Technology has led to industrial revolutions that have seen new ways and approaches developed and integrated into how things and processes are carried out. with this came the need for businesses to create ways in which the manufacturing process can be effective and avoid losses.
This is why business people turn to managed IT services providers for affordable server and computer services and remote monitoring of critical network components like servers and firewalls. The managed IT services also deal with data backup and disaster recovery, network security, custom software development services and technology evaluation and planning.
While this is a bold and necessary move, it can only be productive if the managed IT services are accompanied by preventative maintenance. This knowledge has seen many companies and organizations adopt the concept that includes regular care and servicing of equipment. The goal is to keep the equipment in a satisfactory operating condition, improve functionality and lifespan while avoiding emergency maintenance costs.
Despite the existence of companies like Synergy IT that provide exhaustive and inclusive managed services, some companies have trouble finding managed IT services providers that can provide preventative maintenance too.
This article is going to expound more on managed IT services and their preventive maintenance, the importance of preventive maintenance and preventive maintenance planning.
What is Preventive Maintenance?
Companies require well-maintained machines and processes in order to ensure seamless running and management of business. Any failure or unplanned downtime can have adverse effects on the operations as the necessary repairs cost time and money. This is where preventive or preventative maintenance comes in.
Preventive maintenance is the regular and routine carried out on equipment to maintain it functionality and avoid costly breakdowns. Preventive maintenance can only be successful if the routine is well-planned and scheduled before the breakdown occurs.
The schedule can be based on specified time intervals or certain usage levels. The main goal of any maintenance program is to avoid or minimize, the consequences of equipment failure. When scheduling regular preventive maintenance, ensure that the process keeps into account the records of the past inspections and the servicing equipment.
Emergency or unplanned maintenance can be expensive when losses in production, higher costs of sourcing repair and spare parts, time lost when responding to emergencies are considered. Planned maintenance helps companies and managers plan for the costs in advance making the budget more manageable. This can be done by gathering and coordinating spare parts, supplies and costs of services during downtime.
However, it is important to note that the process of preventative maintenance can be complex. Especially if the company is big with a large amount of equipment that needs maintenance. This is why such companies employ the use of managed service providers with preventive maintenance software that helps in the organization of necessary preventive maintenance tasks.
Benefits of Preventive Maintenance
However risky it is, most of us are victims of deferred maintenance. This could be due to a lack of knowledge or ignorance. With most facility management teams choosing to operate under the term “only fix it when it’s broken”, more and more companies are becoming victims of added costs and lost productivity.
Below are some of the benefits of preventive maintenance:
- It minimizes day-to-day work processes.
- Less wear and tear of the company’s equipment.
- Reduced costs of expenditure when it comes to manual inspections and maintenance.
- Decrease in equipment failure, which leads to reduced breakdowns and unplanned downtime.
- Improved reliability of equipment.
- Decreased risk of injury that may be caused by broken or worn-out equipment.
Types of Preventive Maintenance
As discussed below, there are different types of preventive maintenance and some of them require a different level of expert eyes and technical knowledge. The choice of your go-to option should aline with the size and number of machines and type of the industry.
When it comes to preventive time-based maintenance, you are supposed to create a monthly or annual schedule for inspection. The regulated schedule should comply with the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure the best possible operations.
When creating a time-based preventive maintenance plan, consider the major utilities, equipment, tools and technology that your business depends upon for success. Also, ensure you keep updated notes and records of maintenance and inspection to understand where you need extra care.
Usage-based maintenance focuses more on equipment monitors, operating hours and production cycles. It is mostly applicable to companies that use a certain machine regularly; especially those machines that produce tickets or notifications when they reach a certain number of operating hours.
Keeping the equipment and machines updated through usage-based maintenance ensures proper care and maintenance which translates to long-lasting use of important equipment.
Predictive maintenance relies on sensors to capture necessary information about the equipment, like temperature and vibration. This information is used to trigger inspection or upgrade orders. It focuses on monitoring the conditions of essential machines thus helping in racking performance and detect possible shortcomings that could cause a breakdown.
This type of maintenance is essential for manufacturing companies in the food and drinks industries. The information and data recorded can be used to predict the occurrence of system downtime.
Along the lines of predictive maintenance, prescriptive maintenance uses advanced analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence to generate predictions on maintenance and fix them.
In its entirety, prescriptive maintenance recommends the best ways to improve the system and its output. It also ensures the recommendations work as per the expectations by following and analyzing its functionality through the entire process. This is an advanced and complex technique for most companies.
Planning for Preventive Maintenance
How do you plan for preventive maintenance of your company? How do you ensure that machines won’t break down abruptly and cost your companies a lot of dollars that could otherwise have been saved? How do you ensure that you have an ideal preventive maintenance plan?
According to research, preventive maintenance leads to a 545% return on investment. With ROI like this, you can’t afford to pass on creating the ultimate preventative maintenance plan. Creating an ideal preventive maintenance plan requires you to fine-tune the frequency of preventive maintenance frequencies. It is important to find the right balance doing more or less preventive maintenance to reduce possible failures.
Below is an outline on how to set up a preventative maintenance plan:
Get the Right Team
Having the right people on board for this process will save you a lot of trouble and money. An effective team includes top management, maintenance managers and maintenance technicians. You will also need staff who understand the way your system operates who include data processing, accounting, craftsmen and members of production control.
Set Goals for the Plan
With the help of your preventative maintenance team, set goals that you look forward to achieving using the system. However, the primary goal of a preventive maintenance program is to prevent equipment failure before it occurs.
Create an Inventory of Equipment and Assets
This requires you to go through your company’s inventory and listing all the machines that should be considered for preventive maintenance. This will help in tracking costs and determining the urgency of maintenance per equipment. Also, remember their condition and the priority when it comes to inspection.
The list should include the following details:
- Make and model of the equipment
- Serial number
- Basic specification and capabilities
- Asset number, brass tag number or unit number
- Category (HVAC, plumbing, etc.)
- The location of the equipment
- The department that holds responsibility
- Any high-cost items of the asset
Create Long Term Preventive Maintenance Routine
Ideal preventive maintenance should consider your high costs vs. the priority of maintenance when it comes to scheduling. While it is normal to be anticipating failures, the goal is to prevent as many failures as possible. Create a schedule that can be broken down into shorter periods. Where the need is, use the manufacturer’s guidelines. Continue with the process until you have a long-term goal for each piece of equipment or machine. The report obtained is subject to reviews now and then, most likely annually.
Create Short Term Preventive Maintenance Routine
With long term routine, you can easily break it down into a short-term preventive maintenance routine. This stage prioritizes tasks that are important and urgent.
Stay Updated… Train and Train
Negligence will cost you more than lack of planning. This is why you need to stay updated on the management and maintenance of the equipment and its condition. Ensure that every operator understands each machine and process they are dealing with.
Choosing Managed IT Services Provider
When choosing managed IT service providers, you should choose a company that offers preventive maintenance too. To ensure the sustainability of your investment, you need to put into consideration the constant evolution of technology and its costs and impacts on your business.
Some of the things to consider include:
- Support and Monitoring
- Operational Maintenance
- Preventive or Corrective Maintenance
- Performance Management
- Managed Services
Synergy IT Solutions has professionals who understand all the retrospect of managed IT services and preventive maintenance. They have a better understanding of respective data and trends that they can use to offer decisions on whether to repair or not specific equipment to prevent any unplanned downtimes.
Managing and maintaining IT services can be complex. But with the right team and plan, your company will save a lot of time and money.