Why Preventative Maintenance is a Vital Part of Any Businesses Maintenance Strategy
In today's fast-paced business landscape, the adage "time is money" has never been more pertinent.
According to a recent study by Oneserve, UK manufacturers face a staggering £180 billion in costs annually due to unplanned downtime of critical assets. This alarming figure is a stark reminder of the financial repercussions of not having a robust maintenance strategy in place. As businesses voice concerns over dwindling productivity, increased operational costs, and compromised asset longevity, the clarion call for a solution is evident. Preventative maintenance emerges not only as an option but a necessity to any businesses maintenance strategy.
Understanding Preventive Maintenance
Preventive maintenance is a strategic approach that focuses on averting equipment failures by conducting regular inspections, routine maintenance, and preemptive repairs. According to IBM, through techniques like machine learning and operational data analytics, preventive maintenance can optimise maintenance routines, ensuring stable operations and resolving issues even before they arise. This approach not only ensures equipment reliability but also enhances overall productivity.
In essence, adopting a preventive maintenance strategy is not just about cost savings; it's about ensuring operational excellence, extending equipment lifespan, and fostering a safer working environment.
The Benefits of Implementing Preventive Maintenance into a Maintenance Strategy
Averting Downtime and Elevating Efficiency
Asset downtime isn't merely about halted machinery or paused services, it translates to lost revenue, increased operational costs due to rush repairs, and potential penalties from unmet contractual obligations. Moreover, it can erode customer trust, as delays and inconsistencies can tarnish a company's reputation. Recent data from Infraspeak highlights that a staggering 93% of companies view their maintenance processes as inefficient. This signals that many businesses are precariously positioned on the edge of these disruptions, amplifying the risk of cascading consequences that can reverberate throughout their operations, stakeholder relationships, and bottom lines.
Preventative maintenance is not just about averting equipment failures; it's a strategic endeavour that ensures machinery and assets operate at peak efficiency, reducing the risk of unexpected breakdowns. A survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that a staggering 95% of respondents reported improvements in at least one key maintenance value driver due to predictive maintenance, with 60% witnessing a marked enhancement in equipment uptime. For any enterprise, this translates to more reliable operations, reduced operational costs, and a bolstered bottom line, positioning them favourably in a competitive marketplace.
Moreover, the financial implications are profound. The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) underscores that preventive maintenance can curtail downtime by 30-50% and prolong the life expectancy of equipment by 20-40%. This not only amplifies productivity but also augments customer satisfaction, a crucial metric in today's competitive landscape where timely delivery can make or break a business's reputation.
Less Expenditure on Unexpected Repairs
In the intricate financial ecosystem of modern businesses, every decision has a ripple effect on the bottom line. One of these decisions is the choice between investing in preventive measures or relying on reactive maintenance strategies. While the former requires an upfront investment, the dividends it pays in the long run are undeniable. A compelling study by Jones Lang LaSalle illustrates this, revealing that businesses can achieve savings of 12-18% by adopting preventive maintenance over its reactive counterpart. The National Institute of Standards and Technology further amplifies this narrative, highlighting that reactive approaches can incur costs that are 2 to 5 times higher than preventive strategies.
But what do these percentages and figures truly mean for businesses? They translate to tangible benefits: minimised repair costs, enhanced energy efficiency, and prolonged equipment longevity. More critically, they address one of the most pressing pain points for businesses: the astronomical costs of unplanned downtimes. Catastrophic equipment failures don't just bring repair or replacement bills; they usher in a cascade of expenses—from lost production and increased overtime to the premium prices of expedited part shipments. In a volatile market landscape, such proactive measures are the bedrock of resilience, ensuring businesses not only survive but thrive amidst challenges.
Compliance with Regulations
Preventative maintenance plays a pivotal role in ensuring businesses adhere to compliance regulations, safeguarding them from potential legal repercussions and financial penalties. According to a study by the Plant Engineering Magazine, regular maintenance can reduce the risk of non-compliance by up to 66%. This is because many industry-specific regulations, such as those in the pharmaceutical, food processing, and energy sectors, mandate regular equipment checks and maintenance to ensure safety and quality standards. For instance, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) in the U.S. requires food processing plants to implement preventive controls, including equipment maintenance, to ensure food safety. Similarly, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates that machinery and equipment be regularly inspected and maintained to prevent workplace accidents.
Non-compliance with these regulations can lead to hefty fines, legal actions, and even business shutdowns. Moreover, a report by the Aberdeen Group highlighted that businesses that prioritise preventative maintenance have a 90% compliance audit pass rate, compared to 68% for those that don't. This underscores the significance of preventative maintenance in not only ensuring operational efficiency but also in meeting regulatory standards.
Improved Asset Availability
Preventative maintenance is crucial for businesses aiming to optimise asset availability. According to The Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT), asset availability is defined as "the percentage of potential production time during which equipment is operable, that is, operation is not prevented by equipment malfunction." In simpler terms, it measures the duration equipment was operational and producing goods in comparison to the time production was halted due to repairs.
Maintenance teams play a significant role in enhancing asset availability. They are tasked with minimising unplanned downtime and expediting equipment repairs when failures arise. By equipping maintenance technicians with essential tools and information, such as work order history, failure tracking data, and owner’s manuals, they can swiftly diagnose failures and devise solutions. Organised stockrooms, appropriate inventory levels, and efficient labour utilisation indirectly contribute to more streamlined maintenance. Advanced organisations also employ root cause analysis (RCA) and utilise failure codes to monitor equipment failures. RCA assists in pinpointing the likely causes of breakdowns and offers data to refine or establish preventive maintenance strategies. Comprehensive failure tracking enables technicians to troubleshoot issues promptly, thereby reducing repair time. Furthermore, by adopting a preventative maintenance approach, businesses can decrease the chances of unexpected downtime events, consequently enhancing asset availability.
Preventive Maintenance: A Key Pillar of a Comprehensive Maintenance Strategy
While preventive maintenance is a vital component, a comprehensive maintenance strategy should not focus solely on it. A robust maintenance strategy is akin to a well-balanced diet; it requires a mix of different approaches to achieve optimal results.
Beyond preventive measures, it's imperative to incorporate strategies such as corrective maintenance, which addresses issues as they arise; predictive maintenance, leveraging data analytics to anticipate potential failures; and reliability-centred maintenance, zeroing in on the most critical system components. Each method offers unique advantages, tailored to distinct operational scenarios. When synergized, they culminate in a maintenance program that epitomises efficiency and efficacy.
While preventive maintenance stands as a crucial element in fortifying operational resilience, it's most potent when woven into a broader tapestry of maintenance strategies. It's not just about averting disruptions but optimising performance, ensuring cost-efficiency, and harnessing data for informed decision-making. As the industrial world grows ever more intricate, the role of preventive maintenance as a linchpin in a holistic maintenance approach becomes increasingly paramount.
Written and Researched by Charlie Green
Senior Research Analyst at Comparesoft
Leak detection is a simple operation which offers a real payback: a small investment which can generate substantial savings
Compressed air accounts for around 15% of energy consumption by industry around the globe. But it accounts for 70% of total expenditure on energy consumption.
AMS Device Manager adds Data Server technology to improve digital transformation outcomes, expand intelligent field device data accessibility and integration for analytics.