Preventive Maintenance Software

CMMS ExplainedWhat is preventive maintenance?

Preventive maintenance (PM), involves routine maintenance activities performed on equipment to ensure it remains operational and to prevent unexpected breakdowns or costly emergency repairs. This proactive approach aims to extend the lifespan of equipment, enhance efficiency, and reduce the likelihood of failures. Effective preventive maintenance management can be complex, often requiring meticulous scheduling, tracking, and execution of maintenance tasks. To streamline this process, many organizations utilize computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS), which help in planning, monitoring, and documenting maintenance activities, thereby improving overall maintenance efficiency and reliability.

Types of Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance (PM) involves various strategies aimed at keeping equipment running smoothly and avoiding unexpected breakdowns. The main types of preventive maintenance are:

Time-Based Maintenance (TBM)

Also called calendar-based maintenance, this method involves scheduling maintenance tasks at regular intervals—daily, weekly, monthly, or annually—regardless of how much the equipment is used. It works well for equipment with predictable wear and tear, often following guidelines set by manufacturers or industry standards.

Usage-Based Maintenance

This strategy schedules maintenance based on actual usage metrics, such as hours of operation, mileage, or cycles completed. It ensures that maintenance aligns with the wear and tear experienced by the equipment, making it ideal for assets with variable usage patterns.

Condition-Based Maintenance (CBM

CBM involves monitoring the actual condition of equipment using sensors and data analysis to perform maintenance only when needed. This approach relies on real-time data to identify early signs of potential failures, allowing for targeted interventions.

Reliability-Centered Maintenance (RCM)

Initially developed for the aviation sector, Reliability-Centered Maintenance (RCM) determines the most effective maintenance strategy for each piece of equipment by evaluating its criticality and the impact of its failure. This method aims to improve the reliability and safety of equipment by tailoring maintenance tasks to the specific needs and operational context of each asset.

Predictive Maintenance (PdM)

Predictive maintenance utilizes advanced methodologies such as machine learning and data analytics to ascertain the optimal timing for maintenance activities based on the real-time condition and performance trends of the equipment. The primary objective is to conduct maintenance just before a potential failure, thereby optimizing maintenance efforts and minimizing downtime.

Failure-Finding Maintenance (FFM): This type of maintenance is aimed at detecting hidden failures, particularly in safety mechanisms and protective functions. It involves regular checks to ensure that these components are functional and can prevent larger failures.

Risk-Based Maintenance (RBM): RBM prioritizes maintenance tasks based on the risk associated with equipment failure. It focuses on high-risk assets and ensures that maintenance resources are allocated efficiently to mitigate potential risks

Key Features of Preventive Maintenace Software

Tailored Maintenance Scheduling

Customizes detailed maintenance schedules for each piece of equipment, meticulously outlining specific inspections and preventive tasks. This feature ensures that maintenance activities are precisely aligned with equipment needs, optimizing operational reliability and longevity.

Efficient Work Order Management

Streamlines the creation, assignment, and tracking of work orders within the system. This capability ensures that all maintenance tasks are efficiently documented and managed, facilitating seamless coordination among maintenance teams and minimizing downtime.

Insightful Reporting Tools

Empower users with advanced reporting tools to generate comprehensive reports. These tools enable deep analysis of maintenance data, revealing trends, highlighting areas for enhancement, and facilitating data-driven decisions to improve overall maintenance efficiency and equipment performance.

Comprehensive Checklists

Integrates interactive checklists within the preventive maintenance program, ensuring thorough completion of each specific PM task for equipment. This feature enhances compliance with maintenance standards, promotes consistency in maintenance practices, and supports regulatory requirements.

Mobile Accessibility

Provides mobile application integration for maintenance teams to access schedules, work orders, and checklists on the go. This feature allows real-time updates, seamless communication, and the ability to attach photos directly to tasks, enhancing flexibility and responsiveness in maintenance operations.

