A Fresh Approach to Community Preventative Maintenance
Chances are your community’s amenities don’t include a crystal ball. But that doesn’t mean you can’t predict the future. It happens through a community preventative maintenance schedule, created by the Board, its designated committee or in conjunction with a good property manager.
While community preventative maintenance keeps systems running in a way that keeps future problems from happening, predictive maintenance entails using existing data to determine when systems might fail. Creating your community preventative maintenance schedule will help you budget for these occurrences – and eliminate most of those nasty surprises. Here’s how you can do it.
1. Do some digging – and some walking, too.A great prediction begins with knowing your history. Designated board members or committee members should take a look at all of the repair invoices and maintenance bills you have on file. You’ll begin to spot trends that will help you anticipate when these systems might fail again. You also want to walk your property and visually document building systems, public spaces, private spaces, and all surfaces. You may need to call in a professional to analyze some systems or areas.
2. Make your plan.Now’s the time to create a list of all of the aspects of your community you wish to include in your predictive maintenance schedule. Next, talk to relevant professionals about creating reasonable inspection intervals. When determining these intervals, consider how much it would affect your long-term operational costs if the system went down, along with how many residents would be affected in the instance of a system failure.
Beyond inspection intervals, your plan should define your expectations and how to measure if they’ve been met. Your chosen vendor should be able to monitor their work and measure the results. Better still, you can partner with a good property management firm for the many aspects of making your plan. They can put you in touch with a local vendor who will conduct the necessary analyses and schedules.
3. Know the testing techniques.Certain techniques are integral to gaining the data you need to create a predictive maintenance schedule. These include:
- Vibration analysis, which measures the vibration of moving parts in machines. Monitoring these vibrations, and their changes, can help you anticipate failures.
- Thermal imaging, which does not necessitate equipment shutdown.
- Laser shaft alignment, technology that will keep pumps, motor shafts and impellers from damaging and misalignments to occur.
- Trends analysis, which recognizes potential areas of fault in equipment.
- Oil sampling and analysis, which identifies area of wear, along with the lubricating ability of equipment oil.
4. Create a Predictive Maintenance Schedule.With your data in hand, it’s time to create your Predictive Maintenance Schedule. Continue to have your equipment and systems monitored and analyzed, but also remember that you’ll want your schedule to stay fluid so that it can accommodate variables (such as additional wear and tear due to extreme weather).
5. Complement with technology.You can use technology to help with the management of your Predictive Maintenance Schedule. A Computerized Maintenance Management System (or CMMS) can automate all of your schedule’s processes. Just consider factors like your number of users, where the application will be hosted, whether your techs can access the CMMS via mobile, and if it tracks items like work requests, scheduled maintenance, and inventory.
Remember, creating (and maintaining) a community preventative maintenance program will ultimately save you time, money and a lot of headaches. For more information on how to improve maintenance for your community, contact FirstService Residential.