There are very few modern processes that don’t benefit from a good checklist— basic car maintenance? Yep. Packing for a trip? For sure! Boiling an egg? Yes, even that. And the same goes for your preventive maintenance program.
A preventive maintenance checklist gets all the steps and information out of a manual and into the hands of experienced technicians by standardizing PMs in your CMMS.
This guide will lead you through how to create a preventive maintenance checklists to make your maintenance team more efficient, cost-effective, and safe.
What is a preventive maintenance checklist?
A preventive maintenance checklist is a set of tasks that the technician needs to complete in order to close a preventive maintenance work order.
A checklist gets all the steps and information out of a manual and into the hands of experienced technicians by standardizing PMs in your CMMS.
The purpose of a preventive maintenance checklist is to ensure preventive maintenance tasks are done correctly and in the same sequence of steps, regardless of which maintenance team member completes them.
Preventive maintenance checklists are known by several names, the most common being preventive maintenance task lists or task groups. There are two main types of preventive maintenance checklists: Pass-or-fail checklists and step-by-step checklists.
Examples of preventive maintenance checklists
Pass-or-fail preventive maintenance checklist
Many parts of a machine have an ideal condition. For example, a compressor has an ideal operating temperature. A pass-or-fail preventive maintenance checklist might include instructions to measure the actual temperature of the compressor and compare it to acceptable standards. The compressor can either meet this standard or not. It can pass or fail the test.
A pass-or-fail preventive maintenance checklists can identify problems and prevent bigger issues by scheduling maintenance sooner than usual. While these checklists can be done by maintenance personnel, they are usually the responsibility of machine operators. If a problem is identified during a pass-or-fail checklist, the follow-up tasks are assigned to a maintenance technician.
Example of a pass-or-fail preventive maintenance checklist
Record the strokes-per-minute at which Machine-X is running. Is the inlet temperature of Machine-X below 70°F? (Yes/Pass, No/Fail)
Record the outlet temperature of the product from Machine-X using the infrared temperature meter. Is the outlet temperature under 95°F? (Yes/Pass, No/Fail)
Notify maintenance/create a work request in your CMMS if you have marked “No/Fail” on any of the tasks above.
Step-by-step preventive maintenance checklist
There are also asset parts that require preventive maintenance based on the usage of that asset. For example, a motor might be changed every 500 hours. A step-by-step preventive maintenance checklist outlines instructions for changing the motor, from beginning to end. These checklists ensure no critical steps are missed during a PM so failure can be avoided as often as possible. These checklists usually include more complex and technical tasks, which is why they are normally assigned to or lead by maintenance technicians.
Example of a step-by-step checklist
Lockout from the main panel to complete the following preventive maintenance task
Test machine to ensure lockout is properly preventing the machine from running
Remove belting from conveyor
Replace both bearings on the non-drive side and inspect shaft for any damage
Install conveyor belting on the belt
Remove lockout/tagout and test conveyor at the following speeds: 5, 10, and 15 on VFD
Benefits of a preventive maintenance checklist
Members of your maintenance team can probably recite the steps to certain tasks off the top of their heads. But not everyone necessarily has the same information, especially if they’re new to the job. A formal preventive maintenance checklist puts this knowledge in the palm of your hand for easy access. Here’s how:
Tasks and outcomes are standardized
Checklists create a standard way to do preventive maintenance tasks and regular inspection, which leads to reliable outcomes. There’s no guesswork or miscommunication, reducing the chances of error and the need for costly repairs. For example, if you need to replace an engine, a good checklist will tell you what kind of engine, so you don’t use the wrong part. Reliability helps you plan better and helps mitigate the effects of turnover by ensuring there’s continuity in your processes, even if there isn’t continuity on your team. It makes training more effective, improves safety, and keeps you from relying too much on one person.
Work is more efficient and labor is maximized
Preventive maintenance checklists make is easier for technicians to complete PMs, which makes them quicker. This reduces downtime and allows technicians to move onto more skilled tasks in less time. Detailed checklists also free up time for technicians by allowing other members of the facility, like machine operators, to take on routine tasks. In this way, checklists are an integral part of establishing a great total productive maintenance program.
Troubleshooting and reporting are easier
Because preventive maintenance checklists provide consistency, they create a great baseline for measuring maintenance activity. This baseline helps you to report with more certainty and pinpoint whether a certain action did or did not lead to better results. When all tasks are done the same way, over and over again, it also eliminates the number of reasons why a problem might occur. By reducing the number of possible issues, it makes troubleshooting much easier.
7 steps to build an effective preventive maintenance checklist
Not all preventive maintenance checklists are created equal. Poorly constructed guidelines can be as problematic as having none at all. The good news is, you are likely halfway there when it comes to building great checklists. Your maintenance team has all the necessary information—the key is to gather that information and organize it into formal processes. There are seven things to keep in mind when you’re going through this process:
Focus on safety– Preventive maintenance checklists should start and end with safety instructions, like required PPE, lock-out tag-out instructions, and steps to sanitize the area.
