Every facility wants to reduce its spending, so it makes sense at some point to look at reducing maintenance costs. A lot of the time, though, those costs link directly to how reliable your equipment is, making it rather difficult to find ways to cut costs while maintaining the health of your assets. However, even the best PM programs probably have some places where they're creating waste or not using their money effectively.
With all of these suggestions, it's always important to constantly monitor your equipment while implementing. When cutting costs in a preventive maintenance (PM) program, ideally your reliability should not take a hit.
5 Ways to Lower Maintenance Costs
Lowering maintenance costs while maintaining efficiencies rarely requires a complete overhaul of your maintenance program. Instead, all that is required to lower costs are small improvements to your existing maintenance strategy to take it to the next level. Here are five tips to help your team lower preventive maintenance costs:
- Schedule optimization
- Use KPIs to identify opportunities
- Monitor your equipment
- Train staff
- Make improvements to your current maintenance strategy
1. Schedule optimization
There are two big ways you can reduce spending by optimizing your planned maintenance schedule.
The more obvious of the two is the case of under-maintenance: your equipment isn't being maintained frequently enough, so the PM schedule should be widened to accommodate for more maintenance hours. While this might not seem like a money-saving strategy, you will save money on unplanned downtime and equipment replacements because your assets will be more reliable in the long run.
However, it's also important to make sure your equipment isn't being over-maintained. Some people may argue that this isn't possible. I'd argue that if a piece of equipment requires inspections weekly and a facility does them daily, that might just be a waste of man-hours spent inspecting equipment that doesn't need it.
2. Use KPIs to identify opportunities
The term KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator, which is a metric that helps you gauge how your organization or facility stacks up to others in the same industry.
Today it's easier than ever to look up industry-specific KPIs and use them to measure your maintenance efforts. If your wrench time is much lower than industry standards, for instance, and you're seeing low reliability as a result, it's easy to pinpoint the problem and implement a solution.
3. Monitor your equipment
Without equipment monitoring of any kind, it's difficult to understand the true health of your assets. In fact, with things like condition-based maintenance (CBM), it's possible to monitor parameters that you didn't even know played a role in your equipment's health (like vibration analysis, for example).
As expensive as it can be to implement sensors, CBM can help optimize costs for a PM program because it allows you to only perform necessary maintenance. For instance, if a part needs to be lubricated only when it reaches a certain vibration level, then that's the only time it needs to be done - no more wasting time and materials on daily lubrication.
4. Train staff
Strong training programs are a worthwhile investment. You can maximize the efficiency of your facility by setting your workers up for success. With preventive maintenance assistance and tools, your employees can help your preventive maintenance program flourish. The more oversight the operators and front-line employees are able to do, the better your preventive maintenance can be.
5. Make improvements to your maintenance strategy
While preventive maintenance is amazing, it's important to remember that it is only one type of maintenance. Preventive maintenance is not the right strategy for every asset in your facility and misapplying it is a sure way to waste money and resources. Rather, it should be a part of your overall maintenance strategy. Other important types of maintenance to include in your facility are:
- Predictive maintenance,
- Condition-based maintenance,
- Reactive maintenance,
- Run-to-failure maintenance.
And the list goes on! A complete maintenance program will incorporate many different types of maintenance in order to help control costs and improve efficiency.
By tweaking your existing maintenance strategy, you can optimize both the costs and efficiencies associated with your maintenance team. Making those small changes including but not limited to: schedule optimization, use targeted KPIs, and better training of your maintenance staff.
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Condition-Based Maintenance (CBM) Explained
Condition-based maintenance (CBM) uses sensor devices to collect real-time measurements (e.g. vibration) on a piece of equipment.
The Advantages & Disadvantages of Preventive Maintenance
The primary advantages of preventive maintenance come down to reliability. As you keep each asset in good repair, it’s less likely to break down.