Research & Best Practices

The Ultimate Predictive Maintenance Checklist


A predictive maintenance program can improve your facility operations in numerous ways — increased maintenance efficiency, less overall downtime (planned and unplanned), improved machinery performance, data-backed maintenance decision-making, and more. Integrating predictive maintenance into your facility’s procedures requires a significant commitment to investing in equipment and personnel, as well as buy-in across the organization to reap the benefits of the investment. The efficiencies and improvements that you gain, however, will bring positive ROI over time.

The below predictive maintenance checklist will cover points to consider as you gauge whether a predictive maintenance strategy is right for you. It will also provide a starting point for a checklist of predictive maintenance steps once processes and systems are implemented. Does your plant operate on a preventive maintenance model? If so, check out our ultimate checklist for preventive maintenance success!

The predictive maintenance pre-check

The below steps will help you shore up the reasons for a predictive maintenance plan, to better prepare for its eventual implementation:

  • Define your reasons: List the reasons that you’re interested in upgrading your maintenance practices. Are you hoping to boost production efficiency? Reduce downtime? Improve overall equipment effectiveness? Remain competitive? Better understand and react to equipment performance and condition? Increase your overall bottom line? Establishing clearly defined reasons for implementation will lay the groundwork and help you rationalize all investments going forward.
  • Evaluate your current status: In as many areas as possible, assess and benchmark current metrics such as uptime, quality and machine performance. Use the reasons defined above to give you an idea of specific areas on which to focus – but still gather as much data on your current state as you can – as it will be useful for you to be able to show a “before and after” when asked about the ROI of your predictive maintenance technology investments.
Graphic of three people in hard hats working in plant.
  • Set targets: With your benchmarks in mind, now is the time to define the improvements you would like to see from a predictive maintenance program. Set short-, mid- and long-term goals, and measure performance against them.
  • Review implementation options: Predictive maintenance technology is what ultimately creates the data mine you’re seeking, so you will have to make investments in new technology (such as sensors), machinery upgrades or aftermarket additions. Research your available options for “connected” equipment or data collection devices including sensors for condition-based monitoring, decide whether you want to fully replace any machinery, and then begin to gauge the total cost of your investment. Remember that you can also implement predictive maintenance in a phased approach, beginning with a core critical asset and increasing from there. Predictive maintenance sensors provide the advantage of remote monitoring and data analytics for improved labor and production efficiency.

After making these initial assessments and decisions, it’s time to move forward with your predictive maintenance program. Use the below predictive maintenance steps as a template for necessary checks to make with predictive maintenance equipment already in place.

The ultimate predictive maintenance checklist

Predictive maintenance equipment checks

  • Verify that aftermarket data monitors are connected and powered on at the start of every shift.
  • Check data collection systems and software to ensure that they are operating properly.
  • Include data monitors as part of standard preventive maintenance checks — keep them clean and clear of debris or other material that may damage or disconnect them.
  • Be sure that all data monitoring equipment is properly calibrated.

Predictive maintenance personnel checklist

  • Do you have personnel with the proper training in data science to be able to make effective use of the data you collect? Remember that the power of predictive maintenance lies in the ability to use massive amounts of data to detect trends and potential issues, and qualified personnel are required to separate signal from noise in the data.
  • Do they have experience in predictive maintenance systems? If so, are they knowledgeable about your current CMMS?
  • Have you explained predictive maintenance principles and processes throughout the organization, so that everyone is aware of potential process changes? Be sure to communicate the benefits of predictive maintenance, as well.
Graphic of person holding tablet in front of robotic arms.

Predictive maintenance actions and results checklist

  • Assure that alarms and alerts are responded to promptly to maximize the benefits of predictive maintenance and reduce downtime.
  • Make sure planned and unplanned downtime continue to be accurately and completely recorded.
  • Consider the effectiveness of your predictive maintenance. Are unplanned downtime events still occurring? Can you identify why? Are there ways to continue reducing or eliminating them?

Predictive maintenance network and data system checklist

Predictive maintenance is driven by data and connected equipment. As such, it’s critical to be sure that your IT and data security practices are comprehensive and up to date or that you partner with an IoT sensors for predictive maintenance provider that utilizes their own secure network.

  • Assess your current network security practices and determine whether they are sufficient for your updated technology.
  • Remain aware of data breaches and threats.
  • Enact password and email policies to prevent unauthorized access through hacking or phishing.
  • Regularly change Wi-Fi and other network access passwords.

With these steps in mind, you’ll be ready to implement a solid predictive maintenance plan and have a framework for what to identify once the plan is in action. These steps will also help you make decisions about improving any predictive maintenance processes that you may currently have in place. For more information about how ATS’ expertise in technology-driven maintenance can assist in any of these areas, contact us today.

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