The goal of creating a maintenance strategy for your manufacturing plant is to avoid having your assets go down and need unexpected maintenance. When this happens, it can put your plant behind schedule, costing you money and resources. The goal is to keep your equipment running smoothly during normal operating hours and schedule your maintenance during off-hours or slower times to minimize the impact.

Your maintenance team should have some sort of prioritization scheduling to tell them what to do on a normal workday. There might be breakdowns and unexpected maintenance that distracts them for a short time but the goal is to keep them doing preventative maintenance to avoid breakdowns. Here’s a look at the steps you should take to build out your manufacturing plant maintenance strategy.

Implement a computerized maintenance management system
To get the necessary data and insights into your maintenance needs, you should implement a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS).

A CMMS will allow you to log and report on many factors that go into your maintenance schedule. Some of these items might include:

– Frequency of asset calibration
– Average wear time on a part
– Lifetime of equipment
– Supply timelines for parts
– Overtime for staff
– How long it takes for a technician to maintenance each type of equipment

The more you know about your maintenance within your manufacturing plant, the more informed your maintenance scheduling can become. CMMS offers reporting on these and other aspects of your operations so you can operate your business more efficiently and effectively.

Bucket the types of maintenance you must complete
Now that you have a way of capturing the important data that you need to build your maintenance schedule, you’re ready to start bucketing the types of maintenance that you do regularly. These buckets might look something like this:

Preventative: This type of maintenance is designed to avoid breakdowns and increase safety for workers. In preventative maintenance, technicians calibrate machinery and update parts, such as hoses, belts or other pieces that wear out regularly to avoid the equipment going down unexpectedly.
Scheduled: Scheduled maintenance is much like preventative maintenance in working to avoid breakdowns. In scheduled maintenance, technicians run tests and complete inspections on a scheduled basis to ensure equipment is running smoothly.
Predictive: As you build up even more data within your CMMS, you’ll start to know the intervals at which you need to change out equipment. This might not be based on a calendar maintenance schedule though but off of the hours’ equipment runs or the number of units produced. Using this data allows you to get even more granular in how you schedule predictive maintenance.
Breakdown: Even with a perfect maintenance schedule, you’ll still experience a breakdown at times. It’s important to allow time within your schedules for unexpected breakdowns and fixes. If all your technicians are busy when a breakdown occurs, you’ll be hard-pressed to get the equipment back up and running in a timely manner. While you want to avoid breakdowns, you still need to plan for breakdowns in your maintenance scheduling.

Review data and build a schedule that works for you
From your reports, now you can build out a maintenance strategy that works for you. You want to maximize the usefulness of your equipment and parts while also ensuring that you don’t have lost productivity times due to pushing those maintenance schedules too hard.

The data on previous maintenance cycles and how long a maintenance activity takes your technicians will guide you in building out a schedule that offers efficiency and cost-savings.

For your maintenance schedule to be effective, you’ll need to keep reviewing it and updating it based on new data. Set up a process for quarterly reviews and updates to your schedule to ensure you maximize your efficiencies through a maintenance schedule.

Want to learn how CMMS can automate some of your processes and make creating a maintenance schedule simple? Schedule a demo of Eagle to see our technology in action.