Why a Floating Schedule Makes Sense for Equipment Repairs

A floating schedule helps add a great deal of flexibility to your equipment management program. Maintenance and repair requests can be scheduled according to a particular threshold. Once those moments are reached, maintenance and repairs can be completed within a window of opportunity. This can minimize downtime and help increase efficiency in overall operations.


What is a Floating Schedule?

Floating schedules, in general, refer to either employees or equipment. In both these cases, floating implies flexibility.


When most people think about floating schedules for employees, they think of flexible work hours. Employees can to work whenever they wish as long as they complete the total number of hours.


In this blog post, we’re going to talk about floating schedules as they pertain to equipment. In this context, floating means that employees fix equipment when possible. Employees schedule repairs after a certain amount of time has passed, since the last repair took place.

How Floating Schedules Work

Floating schedules for equipment repairs means that when an asset reaches a certain threshold, a maintenance work order is placed. The asset continues operating until the maintenance technician performs the work. At that point, the clock begins ticking for the next service requirement.

1. Threshold Reached

Let’s take an example of a commercial ice cream maker. This asset can produce 10,000 gallons of ice cream before a part requires replacement. Once the machine reaches that threshold, a work request is entered.

2. Repair Scheduled

In this case, a third-party maintenance organization is probably used to service the equipment. Once a request is made, the technician places the order on a schedule, perhaps two weeks later.

3. Operations Continue

In most cases, the ice cream maker will continue to operate past the threshold point until the maintenance technician arrives. Let’s say the machine makes an average of 20 gallons of ice cream for 14 days until the technician arrives.

4. Maintenance Occurs

By the time the technician arrives, the ice cream maker has logged 10,280 gallons of ice cream. Once the part is replaced and the machine is put back into operation, the clock for the next maintenance call resets.

5. New Threshold Set

Since this part must be replaced every 10,000 gallons, the next threshold will be at 20,280 gallons, not 20,000 gallons. Over time, the cumulative total may “float” a significant distance into the future.

Three Reasons to Use a Floating Schedule

Floating schedules allow you flexibility in terms of timing your maintenance and repairs. In addition, they can support manual safety inspections, if needed. In these ways, floating schedules may result in greater efficiency in running your business.

1. Less Downtime

A floating schedule allows you to perform maintenance or repair within a broader window or even past a particular threshold. This means that you don’t have to shut down a piece of equipment the moment it reaches the threshold. Being able to wait until the end of a shift or a production run means more efficient asset management.

2. More Leeway

Floating equipment schedules allow you to gain some leeway in your overall operations. For example, if your maintenance technician is on vacation for a week, you can opt to switch production to another piece of equipment or continue using your current machine.

3. Periodic Check Flexibility

With a floating schedule, you can always opt for a manual safety check. If an employee feels that a piece of equipment is dangerous because it’s operating outside a repair window, you can perform a safety check as desired.

Depend on CMMS to Schedule Repairs

computer maintenance management system (CMMS) such as the solution from UpKeep can automatically schedule work orders at threshold points. In addition, you can rely on your CMMS to order parts needed for the repair or maintenance before the work order is assigned. Simply enter your data and let UpKeep handle the rest.


A floating schedule is a great way to add flexibility to your asset management program. Use a CMMS to track important thresholds on all your critical equipment. Then, you can stay on top of your maintenance requirements efficiently. That means less downtime, lower costs, and better equipment performance.

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