Benefits of Preventive Maintenance Software?

Preventive maintenance (PM) offers several benefits that boost the efficiency, safety, and lifespan of equipment and facilities. Key advantages include:

Reduced Downtime

By proactively addressing potential issues before they cause equipment failure, preventive maintenance minimizes unplanned downtime. This approach helps ensure continuous production and avoids the costly disruptions that come with unexpected breakdowns.

Lower Costs

By scheduling regular maintenance, companies can avoid the higher costs associated with emergency repairs and overnight shipping of parts. Preventive maintenance typically requires fewer resources compared to reactive maintenance, leading to significant cost savings.

Increased Equipment Lifespan

Regular maintenance tasks such as replacing parts, refilling fluids, and performing inspections help keep equipment in optimal working condition. This proactive approach extends the lifespan of assets, reducing the frequency and cost of replacements.

Improved Energy Efficiency

Implementing regular maintenance practices ensures that equipment operates at optimal efficiency levels, leading to reduced energy consumption and minimized waste. This not only results in lower utility expenses but also supports sustainability goals by enhancing overall energy management.

Enhanced Safety Standards

By conducting routine maintenance checks, potential safety hazards in the workplace can be identified and promptly addressed. This proactive approach not only fosters a safer working environment but also mitigates the risks of workplace accidents and ensures compliance with stringent safety regulations.

Higher Compliance

Preventive maintenance programs often include features that help manage compliance with industry standards and regulations. This can prevent fines and legal issues related to non-compliance.

Increased Productivity

By reducing the likelihood of unexpected downtimes and ensuring equipment is always in good working condition, preventive maintenance enhances overall productivity. Employees can work without interruptions, leading to more efficient operations.

Improved Customer Satisfaction

Maintaining equipment regularly ensures consistent product quality and timely deliveries by minimizing downtime and enhancing reliability. This reliability boosts customer satisfaction, as they receive products on schedule and of superior quality, thereby strengthening the company’s reputation for dependable service.

Reduced Need for Emergency Repairs

Implementing preventive maintenance reduces the frequency of costly emergency repairs, allowing businesses to allocate resources more effectively and plan operations efficiently. This proactive approach minimizes disruptions to production and service delivery, ensuring smoother operations and enhancing overall business resilience.

Enhanced Asset Management

A well-implemented preventive maintenance program helps in better asset management by keeping detailed records of maintenance activities, which can inform future maintenance decisions and improve overall asset performance.

Steps to Create a Preventive Maintenance Plan

Get People on Board

Involve the right people in the decision-making process. This includes top management and staff members who understand the maintenance department’s operations. Their input is crucial for creating a realistic and effective plan.

Identify the End Goal

Establish short-term and long-term preventive maintenance (PM) goals at the beginning. Goals may include reducing downtime by a certain number of hours or decreasing reactive repair costs by a specific percentage.

Assess Your Inventory

Perform an in-depth asset assessment. This includes all assets that might require maintenance or repair, such as buildings, manufacturing equipment, vehicles, HVAC systems, and other miscellaneous assets. Document their current condition and categorize them by criticality to prioritize maintenance work accordingly.

Inventory All Assets

Create a detailed inventory of all equipment, including serial numbers, specifications, and current condition. Assign a unique identifying number to each piece of equipment, which should be clearly marked, possibly with a barcode label. Consider using routes to group similar equipment together, allowing a single PM work order to cover multiple pieces of equipment requiring the same procedure.

Identify PM Maintenance Tasks and Triggers

Thoroughly document all essential maintenance tasks specific to each piece of equipment. Employ insights from OEM guidelines and historical maintenance records to discern recurring patterns and triggers for these tasks. These triggers may encompass scheduled intervals, operational usage thresholds, or assessments of equipment condition.

