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Preventive maintenance involves the systematic inspection of equipment where potential problems are detected and corrected in order to prevent equipment failure before it happens. In practice, a preventive maintenance schedule may include things such as cleaning, lubrication, oil changes, adjustments, repairs, inspecting and replacing parts, and partial or complete overhauls that are regularly scheduled.

The exact preventive maintenance required will vary based on operation and type of equipment. Recommended standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) are used to help determine the type of inspections and maintenance needed and how often they should be performed. ANSI helps ensure the health and safety of consumers by creating and overseeing the use of thousands of guidelines and norms for nearly every industry, and ANSI standards can be used like a preventive maintenance checklist to define requirements and instructions for maintaining equipment.

Preventive maintenance includes much more than simply performing routine maintenance on equipment. It also involves maintaining accurate records of every inspection and servicing, as well as knowing the lifespan of each part to understand the replacement frequency. These records can help maintenance technicians anticipate the appropriate time to change parts and can also help diagnose problems when they occur. Preventive maintenance software helps collect and organize this information so it is readily available to maintenance technicians.

What Are the Benefits of Preventive Maintenance?

Preventive maintenance offers companies a number of important benefits including

  • Prolonged life of company equipment
  • Less unplanned downtime caused by equipment failure
  • Less unnecessary maintenance and inspections
  • Fewer errors in day-to-day operations
  • Improved reliability of equipment
  • Fewer expensive repairs caused by unexpected equipment failure that must be fixed quickly
  • Reduced risk of injury

Ideally, a preventive maintenance schedule will prevent all equipment failure before it occurs. It will save time, reduce costs, and keep an operation running efficiently and productively.