Ensure it’s sequential– Preventive maintenance checklists should list tasks in the order they should be completed.
Follow the preventive maintenance framework– A PM checklist should follow this order of tasks when appropriate:
Example of a preventive maintenance checklist for machines:
Safety – Ensure that machinery is clear of debris before every shift.
Clean – Wipe machine surfaces of lubricant, dirt and other loose debris each day.
Adjust – Check for any parts that have loosened and tighten accordingly. Calibrate machines regularly.
Inspect – Regularly inspect tools for sharpness and proper functionality. Check for leaks, cracks, equipment failure, and safe electrical connections.
Replenish – Routinely check all machinery fluid levels, and air filters in the HVAC system, and replace as needed.
Replace – Check for any worn out parts or damaged tools and replace.
Rebuild – Rebuild any worn out or damaged parts that were custom built.
Include necessary detail– PM checklists should provide enough detail that new technicians can realistically complete the task by reading the checklist. Having too much detail can be confusing and difficult to change if needed.
Provide photos and/or diagrams– PM checklists should include visual representations of the instructions to make the task easier and clarify any ambiguity.
Be as concise as possible– Every task on a PM checklist should have a clear action and goal associated with it so you can ensure maximum efficiency.
Insert total time for the checklist or time requirements for each task– Make sure to give sufficient time for tasks so technicians don’t feel rushed.
Tips for using a preventive maintenance checklist
Now that you know how to create PM checklists, it’s time to decide who should take the lead when it comes to building them.“Best practice for creating checklists is to have it be a team effort between the maintenance manager, the maintenance planner, and the supervisor,” says Fiix solutions engineer Jason Afara.
Afara recommends having the maintenance planner write and plan checklists with input from the manager and supervisor as well as senior technicians. These experienced personnel have been working with the equipment for years and may be able to identify any gaps in checklists.
Because preventive maintenance checklists provide consistency, they create a great baseline for measuring maintenance activity. This baseline helps you to report with more certainty and pinpoint whether a certain action did or did not lead to better results.
The maintenance manager should be the one reviewing checklists and making sure they’re doing the job they’re supposed to be doing and that there are no instances of pencil-whipping occurring.
“You always want to be proactive to ensure your PMs are still relevant and leading to better maintenance,” says Afara.
“The best time to review checklists and make sure they’re still strong is during periods of high turnover, just before production spikes, or when an asset is consistently breaking down right after it’s been inspected.”
Building checklists for better maintenance
Preventive maintenance checklists are an essential part of an effective PM program and are included in preventive maintenance software. Checklists eliminate miscommunication and reduce the chance of human error. They make everyone’s life easier and allow your maintenance team to focus on tasks that optimize their skills and time. Creating checklists for each preventive maintenance task can easily be incorporated into a preventive maintenance schedule. It only takes a few simple steps and can yield tremendous benefits across your facility. So before you set out on the next leg of your maintenance journey, make sure you have well-built maintenance checklists to act as a compass on your way to higher efficiency, better spending, and a safer operation.
Imagine, you walk onto the production floor with a stack of paperwork orders in hand. Some equipment requires an oil change and some parts need to be replaced. As you grab an oil canister, it drops right onto the work orders. The oil ruins all the work orders and gets all over the new parts. You have to put all your work on hold as you clean up, rewrite the work orders, and make sure the spares are still functioning.
You might be cringing right now. And it’s about to get worse. This is a true story and dropping that one canister of oil caused hours of delays and thousands of dollars in lost production. All because paper work orders are easily destroyed.
So, how do you avoid a similar fate? The solution lies in a common and simple piece of technology that often gets overlooked in maintenance — QR codes.
QR codes can be used to streamline workflows and access information quicker than you pour a cup of coffee. This frees up time in your jam-packed schedule and helps keep production lines running with fewer disruptions.
This article will explore how maintenance managers and technicians can utilize QR codes in maintenance to improve equipment maintenance, track assets, and better plan preventative maintenance.
What are QR codes?
Much like traditional barcodes, QR codes store data by using a series of patterns of black dots and white space. The patterns are scanned with the help of a camera or scanner and translated into readable text such as work orders, manuals, or images. They can also be put on almost anything. For example, you can stick QR codes on an asset, the shelves in your storeroom or even on a door of an office.
QR codes allow easy access to information and provide real-time updates to that data. Most iOS and Android mobile devices come equipped with QR code readers, making it an easy solution to access information and share it with various people.
The top three benefits of using QR codes in maintenance
1. Quicker response to asset issues
If a machine requires maintenance, an operator or technician can scan the QR code on that equipment and quickly create a work request. With the QR code, technicians can access everything from repair history, maintenance manuals, and, on more sophisticated systems, real-time updates on the asset‘s condition. Technicians don’t have to spend time retrieving documents, hunting down people for information or searching for the right parts.
2. Collect more accurate data
Using QR codes to collect and share asset information eliminates the need to track information in Excel or a document that gets shoved in a filing cabinet. It also provides more accurate information as data can be updated in real-time instead of logging data at the end of inspection rounds or into multiple systems.
