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How to create "perfect" Preventive Maintenance?

Updated: Oct 25, 2022

It goes without saying that creating Preventive Maintenance instructions is a complex task. I have chosen in this article to expose you to a different view of what everyone does.

msapp - The Maintenance as a Service revolution


It is well known, any creation of Preventive Maintenance begins by reading the OEM's operation & maintenance manual of the machine concerned.

Yes, I know, it's unreadable! 300 pages of technical words, gathered in a PDF file whose summary is 40 pages alone! This is leading to problem number one!

Problem number 1: OEM's operation & maintenance manual format

It is well known in human nature that a latent problem no longer becomes a problem when it is bypassed. But it's wrong. OEMs have now sold their machines with paper documentation or a pdf file for more than 40 years. And it's becoming a problem, a very costly problem for your business. Because without knowing it, you will have to pay throughout the life cycle of this machine, the initial implementation of preventive maintenance and the constant updating of your CMMS. (Computerized Maintenance Management System). You will find by clicking HERE another article entirely related to this problem.

This is why I strongly suggest you, upon signing the purchase contract for a new machine, to impose on the OEM your wishes in terms of format for Preventive Maintenance.

I'll let you do the calculation, but I think it's important to ask you to take into account the following points while defining the production requirement.

  • OEM's operation & maintenance manual format

  • Asset tree full structure (including complete BOMs)

  • Information (Rich media, precise checks...)

  • Data entry (Accurate feedback, thresholds...)

It is also interesting to note that a new format called Industrial Maintenance as a Service (#IMaaS), can offer you via subscription, the automated provision of your Preventive Maintenance. Click HERE to read more about it.

Problem number 2: ASSET TREE

We all know that the heart of a maintenance system's information is your asset tree. Start by building a tree that makes sense to your operators and technicians. They are the ones who will use it every day.

Keep it simple:

  • Machine line

  • Machines

  • Equipment

  • Products (Spare parts, consumables or tools.)

It is, in my opinion, useless to break down your machines into an infinite number of levels! The 4 levels (listed above) should suffice. This will allow your users to eliminate bad selections and always choose the right equipment. But the biggest advantage is that the data on your system will be reliable (Very often, managers, rightly, do not trust CMMS data).

And, yes, I am one of those who think that this will in no way affect your reporting. On average, each piece of equipment on your machine should receive a maximum of 10 failures per year ... Not really difficult to isolate a repetitive problem ... In addition, this will allow a reliable engineer to add value to the system.

It is interesting to note that Maintenance as a Service will allow you a continuous and live update of your OEM's BOMs, obsolete parts, contents ...)

Problem number 3: INFORMATION

Your preventive maintenance must be rich in information. It is really disturbing to see the content of certain preventive maintenance tasks these days. To be effective, only one keyword: EDUCATION. Your preventive maintenance system must engage users. They must, through the instructions, understand that the tasks requested are important.

To get there, the use of "rich media" is crucial. Images and videos must be used in order to show, while hiding any possible doubt, the task requested. This will provide flawless precision that will leave no questions for the user. I read, a long time ago, a study on social networks, revealing that the vast majority of information transmitted by the brain is visual (Sorry, I can't remember the source). And also that visual information promotes motor reaction / translation. And it's just common sense, would you like to click on a video or blog link first? It's exactly the same for maintenance.

At a minimum, each individual task must contain the answers to the following questions:

  • What?

  • Why?

  • How?

  • Is it safe?

  • How many?

  • How long?

  • Where?

  • With what?

  • What if...

It is important to build a standard, regardless of the software used. Your users must develop automatic mechanisms to obtain information (Both operation and maintenance). They must know how and where to look.

It is also interesting to note that this will encourage the implementation of tools such as the RCM (Reliability Centered Maintenance).

Problem number 4: DATA ENTRY

Feedback from your users is very important. And you can't pretend to collect good information if you don't ask for it in your preventive maintenance. Therefore, you should encourage your users' request for feedback.

Apart from the machine's feedback (connected sensors, IIOT, etc.), you must understand what are the physical measurements and readings that will allow your users to trigger corrective actions in advance. This will allow you to work without pressure (you, production, maintenance, accounting ...) and you give time to make decisions or order the right parts at the right time and especially before any breakdown.

For example, set up precise data to collect, measurement that will be easily comparable to the thresholds. This could enable Prescriptive Maintenance. Click HERE to know what is it.

You may also include documented recurring corrective maintenance tasks in the near future.


As stated in the introduction, setting up a good preventive maintenance system is a complex task. But I hope that these 4 steps will change your look to avoid the traps that the maintenance industry now considers normal.

As Simon Sinek puts it very well:

  • "Three quarters of an answer is better than an answer and a half."

  • "Don't show up to prove. Show up to improve."

You can start now by contacting us for more information.

I hope this article sheds some light on the subject.

Do not hesitate to leave your comments and raise questions.

Thank you for your time.

This article is based on suggestions and personal studies aimed at generalising information. Please be respectful in your comments.

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