Project Description

Organizations spend considerable time Designing A Preventive Maintenance Program, which is a significant step toward preventing failures, enacting maintenance process improvements and more. Once programs are established, there often isn’t a plan in place to review and reassess preventative maintenance activities to eliminate tasks that fail to add value or may induce failures. Many organizations continue down their original path, and are blindsided when failures occur, or they are not realizing the full benefits they expected when first starting out.

What is Preventive Maintenance Optimization?

In order to balance the risk of failure and the costs of maintenance, programs should be periodically reviewed based on failure history and performance analysis. This is called Preventive Maintenance Optimization. Preventive Maintenance Optimization (PMO) is a method of continuous improvement, working to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of maintenance activities. In addition, PMO:

  • Increases cost effectiveness
  • Improves reliability
  • Increases machine uptime
  • Enhances an organization’s understanding of the level of risk they are managing
  • Reduces the ambiguity of maintenance tasks that are not clearly written
  • Helps avoid or eliminate redundant PM and condition based maintenance tasks
  • Allows for the refocusing of resources toward failure prevention maintenance activities.

Approaches to Optimizing PM Schedules

There are three popular approaches for optimizing Preventive Maintenance schedules:

  1. Reliability-Centered Maintenance (RCM)
  2. Failure reporting and corrective action system (FRACAS)
  3. Judgment-based approach

Reliability-Centered Maintenance (RCM)

The Reliability-Centered Maintenance (RCM) approach works to ensure systems continue to do what is required for operations. The goal of developing an RCM program is to implement a unique maintenance schedule for each critical asset within a facility or organization. In his book RCM2, the late John Moubray characterized reliability-centered maintenance as a process to establish the safe minimum levels of maintenance.

According to, a program must meet these four basic principles in order to be recognized as true RCM:

  • The program is scoped and structured to preserve system function
  • It identifies how functions are defeated (failure modes)
  • It addresses failure modes by importance
  • For important failure modes, it defines applicable maintenance task candidates and selects the most effective one

A Guide to the Reliability-Centered Maintenance (RCM) Standard (SAE JA1012) identified the basic requirements a program must meet before it is truly RCM. It begins with these seven questions:

  • What is the item supposed to do and its associated performance standards?
  • In what ways can it fail to provide the required functions?
  • What are the events that cause each failure?
  • What happens when each failure occurs?
  • In what way does each failure matter?
  • What systematic tasks can be performed proactively to prevent, or to diminish to a satisfactory degree, the consequences of the failure?
  • What must be done if a suitable preventive task cannot be found?

There are four phases of an RCM project (information courtesy of

  • Decision – Justification and planning based on need, readiness and desired outcomes
  • Analysis – Conduct the RCM study in a way that provides a high quality output
  • Implementation – Act on the study’s recommendations to update asset and maintenance systems, procedures and design improvements
  • Benefits – Measure the improvements and identify opportunities to further improve

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The RCM approach is a multi-faceted process that requires time, effort and buy in from corporate, executive stakeholders, your maintenance team and more. Because of that, RCM is best utilized to improve efficiency for large scale, capital projects or for critical equipment.

Failure Reporting and Corrective Action System (FRACAS)

A failure reporting, analysis and corrective action system (FRACAS) is a more rapid approach to optimize PMs, and does not require extensive planning and decision-making to assess a PM program. FRACAS is a system that establishes a procedure for reporting, classifying, analyzing failures, and planning corrective actions in response to common failures. It identifies the root causes and failure analyses to help organizations implement the best solution to prevent or predict the issue from occurring time and time again.

FRACAS consists of:

  • Failure Reporting (FR). Asset or system failures are formally reported through a Defect Report, Failure Report or within a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS).
  • Analysis (A). Perform analysis in order to identify the root cause of failure.
  • Corrective Actions (CA). Identify, implement and verify corrective actions to prevent more repetition of the same failure.

Common outputs from FRACAS include Important Key Performance Metrics such as Mean Time Between Failures, Mean Time Between Repair, Mean Time To Repair, reliability growth, and failure/incidents distribution by type. The FRACAS model provides the information needed to support Root Cause Failure Analysis (RCFA) and Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) efforts.

