Preventive Maintenance

What is preventive maintenance?

Preventive Maintenance (PM) is the systematic and routine maintenance of equipment and machinery in manufacturing to ensure operational efficiency and prevent unexpected breakdowns. Unlike reactive maintenance, which addresses issues after they occur, preventive maintenance focuses on preventing equipment failures, maintaining optimal operating conditions, identifying issues before they arise, and ensuring that machinery performs its intended functions efficiently.

What are the primary objectives of preventive maintenance

The primary objectives of preventive maintenance (PM) include:


  • Reducing Downtime: By regularly servicing equipment, preventive maintenance helps minimize unexpected breakdowns, reduce downtime, and maintain production schedules. This keeps the manufacturing process running smoothly and efficiently.


  • Extending Equipment Life: Regular maintenance activities such as cleaning, lubrication, and inspections help extend the lifespan of machinery by preventing wear and tear. This ensures that equipment remains in optimal working condition for a longer period.


  • Enhancing Safety: Well-maintained equipment reduces the risk of accidents and injuries,  ensuring a safer working environment. Safety is a critical aspect of manufacturing operations, and preventive maintenance contributes significantly to it.


  • Improving Efficiency: Properly maintained machinery operates at optimal efficiency, reducing energy consumption and improving overall productivity. Efficient equipment ensures that manufacturing processes are cost-effective and produce high-quality products.


  • Compliance with Regulations: Adhering to preventive maintenance schedules helps in complying with industry standards and regulatory requirements, ensuring that equipment meets safety and quality standards. Regulatory compliance is essential for avoiding fines and maintaining a good reputation.

The key components of preventive maintenance

Preventive maintenance (PM) encompasses a range of activities designed to keep equipment in good working condition. The key components include:


  • Inspections: Regular inspections help in identifying potential issues before they lead to equipment failure. This includes checking for signs of wear, leaks, and other abnormalities. Inspections are critical for early detection of problems.


  • Cleaning: Keeping equipment clean is essential for preventing the buildup of dirt, dust, and debris, which can cause malfunctions. Clean equipment operates more efficiently and reliably.


  • Lubrication: Regular lubrication of moving parts reduces friction and wear, ensuring smooth operation and preventing overheating. Proper lubrication is vital for the longevity of machinery.


  • Adjustments: Periodic adjustments help in maintaining the alignment and calibration of equipment, ensuring accurate and efficient performance. This keeps equipment functioning within specified parameters.


  • Repairs and Replacements: Timely repairs and replacements of worn or damaged components prevent minor issues from escalating into major problems. Addressing issues early saves time and money.


  • Testing: Regular testing of equipment ensures that it operates within specified parameters and meets performance standards. Testing is essential for verifying the effectiveness of maintenance activities.

What are the types of preventive maintenance

Preventive maintenance (PM) can be categorized into several types based on the nature and frequency of activities:


  • Time-Based Maintenance: Maintenance activities are scheduled at regular intervals, such as daily, weekly, monthly, or annually, regardless of the equipment’s condition. This type of maintenance is easy to plan and implement.


  • Usage-Based Maintenance: Maintenance is performed based on the actual usage of the equipment, such as after a certain number of operating hours, production cycles, or mileage. This approach ensures that maintenance activities are aligned with the equipment’s operational demands.


  • Predictive Maintenance: This involves using sensors and condition monitoring to predict when maintenance is needed. Predictive maintenance aims to perform maintenance just before a failure is likely to occur, maximizing equipment uptime.


  • Prescriptive Maintenance: This recommends specific maintenance actions based on the equipment’s condition and operating environment. It optimizes maintenance schedules and improves decision-making with each iteration.

How to implement preventive maintenance program

Implementing an effective preventive maintenance (PM) program involves several steps:


  • Asset Inventory and Assessment: Begin by creating an inventory of all equipment and machinery, including details such as model numbers, serial numbers, and maintenance histories. Assess the criticality of each asset to prioritize maintenance activities.


  • Developing Maintenance Schedules: Based on the asset inventory and assessment, develop maintenance schedules for each piece of equipment. Include details such as the type of maintenance, frequency, and responsible personnel.


  • Creating Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs): Develop SOPs for each maintenance task, outlining the steps to be followed, tools required, and safety precautions.


  • Training and Education: Ensure that maintenance personnel are adequately trained and educated on the SOPs, equipment operation, and safety procedures.


  • Documentation and Recordkeeping: Maintain detailed records of all maintenance activities, including inspections, repairs, replacements, and tests. This documentation helps in tracking equipment performance and identifying trends.


  • Monitoring and Evaluation: Regularly monitor the effectiveness of the preventive maintenance program through performance metrics such as Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) and Mean Time to Repair (MTTR). Evaluate the program’s impact on equipment reliability and overall productivity.

What are the benefits of preventive maintenance

Preventive maintenance (PM) offers numerous  benefits to manufacturing operations:


  • Increased Equipment Reliability: Regular maintenance ensures that equipment operates reliably, reducing the likelihood of unexpected breakdowns and production interruptions.


  • Cost Savings: Preventive maintenance helps reduce repair and replacement costs by preventing major equipment failures and extending the lifespan of machinery.


  • Improved Safety: Well-maintained equipment reduces the risk of accidents and injuries, creating a safer working environment for employees.


  • Enhanced Productivity: Minimizing downtime through regular maintenance ensures that production processes run smoothly and efficiently, increasing overall productivity.


