With a good preventive maintenance program, you carefully schedule both what the maintenance team does and when it does it. But for complete asset management, the “what” and “when” are not enough.
So, how can you also control the “how”?
The answer is precision maintenance.
What is precision maintenance?
While other maintenance strategies are about the different tasks and when the team does them, precision maintenance focuses more on the overall quality of the work.
The goal is for the team to work consistently, precisely, and according to current industry best practices. Because everyone is working to the same high standards, techs become interchangeable: no matter who did the work, they’ve done it the same way as every other tech on the team would have, correctly.
Just to quickly avoid any possible confusion: it’s not just that everyone does everything the same way. It’s that plus the fact they’re all doing it the best way possible.
Precision maintenance is like going to the same restaurant and knowing you’re always going to get the same great food. It’s the same great food every time, exactly as you expected.
Precision maintenance is not like going to the same restaurant and knowing the food is always the same type of terrible.
What are the benefits of precision maintenance?
When the maintenance team is consistently doing good work, you have less unscheduled downtime, assets and equipment tend to last longer, and the maintenance department has fewer on-demand work orders. Overall, there’s just less stress.
Being consistent also makes it easier to improve. If different maintenance techs repair an asset differently, there’s no reliable way to know what’s working and what’s not. Because there are so many variables, you don’t know which ones to change to make things better. But if everything is equal across the repairs, you can make single, precise changes to see what works best.
You have a conveyor belt that often breaks. When Tech A works on it, they switch out the old belt. But when Tech B repairs the exact same problem, they add more lubricant to the rollers before realigning the existing belt. Later, when you sit down and try to figure out how to avoid the problem, you have to account for too many differences between the fixes.
If every tech tackles the same problem with the same solution, you can more easily see what’s working and what you need to change.
What are the requirements for precision maintenance?
But before you can enjoy the benefits, you need to meet all the requirements, which can include:
- Skilled, highly trained technicians
- High-quality MRO parts and materials
- Existing PM schedules with defined times and tasks
- Clear, accessible workflows and procedures for common tasks
A bit less tangible but also important is having the right maintenance culture in your department. Management and techs need to be committed to delivering the best possible maintenance and repairs, with everyone willing to make focused investments in training and processes.
How does preventive maintenance software make precision maintenance possible?
Modern preventive maintenance software makes it easy to set up, schedule, and track PMs. And it’s during that first step, setting up, that it can start to help with your precision maintenance program.
Inside all your PMs, and on-demand work orders, too, you can provide all the information techs need to work consistently, ensuring everyone on the team does the same work the same way.
Here are the software features that help you make it happen.
Data-packed scheduled and unscheduled work order with templates
If you’re still struggling with paper or spreadsheets for work order management, it’s hard to include anything beyond the most basic information. With paper, it’s tough to write everything out by hand. And with spreadsheets, it can be tough to track down the right things to copy and paste over.
With modern preventive maintenance software, you can set up templates packed with step-by-step instructions and customizable checklists to ensure everyone works to the same high standards. Once you have the template, you can add all that information to work orders with just a few clicks. It’s always safely inside the software, so you never have to go looking for it. And if you need to update your procedures, the changes you make to the template are automatically carried over to every new work order.
Direct image uploads and work order comments
Sometimes, even with the best instructions, techs need additional help to ensure they’re doing the right tasks properly.
With outdated maintenance management methods, techs end up having to run back to the office whenever they have a question. Or, they might even have to run around the facility trying to track down a senior tech for help.
With a modern maintenance app, they can now upload images and questions directly to the work order. Using the built-in camera on their mobile device, they can take some quick images of the parts giving them trouble. They can also type out some quick questions. In both cases, everyone on the maintenance team can see the updated work order and offer help remote.
And when the tech’s done, they can upload images of the finished work, requesting a remote visual inspection before closing out the work order.
Quick, concise summary
While most maintenance strategies focus on tasks and timing, precision maintenance helps you ensure the team is following best practices. It’s not the what and when of maintenance; it’s the how. For a precision maintenance program, you need well-trained techs, top-of-the-line parts and materials, a solid preventive maintenance program, and well-established processes and procedures. You also need a maintenance culture focused on setting and meeting high standards. The benefits include less unscheduled downtime and longer life cycles. Preventive maintenance software gives techs access to both the established SOPs and additional help they need to be both consistent and precise.
Let’s get you to the next step
One of the key ingredients in precision maintenance is a solid PM program, and for that, you need a modern preventive maintenance solution.
Hippo’s here to help you get the solution that works best for you, including answering your questionsabout maintenance strategies (and everything else related to maintenance), helping you book a live software demo, or even setting you up with a free trial