In theory, performing predictive preventive maintenance is a winning strategy. Repairs are taken care of on a smaller scale with less operational costs and machinery is fixed before a failure or other downtime-causing event occurs. However, organizations should consider having an established schedule in place in order to reap the full benefits of a preventive maintenance strategy.
Mining equipment vendor CAT noted that even best-in-class systems can wear out eventually, creating the need for preventive maintenance including routine check-ups and operator feedback.
"Preventive maintenance is a proven way to make mining equipment more productive and reliable, as well as to reduce repair costs," CAT stated. "Major machine malfunctions can more easily be avoided with regular PM and mining machine check-ups reducing the amount of time and money lost while machines are down for repair."
CAT advised creating a mining PM program to enable these benefits within an organization. Although this may seem a relatively simple task, Machinery Management Solutions contributor James W. Taylor noted that determining which machine needs repairs and when they will be carried out is only part of the process.
"You need to consider how the system will be used, who will do what and when, how to gain support and buy-in from the trades and middle management and a myriad of other details when starting a preventive maintenance program," Taylor wrote. "Careful thought, a detailed written plan and schedule and aggressive, achievable goals are all necessary for a successful program."
In this way, Taylor recommended taking stock of organizational goals and establishing an overall plan of attack. Decision makers can then determine what areas within the machines they'd like to address first and identify how these tasks will be developed. Recognizing how the equipment will be used is also a key factor to consider, along with the business's key production areas. Once equipment is inventoried and machinery maintenance history is gathered, workers can define the requirements of the systems to be included in the PM plan. Using this information, employees and managers can work together to develop an annual maintenance schedule for PM.