Judgment-based Approach

A judgement-based approach to PM optimization is just as it sounds. The process involves consulting the maintenance team and system engineers to develop a plan based on how they have seen the equipment operate and respond to the current PM schedule.

The judgement approach is not as accurate as RCM or FRACAS, and will not produce the same data and indicators of performance. However, sometimes that data and spending the time to track it is not necessary for all pieces of equipment. Judgement based PM optimization is best for assets that lack criticality, are inexpensive to repair/replace, or have been operating normally.

For even more information about topics including failure modes, total and partial failures, and how to mine equipment history to better understand how to minimize your failures, check out eMaint’s Best Practices Webinar, “Secrets of Great PM Programs” by Jeff Shiver from People & Processes.

Watch Webinar

How a CMMS Can Help

Once you have completed the six steps to design a preventive maintenance schedule for your organization, it is important to consistently schedule, track and analyze this information. The functionality within a CMMS can help facilitate this process in a variety of ways.

Automate PM Processes & Procedures

A CMMS offers automation tools to help reduce missing scheduled work and equipment failures, making PM optimization as efficient and streamlined as possible. PM Task Generation, PM Scheduling and Inspections help facilitate continuous improvement and support for an organization’s Preventive Maintenance program.

  • PM Task Generation – Users can utilize a PM calendar- and/or meter-based PM tasks for all assets. These include detailed descriptions with how-tos, guidelines and other information vital to effectively performing the work.
  • PM Task Schedules – PM schedules empower users to coordinate labor resources and parts needed to complete work, as well as automatically generate PM tasks based on usage or a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
  • Inspections – Users can record inspections accurately and generate corrective work orders when equipment inspections fail.

A CMMS completely automates the Failure Reporting step in the FRACAS PM optimization method. Organizations can also leverage a CMMS to perform root cause analysis and deploy corrective actions.

Track & Analyze PM Schedules

Both RCM and FRACAS require considerable tracking and analyzing of PM processes. With eMaint’s reporting and dashboard tools, organizations can consistently document work order history, failures, costs and trends. With a few clicks of a mouse, organizations have access the data to perform the analyses that both RCM and FRACAS requires.

  • Reports – eMaint’s reporting tools help organizations build reports that can be automatically updated with your organization’s most important Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and keep all critical data in one place). You can also auto-generate and email reports to anyone in your organization.
  • Dashboards – Dashboards and associated graphs can be generated with your CMMS data on total downtime by critical asset, Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF), wrench time percentage and more. This will help your organization get a better understanding on how equipment is performing and what decisions need to be made to improve processes.

eMaint Clients & Process Optimization

Nippon Sheet Glass (NSG) Group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of glass and glazing systems. Nine ISO/TS 16949 compliant plants across NGS Group’s North American operations use eMaint.

Within the system, NSG Group set up a template to standardize across all locations to effectively look at performance and analyze key metrics, including leading and lagging. Completion rates for preventive maintenance are an NSG Group leading metric because of how it can impact operations.

KPIs are recorded and tracked on a daily basis, and the team developed a Metrics Center tab on their Dashboard, which offers live data on PM completion rates per Master Asset (Production Line) asset. The team also tracks each location’s performance to develop benchmarks and a scorecard that supports corporate goals of continuous improvement and reduction of waste.

C.B. Fleet Laboratories is a leading manufacturer of personal care and over-the-counter products, specializing in feminine hygiene, gastrointestinal products and infant care.The team kicked off implementation by interviewing mechanics to collect their insight into daily activities and identify which aspects of work were the most challenging.

Five key pillars were identified as the focus for revamping processes: people, material management, workload management, basic care and reliability. The company has reported that nearly every aspect of business is measured and reported to improve accountability, transparency and productivity within the company.

C.B. Fleet’s utilization of eMaint has caused a 50% reduction in reactive maintenance as well as a 35% decrease in reactive maintenance labor hours.

Putting it simply, PMO involves performing the right work, at the right frequency, the right way.
Regardless of the approach a company decides upon, optimizing Preventive Maintenance schedules will benefit your organization. For example, eMaint clients experience KPI improvements from PM optimizations such as:

Want to see how eMaint can improve your organization’s Preventive Maintenance optimization process? Get your free trial started today or click here for pricing.