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Why is Digitizing Planned Preventive Maintenance Important for Educational Institutions?

Digitizing Planned Preventive Maintenance Typically, most people think that maintenance management is crucial only for manufacturing and industrial organizations. However, the reality is quite different now - complex systems and pieces of equipment are used by virtually every organization. That holds for educational institutions as well - HVAC systems, sprinklers, generators, projectors, printers, and other complex pieces of equipment are used to serve and facilitate hundreds of students, teachers, and visitors. While maintenance management has been around for quite some time, as well as planned preventive maintenance, many are still either using corrective maintenance or are using analog methods for maintenance management! That being said, let’s take a look at why a preventive maintenance plan is crucial and how digitization can streamline maintenance management efforts.

Why planned preventive maintenance is ideal for educational institutions

Yes, predictive maintenance (PdM) is poised to be the next big thing in maintenance management. However, it requires complex systems that consist of constant internet connectivity, IoT sensors, and more. PdM can be quite expensive and complex to set up and maintain - something that might be overkill for schools, colleges, and universities. Planned preventive maintenance, on the other hand, brings the perfect balance - it’s better suited for educational facilities. While we’ve already seen why it’s a better choice over PdM, let’s see why it’s better than corrective maintenance too.

Well, planned preventive maintenance ensures that the equipment receives maintenance regularly. Compare that to corrective maintenance that focuses on maintenance AFTER the machinery fails, and you’ll see why preventive maintenance is better. Emergency work orders are reduced drastically, whereas the equipment receives the care that it requires to run reliably.

Preventive maintenance brings several benefits for educational institutions - let’s take a look a the most common ones.

Preventive maintenance reduces interruptions

Imagine that the generator, while online, suddenly fails, or a projector is malfunctioning. Such malfunctions lead to disruptions that can last hours - hampering the learning experience for several students. Preventive maintenance ensures that the equipment receives inspections, servicing, and maintenance even while they’re working properly - helping identify and solve issues even before they arise.

Digitizing Planned Preventive Maintenance Preventive maintenance ensures regulatory compliance

Educational institutions need to comply with several rules and regulations, many of which are focused on safety. Preventive maintenance helps the equipment run reliably, and even if there are potential issues that might lead to safety concerns, inspections help identify them beforehand. Thus, preventive maintenance has a huge role in reducing safety incidents that arise from malfunctioning equipment.

Preventive maintenance increases asset performance and longevity

It’s quite simple - if the assets receive preventive maintenance in due time, they will perform more reliably than those that receive corrective maintenance. That’s because preventive maintenance helps the machinery operate as per the manufacturer’s recommendations and in favorable conditions, whereas corrective maintenance occurs after breakdowns only. The latter leads to more wear and tear, overheating, and even premature death - all of which can be significantly reduced using preventive maintenance.

Preventive maintenance reduces costs

Well, from the benefits above, it can be concluded that preventive maintenance reduces unplanned equipment downtime, safety incidents, helps ensure compliance, improves equipment reliability and longevity. All of this together helps reduce replacement, repair, and maintenance costs significantly.

However, while many might be opting for preventive maintenance, digitizing the entirety of it with a CMMS solution takes it to another level - let’s see the benefits that it brings.

Benefits of digitizing preventive maintenance

It keeps all the information organized and centralized

Forget spreadsheets and binders - some solutions can keep all the maintenance-related information in a centralized location. This saves a serious amount of time for maintenance teams, time that they can use for maintenance tasks - that brings us to the next point.

It helps streamline work orders, maintenance schedules, and more

Imagine dealing with the thousands of work orders and organizing them manually - think about the work history! Digitizing preventive maintenance helps with work order management as well. For instance, a CMMS software solution can help maintain all the work orders, help pull up work history easily, and more.

Moreover, all the information regarding the assets, spare parts, technicians, and vendors can be saved, accessed by relevant personnel, and modified accordingly - helping assign maintenance tasks, inspections, and more.

It helps provide insights

By digitizing relevant maintenance management information, several solutions can convert this information into useful insights that can be helped to make informed decisions, identity issues within the equipment, and solve them effectively.

Maintenance management needs a boost as educational institutions reopen
COVID-19 has been quite hectic for the entire world, and as schools, colleges, and universities are reopening slowly, maintenance managers need to ensure that all the pieces of equipment are operating optimally now and will continue to do so in the future. While PdM might be expensive and unnecessary at this point, at least for most educational institutions, preventive maintenance, especially with digitization, can really help make a difference.

Image Credits:
Image 2: Marko Puusaar, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 3rd December 2021.

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