Determine the Frequency of Preventive Maintenance

Decide the type and frequency of PM needed for each piece of equipment. Maintenance can be triggered by usage (e.g., running hours, cycles, miles) or elapsed time (e.g., every three months or 3,000 miles). Consult the manufacturer’s recommendations if unsure about the appropriate procedures.

Consider the Timing of PM Procedures

When setting the frequency, consider generating work orders in advance to allow time for gathering or ordering parts. Spread out the timing of work orders to avoid having multiple procedures due on the same day.

Create Detailed Checklists

Develop detailed checklists for each maintenance task to ensure thoroughness and consistency. These checklists should include step-by-step instructions for completing each task.

Plan the Labor Time

Include the estimated time required to complete each task so workers can plan their day effectively. Optionally, specify who will perform the work, either by individual, crew, craft, or shift.

Implement PM Program

Share the plan, train staff on procedures and documentation. Prioritize critical assets initially.

Set Up a Management System

Use CMMS software to automate scheduling, documentation, reporting, and analysis for efficiency.


Ensure all maintenance staff understand PM procedures and any software thoroughly. Repeat as needed.

Monitor Performance

Track KPIs like uptime, costs, and repair times. Analyze reports and adjust plan for improvement.

Review and Update

Regularly review historical data and update PM schedules and procedures accordingly.

Measuring Preventive Maintenance Success

Determining the success of a preventive maintenance plan involves evaluating several key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics, which can be effectively tracked through a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS). Here are some steps to help you measure the effectiveness of your preventive maintenance plan:

Equipment Downtime Reduction: Measure the reduction in unplanned downtime for equipment. Successful preventive maintenance should lead to fewer unexpected breakdowns and disruptions to operations.

Increased Equipment Reliability: Track the reliability of your equipment over time. A successful plan should result in improved reliability, meaning equipment operates consistently without frequent failures.

Extended Equipment Lifespan: Assess whether the preventive maintenance activities are helping to prolong the lifespan of your equipment. This can be measured by comparing the expected lifespan of equipment with actual performance after implementing preventive measures.

Cost Savings: Evaluate the financial benefits of preventive maintenance by calculating savings from reduced emergency repairs, decreased downtime, and optimized resource utilization.

Maintenance Costs: Monitor the overall maintenance costs before and after implementing preventive measures. While preventive maintenance may involve upfront costs, it should ideally reduce overall maintenance expenses over time.

Compliance and Safety: Assess the impact of preventive maintenance on regulatory compliance and workplace safety, analyzing its effectiveness in mitigating equipment-related risks and ensuring adherence to safety standards.

Feedback from Maintenance Teams: Gather feedback from maintenance personnel on the effectiveness of the preventive maintenance plan, that has been tracked and managed through the CMMS. They can provide insights into the ease of implementation, effectiveness of tasks, and any areas needing improvement.

Equipment Performance Metrics: Utilize specific metrics such as mean time between failures (MTBF), mean time to repair (MTTR), and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) within the CMMS to gauge improvements resulting from preventive maintenance efforts.

Customer and Stakeholder Satisfaction: Consider feedback from internal stakeholders and customers regarding equipment reliability and service quality, which can be captured and analyzed through the CMMS. A successful preventive maintenance plan should contribute to overall satisfaction by ensuring dependable service and product quality.

Continuous Improvement: Regularly review and adjust the preventive maintenance plan based on performance metrics and feedback tracked through the CMMS. Continuous improvement ensures the plan remains effective in meeting operational goals and adapting to changing circumstances.

Final Thoughts

A well-executed preventive maintenance strategy, using sophisticated CMMS tools like eWorkOrders, significantly minimizes operational disruptions, ensures regulatory compliance, strengthens customer satisfaction, and improves organizational resilience. eWorkOrders CMMS provides powerful tools for creating and scheduling preventive maintenance work orders, tracking maintenance history, and generating insightful reports. This proactive approach extends the lifespan of assets, reduces unscheduled downtime, and lowers repair costs, ultimately enhancing the efficiency and reliability of maintenance operations. 

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