What is Scheduled Maintenance? Examples, Benefits, and More 

What is Scheduled Maintenance

Scheduled maintenance involves maintenance tasks allocated to a technician with a specific deadline. This type of maintenance covers inspections, servicing, adjustments, and planned shutdowns, which can be performed as one-time tasks or on a recurring basis.

In simpler words, scheduled maintenance specifies who will perform the maintenance tasks and when they will be completed. 

In this article, we will discuss scheduled maintenance, including its types, benefits, examples, and how it differs from planned maintenance. We will also talk about factory scheduled maintenance, and scheduled maintenance critical percent (SMCP). 

What is scheduled maintenance?

As mentioned, scheduled maintenance revolves around maintenance tasks assigned to the technician with a set deadline. 

Its main objective is to reduce equipment failures, prevent maintenance backlogs, and minimize reactive maintenance. It also enables more efficient allocation of resources. All in all, it helps reduce downtime and increase efficiency. 

For example, replacing the bearing on a conveyor belt every month to prevent its snapping is a form of scheduled maintenance. Similarly, scheduling the repair of an air conditioner upon detecting an issue is also an example of scheduled maintenance. 

Creating work orders, assigning scheduled maintenance, and monitoring progress is most effectively achieved through the use of CMMS software

According to a recent Plant Engineering study, computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) are the most widely utilized maintenance management systems, accounting for 50 percent of the usage. This is followed by manufacturing scheduling systems at 29 percent, computerized calendars at 18 percent, and enterprise asset management tools at 8 percent.

Scheduled maintenance examples

There are numerous examples of scheduled maintenance across facilities. 

The majority of facilities have heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems installed throughout their buildings. These systems demand frequent inspections and checkups to ensure they are running in optimal condition. 

Most of this task is rather simple—it involves maintaining clean registers and replacing air filters regularly. The slightly more complicated part is ensuring that these tasks are carried out timely.

Scheduled maintenance helps ensure such tasks are addressed at specific times. A maintenance planner or a designated scheduler lets you coordinate with technicians, or third-party HVAC specialists (in case they are required), considering their availability. 

On the other hand, scheduled maintenance can become complicated when work orders are involved. For instance, if a piece of equipment near the facility’s heating system requires urgent repairs, it should be scheduled either before or after the HVAC inspection, depending on priority. However, it should be kept in mind that overlapping both tasks can lead to delays and inefficiencies. 

Scheduled maintenance can be used as a preventive measure against future HVAC breakdowns in several ways. For example, when a faulty blower fan is discovered during an inspection, you create a work order against it and schedule the repairs in the near future to prevent further damage. This proactive maintenance approach can help prevent costly repairs and potential future damage to the equipment. 

scheduled maintenance workflow

What is the difference between scheduled and planned maintenance?

Scheduled maintenance is often mistaken for planned maintenance. However, there is a slight difference between scheduled and planned maintenance. 

Scheduled maintenance is a maintenance plan that involves determining when maintenance tasks will be carried out and who will perform them. 

Unlike planned maintenance, it does not involve any complicated prediction of work and equipment behavior. When an issue has been identified, a task falls into this maintenance category and is assigned to a technician with a specific deadline for completion.   

The task can either be a part of a broader planned maintenance strategy or a standalone workflow.

Now, let’s understand how planned maintenance is different from scheduled maintenance. Planned maintenance involves anticipating equipment needs and employing strategic systems for completing future maintenance tasks. 

To put it simply, planned maintenance determines how and which maintenance tasks will be performed in the future. This maintenance plan includes identifying a task, arranging materials, organizing workflows, prioritizing work orders, and executing them.

Preventive maintenance is an integral part of planned maintenance, enabling you to maintain and streamline the efficient upkeep of your equipment. 

Also Read: What is Planned Maintenance? Types, Examples, Benefits, and More

What are the types of scheduled maintenance?

There are two main types of scheduled maintenance:

Fixed scheduled maintenance

Fixed scheduled maintenance is a process that involves pre-planned, regular intervals at which equipment is properly inspected, serviced, and maintained. These intervals are established based on the manufacturer’s guidelines, industry standards, or historical performance data. 

An example of fixed scheduled maintenance would be a piece of equipment undergoing maintenance every 50 hours of operation or on a monthly basis.

Floating scheduled maintenance

Floating scheduled maintenance follows a more flexible approach that takes into account the actual condition of the equipment to decide when maintenance should be performed. This type of maintenance relies on condition monitoring, utilizing sensors and data analysis to evaluate the health and performance of the equipment in real time.

