U.S. Army preventive maintenance activities over short and long term

Preventive maintenance activities must face frequent economic reviews to judge their efficiency. Maintenance managers can use their cost and technical data with this assessment to decide the cost-effectiveness of their preventive maintenance activities.

Preventive maintenance activities often only show returns in the long term.  Therefore, it is critical to run regular economic reviews of preventative maintenance activates, to chart their efficiency and effectiveness. Though cost and technical data will differ between maintenance managers and their assets, general ideologies for managing systems remain. The U.S. Army follows a strict set of guidelines for their preventive maintenance activities, examined in detail here.

preventive maintenance activities
Correlation of PM level and elapsed time (years) before unit failure.

Preventive maintenance activities of a unit are handled based on priorities, human and financial resource availability, and the unit’s technical data and it’s preventive maintenance program. Maintenance managers should take note that different reasons exist for keeping a PM activity on their work roster and for scheduling a PM activity. The decision of whether or not to add an activity to the PM work roster is based on the value of an activity to the installation, as well as the activity’s cost-effectiveness. Whether or not to schedule a PM activity relates to the coordination and timeliness of the activity.

To effectively schedule preventive maintenance activities, managers must have knowledge of priorities and available resources. Depending on how often operations systems require inspections and servicing, PM scheduling can be fixed (required and performed at set times), variable (required, but with flexibility), or optional (preferable, but can be skipped without consequences).

Maintenance managers should take care to collect and interpret maintenance data regularly, building complete maintenance histories from their operations records (using preventive maintenance software can help).

The history of a unit should include the unit’s installation date, repair, maintenance, and inspection records of the unit, and the unit’s type and cost of replaced parts. This allows for managers to enter accurate and regular proposed maintenance schedules.

Using the maintenance data collected over time, including fail-rates, managers can determine the benefits of a preventive maintenance program. This can be calculate by the net savings gained by performing PM on a unit, over not performing PM. Managers can use this information to define trends, which can be charted out into graphs for easier understanding. The information generated by maintenance data and their charts can extend the overall life of a unit.

References | The Value Assessment Method for Evaluating
Preventive Maintenance Activities