Maintenance Standards

Your maintenance team is essential to the continuity, reliability, and productivity of your operation. A truly effective maintenance program will operate according to consistent, well-defined, and clearly communicated maintenance standards. In fact, these standards may make the difference between a high-performing maintenance team and a maintenance department that consistently falls short of expectations.  

A high-performing maintenance team will significantly reduce unplanned downtime, extend the life of your assets, improve the safety conditions in your facilities, reduce the risk of regulatory non-compliance, and lower the overall cost of equipment maintenance. By contrast, a subpar maintenance department can lead to more frequent equipment breakdowns, costly emergency repairs, prolonged work stoppages, heightened safety risks, and penalties for regulatory non-compliance. 

These stark differences underscore the critical importance of establishing, adhering to, and continuously improving your organization’s maintenance standards

What are maintenance standards

Maintenance standards are the guidelines, procedures, and regulatory conditions that your maintenance team must adhere to in order to operate efficiently, safely, and in compliance with the law. An effective maintenance program will develop and refine its general maintenance procedures in alignment with both industry-wide maintenance standards and internal maintenance standards

Whereas internal maintenance standards will be developed according to your organization’s specific products, practices, and procedures, industry-wide standards will typically be defined, and in some cases enforced, by industry associations or government agencies. 

Industry-wide maintenance standards

Industry-wide maintenance standards are typically established and enforced by professional associations and regulatory agencies. These standards will apply across relevant sectors and industries. Industry-wide standards are designed to codify uniform handling of maintenance activities based on a combination of research findings, government pilot programs, and input from qualified experts. 

Examples of commonplace industry-wide standards include: 

  • ISO 55000 Series, which provides guidelines and requirements for asset management, including maintenance activities related to equipment, machinery, and facilities. 
  • ANSI/ASSP Z10, which together provide maintenance standards for occupational health and safety management systems, and which are jointly developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP).
  • NFPA 70B, which provides guidelines for safe and reliable electrical equipment maintenance per conditions set by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
  • SAE J3000 Series, which provides standardized procedures and best practices for automotive maintenance in accordance with conditions set by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).

Internal maintenance standards

Internal maintenance standards will typically be introduced by operations management personnel with input from facility managers, quality engineers, maintenance technicians, and more. The internal maintenance standards you develop will depend on the nature of your operation and the type of facilities and equipment used in your processes. 

In many cases, these internal standards will be informed in part by the industry-wide standards outlined above. Internal maintenance standards will also be informed in part by historical data, warranty information, and manufacturer recommendations. 

Examples of commonplace internal maintenance standards include:

Benefits of maintenance standards

As noted above, industry-wide and internal maintenance standards combine to optimize your organization’s maintenance work. These maintenance standards can contribute to: 

  • Increased equipment reliability, reduced downtime, and longer equipment lifecycle 
  • Streamlined maintenance processes, reduced time to completion, and lower expenditure of resources
  • Improved safety conditions, minimized risk of accidents, and reduced liability due to worker injuries
  • Stronger compliance, minimized risk of fines, and reduced likelihood of facing legal penalties
  • Cost savings, with preventive maintenance minimizing costly emergency repairs and premature asset replacement.

The benefits of clearly articulated maintenance standards go well beyond individual companies. These standards also provide a valuable framework for industries as a whole, with benefits extending to workers, consumers, and the environment. Among these industry-wide benefits are: 

  • Stronger quality control and consumer protection
  • Meaningful benchmarking for companies seeking to improve upon existing standards
  • Heightened public safety as well as safer working conditions
  • Improved collaboration among companies, researchers, regulatory bodies, and other key stakeholders
  • More sustainable practices, lowered emissions, and a reduced environmental footprint

Who introduces maintenance standards

Industry-wide maintenance standards come from a variety of sources, including a cross-section of professional associations, national organizations, and international governing bodies. Below, we take a closer look at some of the key organizations engaged in developing and enforcing industry standards:  

