Since the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way facilities operate, you should review and recreate your preventive maintenance plan.
The last thing you want is for current events to ruin all the processes you implemented to create a smooth-running facility. Don’t allow recent unchartered situations to revert your facility to solely reactive maintenance incidents. Preventive maintenance will keep things moving on schedule and lessen the likelihood of a major breakdown within your facility.
In a time when budgets are tight and it’s important to be lean, don’t sacrifice your preventive maintenance plan. The results could waste tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in the long run.
Review your plan with major stakeholders and department leaders
Your previous preventive maintenance program may still have a good foundation, it may only need some tweaks. It may also need a complete overhaul. You won’t really know until you discuss the plan with department leaders.
When you include all departments in the review, development and implementation of your program, it will help prevent unplanned downtime and ensure changes in current maintenance needs are addressed.
- Meet and discuss the needs of each department and update your preventive maintenance program.
- Create assignments and update your master preventive maintenance plan.
- Schedule future meetings (monthly or quarterly) to discuss any changes in the departments’ needs.
- Continue to build and improve the preventive maintenance plan as changes in personnel and equipment needs occur.
- When possible, include the operators in discussions and rely on their experience.
The pandemic has increased business for some companies, decreased it for others, and has some organizations pivoting and changing their product and distribution focus.
As more business need to change their outlook or the needs of their facilities, updating goals has become necessary. You may find new maintenance needs or new methods and processes have to be created for the wellbeing of personnel.
- What are your most critical assets – have your goals or assets changed?
- Consider restraints for maintenance time, access and wellbeing (allowing for social distancing, PPE needs and facility access).
- Can regular maintenance be done by internal staff or will it require external personnel to enter to your facility?
- What will be the requirements for visitors (temperature check, PPE or an escort)?
Make sure you build in additional time for the shipping of parts and materials.
Some regular care and maintenance may need to be adjusted depending on your needs. For example, if your facility is near the fires in California, your HVAC maintenance will need to occur much more frequently, and the filter will need to be changed often. However, if your production has slowed, you may be able to allow more time in between inspections and parts replacement.
- Create a new schedule for inspections and maintenance based on current production or environment.
- Use manufacturer material guidelines to establish frequency timelines.
- Make sure maintenance is not completed too late OR too early.
- Set calendar reminders to prompt you to review and adjust the schedule regularly as things change.
Communicate, train and retrain
Don’t let all your careful planning and hard work go to waste because there was a failure to communicate the new plan (or changes to the plan). Strong communication and a good training program for those working with and managing the maintenance of your equipment will help your new plan be successful.
- Make sure you talk to each machine operator, before and after adjusting your preventive maintenance plan. They will help you grasp a clear picture of the needs of the machinery and be a great resource for gauging what needs to occur and when it should happen.
- During training, make sure you demonstrate correct procedures for regular maintenance and adjustments and allow operators to provide you feedback. They know the little things that help make the machine run better.
- Update your training for service and repair procedures, and make sure operations personnel understand how to safely use, inspect and maintain the equipment.
- Keep the log process simple to ensure its use and adjust the time that is needed into their schedule to inspect, lubricate, and clean up.
A preventive maintenance plan is critical to any maintenance management program and balancing it with a smart reactive maintenance plan and a predictive plan will help you avoid unplanned downtime and increase productivity while operating within budget.
These are challenging times but Flagship's customizable approach to your facility's needs will help you protect employees and your assets now and into the future.