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Preventive Maintenance Training

Preventive Maintenance Training

I have been asked to train plant personnel at several other facilities within my organization on maintenance best practices, especially preventive maintenance.  These facilities are about 90% reactive and need to change their focus.  My thoughts are to bring in a professional trainer who can instill in them the importance of making this change.  Has anybody had any experience with training organizations that they could recommend?  
Also, if anyone would have any tips or pointers on how to change this culture, I would really like to hear them.


RE: Preventive Maintenance Training

Hi JCovey.

I understand your problem, it's very difficult to change the culture where maintenence is a constant ritual of putting out fires. Unfortunately when this is the method of maintenance over a period of years the equipment integrity is terribly compromised. It's almost like rebuilding each machine to a reliable condition and then doing proper PMs

Here are a couple of sites

Training Resource:

I visit this one quite often it's very informative

Here's another

Good Luck,

RE: Preventive Maintenance Training

J. Covey,
I am in total favor of preventative maintenance and have acted as an instructor in some minerals processing plants, petrochemical plants, mines etc, as an independent consultant.  I have no ready made programs, but, the idea is not to jump all over them for the negative side of being 90% reactive, all production units today are mostly reactive with little forethought towards long term goals.  We must find out why they are reactive, then teach the technicalities of why they must change to a different culture, but in order to accomplish this we must have the dedicated effort of management.
It will be easy to assess the implications of requirements of changing oil, but the dedication to do it, either has to be understood or planned and dictated.
Tom Coyne,

RE: Preventive Maintenance Training

Outside instructors can be of some help if you, or your people, have no time be strictly dedicated to PM (if you try to work on PM program, but still jump on any "fire", you will not achieve a lot - not only my experience).

Generally, they spend some time on site investigating, use existing manufacturer's manuals, and then prepare generic PM's. I was working with such companies twice, and both times PM's were really general, any experienced maintenance staff person could prepare such (maybe I have no luck with those companies). But there was one good point: technicians were very critical and their remarks became starting point for REAL good PM (details on process you can find at post "PM procedures" here). So, to conclude, you can have use of outside contractors if you don't have people allocated to that task.

Regarding changing the culture, here is one tip: one good way is to separate some mechanics/electricians to a PM group and hold them away from urgent services. This can seem hard, but if you are disciplined it can give visible results even in rather short period. In the beginning even if you cannot give them enough detailed PM for full shift (at least some have to be in place anyhow), give them any routine check for occupation, they only must not be involved in breakdown job. People in this team can be the allways the sme people or everybody could shift from breakdown to PM team - this depends on your evaluation of people, their capabilities, motivation etc. Later, when they become used to fact that there is some job that is not firefighting you can better adjust your organisation procedures.

RE: Preventive Maintenance Training

This is a complicated issue.  No one really wants to do breakdown maintenance all the time so you have to determine why they are focused there.  A plant I inherited was having a similar problem.  The root cause was the production department wouldn't shut down the machines for maintenance until they broke.  

The best results I've ever achieved in training mechanics came when I selected a team of volunteers to design and deliver the training.  We had a training manager on staff that advised the team in the mechanics of training, you could use a consultant for that.  There were two big positive results from this approach.  The team knew the equipment and environment intimatly.  When an issue arose about how to free up mechnanics to be trained the team split up into trainers and substitutes so the work could be covered while the training was done.

Now the bad news.  Preventive maintenance is unlikly to make a big change in your breakdown problems in the short term, it takes predictive and proactive programs to do that.  It may be difficult to get enough resources free from firefighting to do the PM.  Our union contracts allowed  us to do PM with the operators.  Using the operators in conjunction with a formal management system of their PM work was pretty effective at getting the PM done.  It also allowed production management to "schedule" the PM in little chunks every day.  Good Luck

RE: Preventive Maintenance Training

Thank you for your response/feedback.  I'm kinda between a rock and a hard place.  My facility has been identified as the most advanced in the company (good), so they think that I can spend a little time at the other facilities with vastly different processes and equipment, tell them to start doing PM and all the problems will be solved (not so good).

The root of the problem is as Iskit mentions, that production and management forces the maintenance department to be reactive by refusing to shut down equipment until it's smoking or passing shrapnel.  I feel that any training and education should also include mgmt and production.  Once they're "on board" that will open the window for the maint. group to refocus their efforts.

I'm still trying to figure out how I can keep our plant running while helping our other facilities turn their systems around.  

