Not all check tasks are helpful. Have you ever asked, why is it that our PM team isn't preventing more equipment failures? 99 times out of 100, when you check your equipment it will appear to be operating as expected. Mechanics are very familiar with these odds. In fact, a task to "check" something can often be perceived as an exercise to simply check it off the list.
We've all been there when some piece of equipment breaks down and people start pointing fingers; someone digs into the PM data to see if we have been "checking" this equipment? Sure enough, you have information that says this equipment has been receiving routine checks. The problem is you don't know what that means. An employee checked the equipment, but what is your definition of checking that equipment?
First, define your checks. Your team needs to record some quantitative data that can be measured and associated with the equipment check.
Example: Imagine an employee who is directed to "check the brake pads" on a machine. Currently they may be required to record that the pads are in compliance, and in good working condition. That is a qualitative check. It is easy to quickly glance at the brake pads and report that they are in good working condition; it is even easier to simply assume they are good based on your check from yesterday, or the week before. What if instead you asked your employee to record the brake pad thickness, and a photo of it's condition?
By requiring employees to record a measurement and/or a photo of the brakes, you now have quantitative data that can be used to prevent and predict equipment failures. See an example comparison of the two different types of checks, the difference is compelling.
Second, eliminate unnecessary check tasks. Don't overdue your check tasks. The temptation is to put as many checks into your PM as possible, because we assume the checks can generally be completed quickly. This further exacerbates the problem described above. Check what is necessary. Ask yourself if the recurring frequency of the check tasks is appropriate. You would be better off getting a quantitative piece of data less often, than having a piece of paper that shows that you checked something daily.
Third, use technology wherever you can to get real time readings, and replace manual check tasks. Sensors and IoT are getting more and more affordable. Wherever possible, you should use tech to help keep a pulse on your equipment. It will save you in labor costs, and it will certainly save you in repairs and downtime if you know how to use the data.
Finally, get all of your data into one decision making platform. Put all of your check tasks and sensors to work for you in making your PM program more effective.
Improving PM check tasks will result in less unplanned downtime, guaranteed.