3. Increasing standardization in your maintenance tasks
Having QR codes attached to assets allows you to see maintenance checklists for that asset so technicians know exactly what to do when servicing it. For example, technicians will know exactly how much lubrication to apply to a part so the job can be done quickly while reducing the risk of post-maintenance breakdowns.
Three ways to use QR codes in your maintenance strategy
QR codes can be used daily to make day-to-day tasks, like equipment maintenance, inventory management, and asset tracking, easier. Here are a few examples of how your team can use this technology on the shop floor.
Using a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS), fill out details of each piece of equipment, including repair history, instruction manuals, and any associated tools or replacement parts. Then generate a QR code using the CMMS. Place the QR codes on each piece of equipment. Technicians can scan the code to pull up details of work orders associated with the equipment, view past repairs, and even access the machine’s instruction manual. With this technology, they are able to quickly repair the equipment without spending time looking for information.
Place a QR code on every aisle and shelf in your equipment storeroom. Inventory managers can scan the code on each shelf to access inventory details such as the quantity of spare parts and past purchase orders. This information can influence better-informed purchasing decisions and streamline auditing.
Consider using QR codes as a tool to plan a more accessible preventative maintenance strategy. By placing them on equipment, QR codes provide information on inspection tasks, bills of materials, and follow-up workflows with a simple scan. Having technicians update the result of inspections using the QR code makes tracking usage patterns and repair history easier. Pair this technology with a CMMS, and you have an all-in-one system to plan your facility’s preventative maintenance strategy.
QR codes are convenient, inexpensive, and easy to implement solutions to common maintenance problems. Pairing their use with CMMS software will guarantee to have lasting benefits and improve the efficiency of your operation.
A content services platform is the ideal approach for optimizing business performance through efficient utilization of enterprise content. It can enable your organization to create, collaborate, share, transform, and leverage content for deriving business value.
The platform, backed with capabilities such as audio-video management, content analytics, cloud computing, records management, and others, enables secure document collaboration, facilitates anytime-anywhere information access, and helps derive valuable insights.
Unleash the Power of Content with Content Services Platform
Here are six ways in which a content services platform can help you efficiently leverage content:
Ensuring Content Governance and Compliance: Ensure complete content governance for regulatory compliance. Create labels and policies, such as retention, disposition, and storage, to manage records while complying with various regulatory standards.
Enabling Efficient Content Extraction: Extract critical data from paper and digital documents to enhance operational efficiency and reduce errors. Aggregate documents from disparate sources, make them legible, extract data with precision while continuously improving extraction accuracy.
Facilitating Secure Information Access: Enable anytime-anywhere information access and real-time collaboration. Empower employees with smart search and intelligent recommendations.
Driving Contextual Engagement: Capture, manage, and consume content generated in the context of business processes. Derive context from information, residing across various sources, and deliver personalized communications to customers across multiple touchpoints.
Streamlining Content Lifecycle Management: Create, manage, share, and archive different types of content while enabling easy and secure access.
Enabling Hybrid Records Management: Manage various records, including e-mails, physical, and electronic records, while retaining their integrity and authenticity. Create and manage multiple classification schemes for records that help in easy search and retrieval.
Over the last decade, virtually all industries have been altered and improved by the growth of artificial intelligence. However, one area that has changed radically, but many might not think of, has been the document management ecosystem.
Information-rich tasks have benefited from AI enormously, particularly in terms of knowledge management, business process management, security, and compliance. All these applications allow employees to work smarter, not harder ? freeing up their valuable time so they can focus on big ideas and long-term goals.
Every day, businesses create and process massive amounts of information – contained within it is the insight they need to better understand their market, better understand their customers, and create more effective products and services. By making sure that key personnel has access to the right data at the right time, AI assistance can mean the difference between success and failure.
An award-winning, AI-driven platform like M-Files is designed to give organizations of all sizes the ability to become more efficient without forcing employees to rely on siloed, manual tasks. It can help people spend less time finding the information they need so that they can spend more time acting on it.
Encouraging collaboration and strengthening security
When data is siloed off and essentially trapped in one department, it’s not able to get into the hands of ALL the people who need it. It’s essentially locked off by whoever created it, inaccessible to those others who may benefit from it as well. This is especially true with things like reports, or information pertaining to specific clients. Something that is valuable to the marketing department may be important to sales, too – but the latter may not know it exists.
“If you don’t know what kind of information you have, the only way to mitigate all risk and ensure that it’s kept safe is to lock it all down,” says Jayson deVries, Senior Product Manager at M-Files.
“Of course, that’s not conducive to knowledge sharing within an organization,” he adds. “So, AI can help you understand which information needs special for data protection treatments, and which can be shared with applicable groups.”
Unlike other information management solutions on the market, AI is embedded at the core of M-Files and pervasive throughout the entire platform, including external repositories. M-Files’ native AI capabilities enable improved visibility, security, and processing of information. With a self-learning mechanism incorporated across AI components, M-Files removes the burden from users, as learning happens behind the scenes with no extensive, upfront manual-dataset training.