  • International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is responsible for overseeing guidelines for asset maintenance (ISO 55000 Series) as well as maintenance quality and reliability standards (ISO 900).
  • The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is responsible for overseeing maintenance dependability guidelines (IEC 60300) as well as safety standards for the maintenance of electrical systems.
  • American National Standards Institute (ANSI) develops and coordinates national maintenance standards, and typically delegates enforcement of these standards through a variety of subcommittees and industry groups.
  • Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals (SMRP) deploys research and expert consultation to index best practices for maintenance and reliability professionals.
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is responsible for establishing and enforcing workplace safety standards, including the role that maintenance must play in achieving compliance.

Different types of maintenance standards

Internal maintenance standards can typically be broken down into various categories. These categories often overlap directly with the various maintenance models that you might employ within your organization. For instance: 

Preventive maintenance standards 

These proactive maintenance standards typically include guidelines for routine inspections, scheduled servicing, parts replacements, calibration, lubrication, and more.

Predictive maintenance standards 

This maintenance strategy is informed by the performance of your physical assets. Relevant standards typically include guidelines for sensor-based condition monitoring, advanced data analysis, and incorporation of technologies such as vibration analysis, thermography, and oil analysis

Corrective maintenance standards 

This maintenance strategy is typically triggered by equipment malfunction or failure. Relevant standards may include procedures for failure diagnosis, repair protocols, post-repair testing, and more.

Safety and compliance maintenance standards 

Safety and compliance maintenance standards will typically include guidelines for lockout/tagout (LOTO), personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements, documentation of all maintenance activities, a comprehensive audit trail, and more.

Environmental maintenance standards 

Environmental maintenance standards will typically include procedures for using environmentally friendly materials and processes, properly disposing of hazardous materials, optimizing energy use, reducing emissions, and more.

Enforce maintenance standards with a CMMS

Leading-edge Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) providers like Limble can simplify the process of introducing and enforcing maintenance standards through a combination of automation and customization. Limble’s features are designed to streamline your maintenance efforts

This means you can easily incorporate a combination of internal findings, industry-wide standards, and manufacturer recommendations to tailor maintenance standards to your operation. 

In addition to easing and customization implementation, Limble CMMS includes a variety of sophisticated features that can help your organization maintain, monitor, and improve upon your maintenance standards over time. Below, we take a quick look at just a few ways that Limble’s CMMS can help your organization implement and optimize maintenance standards:

  • Automated work order management ensures that necessary maintenance activities are scheduled, performed, and completed on time.
  • Preventive maintenance scheduling ensures the performance of routine inspections and scheduled upkeep.
  • Integration with condition-monitoring sensors and IoT devices lets you track equipment health and performance in real time.     
  • Centralized Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) give maintenance teams and other personnel direct access to clear instructions for each maintenance task.
  • Task checklists simplify the completion and documentation of each maintenance task.
  • Comprehensive documentation and reporting provide a detailed history of completed tasks in preparation for future audits, compliance checks, and continuous improvement efforts.
  • Real-time inventory tracking and reorder alerts ensure that you always have the necessary parts on hand to perform timely and effective preemptive repairs.
  • Mobile access and a user-friendly interface give maintenance technicians total access to work orders, SOPs, and checklists anywhere, anytime. 
  • Documentation and reporting tools ensure regulatory compliance and improve inspection performance. 
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) and Mean Time to Repair (MTTR) facilitate the performance evaluation and continuous improvement of your maintenance program.

In short, Limble’s CMMS makes it easy to research, assemble, introduce, and enforce maintenance standards within your organization. Curious how the right CMMS platform can automate preventive maintenance scheduling, enhance your ability to monitor the performance of your maintenance department, and streamline your control over both operations and maintenance

Check out our Essential Guide to CMMS Solutions and learn more.

Free Essential Guide to CMMS

Discover everything you need to know about CMMS in this comprehensive guide. Begin your maintenance journey now!

Get the Guide

Request a Demo

Share your contact details below and someone from our team will reach out as soon as possible.