  • Regulatory Compliance: Adhering to preventive maintenance schedules helps in complying with industry standards and regulatory requirements, avoiding potential fines and legal issues.


  • Energy Efficiency: Properly maintained equipment operates optimally, reducing energy consumption and associated costs.

What are the challenges of preventive maintenance

While preventive maintenance (PM) offers numerous benefits, it also presents certain challenges:


  • Initial Costs: Implementing a preventive maintenance program requires an initial investment in tools, training, and resources, which may be a barrier for some organizations.


  • Resource Allocation: Allocating sufficient resources, including personnel and time, to perform regular maintenance activities can be challenging, especially for smaller operations.


  • Change Management: Transitioning from a reactive maintenance approach to a preventive maintenance approach requires a cultural shift and buy-in from all levels of the organization.


  • Data Management: Collecting, analyzing, and managing maintenance data requires robust systems and processes, which may involve additional investments in technology.


  • Customization: Developing customized maintenance schedules and SOPs for different types of equipment can be time-consuming and complex.


By understanding and addressing these challenges, manufacturers can effectively implement preventive maintenance programs that enhance equipment reliability, improve safety, and optimize operational efficiency.

Customer success of preventive maintenance with CERDAAC

Customer #1: Pharmaceutical Manufacturing – WuXi AppTec


Situation: WuXi AppTec, a leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology company, operates a vast array of equipment requiring stringent compliance with regulatory standards. The company faced challenges with equipment calibration and preventive maintenance using a combination of manual processes and disparate software systems, leading to inefficiencies and increased risk of errors.


Preventive Maintenance Implementation: WuXi AppTec implemented CERDAAC’s comprehensive maintenance management software to manage over 2,000 assets, including equipment and commissioned laboratory spaces. The system facilitated the scheduling and tracking of preventive maintenance, calibration, certifications, and periodic reviews.


Impact: By leveraging CERDAAC, WuXi AppTec streamlined its maintenance processes, eliminating redundant data entry and reducing the risk of errors. The company achieved significant cost savings by preventing equipment failures and ensuring timely maintenance. Improved reporting capabilities provided real-time insights into maintenance activities, enhancing overall operational efficiency and compliance with regulatory standards. The proactive maintenance approach helped WuXi AppTec save millions in potential downtime and regulatory fines.

Customer #2: Aerospace Component Manufacturing – Korry Electronics


Situation: Korry Electronics, a manufacturer of human-machine interface (HMI) solutions, faced challenges in maintaining thousands of pieces of equipment regulated by stringent industry quality standards. The company relied on manual processes and spreadsheets for tracking maintenance, leading to errors and missed maintenance tasks.


Preventive Maintenance Implementation: Korry Electronics adopted CERDAAC to automate its calibration, preventive maintenance, and repair processes for over 6,000 equipment assets. The system provided a centralized platform for managing maintenance schedules, work orders, and calibration certificates.


Impact: CERDAAC enabled Korry Electronics to significantly reduce errors and ensure that maintenance tasks were performed consistently and on time. The company reported substantial savings by minimizing unplanned downtime and extending the lifespan of critical equipment. The automated maintenance management system also improved compliance with industry standards, reducing the risk of costly non-compliance issues. The proactive maintenance strategy facilitated by CERDAAC contributed to savings of millions of dollars annually.


Customer #3: Contract Manufacturing – Toray Plastics


Situation: Toray Plastics, a major contract manufacturer, had difficulty managing the maintenance of its extensive equipment inventory using traditional methods. The company needed a more efficient way to ensure timely maintenance and avoid production disruptions.


Preventive Maintenance Implementation: Toray Plastics implemented CERDAAC to manage preventive maintenance activities across its facilities. The system allowed for detailed scheduling, tracking, and documentation of maintenance tasks, ensuring that all equipment was maintained according to predefined schedules.


Impact: The implementation of CERDAAC enabled Toray Plastics to streamline its maintenance processes, reducing the frequency of equipment breakdowns and associated downtime. The company achieved significant cost savings by optimizing maintenance schedules and ensuring that maintenance activities were performed efficiently. Improved equipment reliability and reduced downtime translated into enhanced production capacity and lower operational costs, saving the company millions of dollars annually.


The real-world examples of WuXi AppTec, Korry Electronics, and Toray Plastics illustrate the substantial financial and operational benefits of preventive maintenance when supported by CERDAAC. The initial investment in CERDAAC and preventive maintenance programs is justified by the long-term savings and operational efficiencies achieved, making it a critical component of successful manufacturing operations.

The ROI of preventive maintenance

The Return on Investment (ROI) of preventive maintenance can be measured through reduced downtime, lower repair and replacement costs, increased equipment life, improved safety, enhanced productivity, and ensuring regulatory compliance.


Preventive maintenance is a critical component of manufacturing operations, ensuring the reliability, efficiency, and safety of equipment and machinery. By adopting a proactive approach to maintenance, organizations can reduce downtime, extend equipment lifespan, and improve overall productivity, as seen in the WuXi AppTec, Korry Electronics, and Toray Plastics examples above.


Implementing an effective preventive maintenance program involves careful planning, resource allocation, and continuous monitoring and evaluation. Despite the challenges, the benefits of preventive maintenance far outweigh the initial costs and efforts, making it an essential practice for any manufacturing operation aiming to achieve operational excellence and regulatory compliance.