In machinery, a prime example of floating scheduled maintenance would be using sensors to monitor factors such as temperature and vibration of equipment. Maintenance is performed when readings indicate a need for it, thus ensuring optimal performance and preventing unexpected downtime. 

Benefits of scheduled maintenance

As per maintenance experts, the primary reasons for unscheduled equipment downtime are aging equipment (34%), mechanical failure (20%), operator error (11%), lack of time for maintenance (9%), and poor equipment design (8%) (Source: Plant Engineering, 2020).

Several benefits can be derived from scheduled maintenance. Minimizing downtime remains the most significant one. Let’s explore other benefits of scheduled maintenance:

Better personnel utilization

Scheduled maintenance ensures better personnel utilization as maintenance workers spend more time completing the tasks. As a result, this increases overall operational efficiency. 

Increased asset lifespan 

Another major benefit of scheduled maintenance is that it prevents breakdowns, eventually increasing the life expectancy of assets and reducing the need for untimely repairs and replacements.

Reduced maintenance costs

Scheduled maintenance reduces maintenance costs as it helps you avoid costly breakdowns and emergency repairs by utilizing time efficiently and proactively addressing issues. 

Cultivation of proactive efficiency

By implementing a scheduled maintenance plan, you can foster a culture of proactive efficiency among workers and ensure all required tasks are performed promptly and in an organized manner. 

Mitigate liability

With scheduled maintenance, you can keep your equipment in safe working condition and reduce the risk of accidents or failures. This can help mitigate potential liabilities for your organization. 

A well-handled scheduled maintenance strategy enhances work culture, leads to significant cost savings on asset maintenance, and improves workplace safety. 

This type of scheduled maintenance strategy can be implemented with the help of two things: CMMS software and careful coordination with maintenance planning. Together, they can yield significant returns for the organization in terms of time and resources.  

scheduled maintenance statistic

What is factory scheduled maintenance?

Factory scheduled maintenance is a form of time-based maintenance that involves checking for potential issues while performing maintenance tasks to improve performance. Different types of equipment come with prescribed maintenance schedules to ensure they continue to work in optimal condition. 

Several organizations avoid factory-scheduled maintenance in an attempt to reduce costs as this type of maintenance approach can prove more expensive in the long run. 

However, neglecting recommended maintenance schedules can make warranties void, leading to unplanned equipment breakdowns and costly downtime. Therefore, it is recommended to assess the situation and make a decision based on it.

What is scheduled maintenance critical percent (SMCP)?

In an ideal setting, you schedule the maintenance tasks, set the deadlines, and complete the tasks on time. However, in reality, maintenance can fall behind schedule and tasks can become overdue. When this happens, it can become challenging to determine which tasks require immediate attention and which can be delayed. 

This is when a scheduled maintenance critical percent (SMCP) comes in handy. It is a valuable tool that is used for organizing your recurring maintenance tasks. When several maintenance tasks are overdue, SMCP helps prioritize them. 

Along with that, it helps you calculate how delayed your maintenance tasks are in relation to how frequently they should be occurring. The higher the percentage, the higher the priority is for that particular maintenance task and vice versa.  

Ideally, when SMCP is carried out on the exact manufacturer’s recommended scheduled day, everything works out just fine. However, as any experienced technician would agree, things do not always work out as planned on paper, and real-world situations often unfold differently than the ideal plan. 

Conclusion

A robust scheduled maintenance program enables organizations to prioritize tasks, minimize equipment failure, and reduce maintenance backlogs while enhancing resource allocation. This, in turn, lowers the need for reactive maintenance and the costly repairs that come with it. 

Therefore, it is recommended to deploy an effective scheduled maintenance program to decrease equipment downtime and increase overall operational efficiency. 

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Why schedule maintenance?

The main aim of scheduled maintenance is to prioritize tasks to improve efficiency, increase workflow, reduce costs, and prevent downtime.  

What is an example of scheduled maintenance?

Replacing a bearing on a conveyor belt every 30 days or checking the condition of a motor every 90 days is an example of scheduled maintenance occurring at repeated intervals. Scheduled maintenance can also involve one-time work orders.

What are the types of scheduled maintenance?

There are two types of scheduled maintenance: Fixed scheduled maintenance and floating scheduled maintenance. Both types help track assets to determine if they need inspections, repairs, recalibrations, or replacements. 

About EZO CMMS 

EZO CMMS is robust maintenance management software that helps you manage assets, schedule maintenance, and track work orders – all in one place. Streamline operational workflows and enhance productivity using this computerized maintenance management software.