it disrupts scheduled deliveries and causes a loss in revenue.

As previously mentioned, meter readings can track the mileage of fleet vehicles. For example, if a construction company’s driver logs a reading that hits 6,000 miles (the trigger for an oil change), a work order is triggered to make that oil change happen. Performing this oil change keeps the driver safe and operations running smoothly.

Runtime data improves future preventive maintenance efforts

When a meter reading is logged, it creates an asset history for the the piece of equipment or machinery. It can later help improve preventive maintenance efforts by allowing a maintenance manager to assess how well a repair went. It can also inform them whether a PM is needed when a different condition is met or at an earlier/later time.

Maintenance workflow for meter-based PMs

Workflow for how meter readings impact planned preventive maintenance

Maintenance triggers that are not calendar-based are called runtime- or condition-based triggers. These are the triggers that meter readings make possible. They also inform maintenance managers and technicians when a specific runtime or condition is met.

Tracking aspects of PM other than those based on time paints a more detailed picture of what’s wrong with equipment and the best method to repair it.

Use meter-based triggers to create work orders

Custom triggers based on meter reading help you stay organized, which is important to properly plan ahead and avoid future incidents. You can customize the readings in whatever way works best for your maintenance management needs. Taking the time to set up meter-based reading triggers will help you get the most value from your CMMS.