How to Shift from Corrective Maintenance to Preventative Maintenance

Loading docks, warehouses and manufacturers rely on equipment to keep products and people moving. Here is a simple guide to get started on your preventative maintenance plan.

How to Shift from Corrective Maintenance to Preventative Maintenance

Shifting away from reactive maintenance to preventative maintenance can save hundreds of man hours, extend the life of your equipment and assets, and support the operators and managers on the floor who often must handle unexpected downtime due to tool breakdowns and equipment failure.

Every minute a loading dock isn’t shipping or receiving, or a manufacturer’s equipment isn’t up and running -- revenue is lost. While we can’t control everything that causes downtime, we can control lost time due to unexpected interruptions that can be caught with a preventative maintenance plan in place.

The US Department of Commerce estimates that downtime costs amount to 23.9 % of the total cost of manufacturing. They also estimate that the percent of planned production time that is downtime amounts to 13%. That’s where preventative maintenance programs come into play.

Top Reasons Why You Need a Preventative Maintenance Plan

Preventative Maintenance Programs are scheduled on a regular basis to minimize tool breakdowns and equipment failures. They are performed while the equipment is still in working condition, not reactive when a breakdown occurs unexpectedly.

Preventative Maintenance Plans are most effective when outsourced to skilled technicians to save manpower, working hours, and fill gaps where the equipment requires a higher level of skills or specialized attention.

The ROI for Preventative Maintenance Plans has been well documented. The reduction in maintenance cost is reported as upwards of 98% in some cases and the return on investment is, generally, estimated to be favorable.

Preventative Maintenance Programs benefit operations in many ways:

  • Reduced Downtime
  • Extended Lifespan of Assets, Equipment and Machines
  • Saved Manpower and Hours
  • Decreased Repair and Replacement Costs
  • Increased Safety

How to Get Started with a Preventative Maintenance Plan

While the benefits of preventative maintenance speak for themselves, it may seem daunting to get started. However, it’s actually very simple to make the shift from reactive to preventative maintenance especially with help from local planned maintenance experts.

To begin, you will want to follow the three checklist items below and call in the professionals to assist with implementing your Preventative Maintenance Program to save your company valuable time and money that can be spent focusing on your facility’s bottom line.

1. Identify your most critical machines and equipment.

Know what assets are responsible for reliable uptime. Focus on the following:

  • Equipment with moving parts, because it may require more maintenance and contain more sensitive components (more opportunities for equipment failure)
  • Very expensive assets, because repairs and replacements will lead to greater financial losses
  • Equipment that you absolutely need for operations to run smoothly
  • Equipment or machines that are NOT nearing the end of their lifespan, because it doesn’t make sense to invest in equipment you plan to replace soon

2. Work with a professional to create a list of assets as detailed as possible.

Record each piece of equipment’s make/model, serial numbers, fixed locations, condition, age, primary operators and specifications. This will help gather the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) recommendations and user manuals. If you are working with a professional maintenance expert, they can help you document all the right things and store them in an orderly fashion. No need to dig around for pages or manuals!

User manuals and instructions often document:

  • How to properly clean the machine
  • How to perform function checks on the machine
  • Common faults, errors and issues
  • Assembly recommendations
  • Service and maintenance recommendations, including the level of skill and training required
  • Service and maintenance schedule recommendations
  • Information about critical spare parts

Be sure to communicate with other employees. Your team hopefully has documented historic data that will help fill in the gaps. Check maintenance logs and note what kind of failures the assets experienced and how frequently they happened.

3. Create a plan to track maintenance.

Your Planned Maintenance Program manager will have a customized plan in mind that considers your equipment, the equipment's history, and your specific industry.

The turnkey maintenance plan will describe each piece of equipment after planned maintenance has been performed. Examples of information needed are below.

  • Machine/Equipment Name
  • Description of Maintenance Task
  • Frequency of Task (Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly)
  • Estimated Time to Complete the Task
  • Tools/Materials/Training Required to Complete the Task
  • Benchmarks and Standards (what does peak operational performance look like?)
  • Accountability and Reporting Process

When the plan is implemented, existing data will be tracked and will be adjusted based on feedback from operators or new data being tracked. Is the equipment being over serviced? Is the machine still breaking down, despite regular check ups? These questions will help customize the records that fit your facility’s needs.

Support and Resources for Creating Your First Preventative Maintenance Plan

Committing and, more importantly, implementing a Preventative Maintenance Plan can seem intimidating but you don’t have to do it alone. Your local Rite-Hite representative can assist you:

When it comes to loading dock and industrial door equipment your local Rite-Hite representative can help you.

  • Measure and Present the Benefits Of Preventative Maintenance
  • Plan Your Transition From Reactive Maintenance To Preventative Maintenance Without A Significant Capital Investment
  • Document A New Preventative Maintenance Strategy, Customized to Your Needs
  • Prevent Pitfalls and Common Failures During Transition
  • Implement A New preventative Maintenance Strategy, Using Current Personnel and Outside Technical Experts
  • Do the Preventative Maintenance Work
  • Establish Best Practices and Train Your Team

When you are ready to make the shift from corrective to preventative maintenance, or want to see the results from other companies’ transitions, get in touch with your local Rite-Hite representative. We’re here to help!

Contact Your Local Rite-Hite Representative


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