Thanks all,

RE: Preventive Maintenance Training

The reluctance of your production department to shut down the machine for service has to be dealt with by top management.  The plant I inherited I got because I was transfered by a new CEO.  When it became evident what was happening he told production that maintenance OWNED the machines and production needed PERMISSION to run them.  Things got better pretty quickly.  You need absolute support from your CEO to make a real impact.  

RE: Preventive Maintenance Training

It is natural that production wants to produce, and maintenance wants to maintain. Both sides have great motivations to be good at what they do. The third component is the manager that can effectively integrate the two into a physical plant. Unfortunately in North Amercia, that individual in many cases has insufficient skill levels, or is non exsistant. If this is your case, then negotiations with the CEO or appropriate controller is required, to establish and fullfill this neccessary focal point.

In regards to training, I firmly believe that although it is helpful for the crews to know PM basics, it really is a concept of management. It would be easier/more efficient to aquire an experinced individual to fill the above focal position, who in turn manages the relationship between production and maintenance. His motivations are based around plant efficiencies.

RE: Preventive Maintenance Training

Here is good software to help you start. MP2 go to

The best way to start is to have a PM crew if you have the man power. If not start out slow with certain goals,1 PM each day or shift. Work your way to have Weekly and monthly done on time. Autonomous maintenance my help also.

RE: Preventive Maintenance Training

Remember the best motivation a worker wants is money and job satisfaction in any order first point. remind them that a company that makes money pays money and will give better support to there workers. I have a PPT training package that may help (no strings attached) to giude you and your workers in the pursuit of increased producitivity by empowing them with the ideals to improve the equipment and work force.


RE: Preventive Maintenance Training

Set a goal for # of breakdowns in a month. Then promise your maintenance guys you'll buy lunch if they meet or exceed the goal.
One more thing, keep on top of the game to make sure they are not conveniently forgetting to report breakdows to get the free lunch.

RE: Preventive Maintenance Training

JCovey try to find out why your plant is appointed as the best among others.

It is definitely a management problem, If the production team can over rule the maintenance team, no matter what advanced CMMS program will be choosen, it will fail.

To do maintenance, time must be given to maintenance.

This can be done daily, weekly, monthly, yearly etc.

There must be some higher official above maintenance and production which can make the balance.

Steven van Els

RE: Preventive Maintenance Training

About a year ago the company where I work started a Reliability effort to reduce machine downtime.  We do this by having inspections performed by craftsmen.  The craftsmen make out MJR's to fix and if needed redesign equipment within there scope of knowledge otherwise engineers are involved.  The craftsmen themselves created the inspection routes.  

So far we are performing some inspections, however the more senior craftsmen are reluctant to make the change.  I don't know just how successful we will be.  Involvement of people on the floor is very important if this program is to succeed.

RE: Preventive Maintenance Training

At the company where i used to work, we were undergoing training in presentations (a good idea in itself)and one of the aerospace guys was giving a first presentation on maintenance to receive critisism and suggestions. I think we mostly all slept through most of it but somewhere near the end he came up with a gem from a large well known aircraft company:

"90% of all failures are caused by maintenance."

This was the attention grabber that should have opened his presentation and we told him so. He didn't take the advise so i guess he still trots it out to a mostly asleep audience.

Anyway, this is just the sort of information to grab attention and upon which to build the idea that all unnecessary maintenance should be avoided. I attended a great pesentation on maintenance at the US NAVY in Washington where someone was talking about predictive maintenance instead of routine maintenance.

Specifically the ability to extend maintenance intervals and achieve a high readiness state among Coastguard helicopters.

It was also a lesson that the manufacturers recomendations are often conservative or targetted on the un-imaginative maintenance teams.

With regard to getting maintenance tasks a priority over production you will need to be able to show that 5minutes for a necessary maintnenace task is better than 1hr for an emergency. If you can't show this, you will never break the mold. You have to show production what's in it for them.

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RE: Preventive Maintenance Training

Tips I found worked
Tech, fitters, elect etc need to
1.  have a positive attitude cast on them
2.  be part of the decission making 'team'
3.  be aloud try their own ideas now and then
4.  be shown the benifits of PM
5.  don't need to be told how to do the job by someone in a suit fresh out of collage. Get an overalls and show them if you can
6.  be given the tools and equipment necessary
7.  be given the down time, not the teabreak from production

Management and supervisors should actually know how to do the PM or else believe the trained personal. that's what they are trained for.

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