Preventive Maintenance Checklist: How eForms Increase Productivity And Improve Equipment Operation

Last Updated: July 16, 2020

Downtime caused by equipment asset malfunction costs most facilities between 5% and 20% of their productive capacity.

An effective preventive maintenance checklist can help limit production downtime and extend the equipment’s life span.

For 78% of facilities, preventive maintenance is the strategy of choice when keeping their assets in operative state.

Keep reading to find out how preventive maintenance checklists can not only reduce your equipment’s downtime, but can also eliminate operational expenditure, provide workflow standardization, increase ROI and overall productivity.

What Is a Preventive Maintenance Checklist?

A preventive maintenance checklist is an itemized list of written tasks that guide technicians through a process of asset’s preventive maintenance (PM).

This checklist’s objective is to establish reliable working processes withing a facility, factory or other enterprises by ensuring that all technicians in the maintenance team follow the PM procedure to the letter.

Equipment manufacturers, consultants or other relevant parties prepare the preventative maintenance checklist that are the basic building block of any maintenance program.

There are four types of maintenance programs:

  • Corrective
  • Preventive
  • Risk-based
  • Condition-based

Preventive maintenance happens at predetermined intervals or according to prescribed criteria and aims to reduce the equipment’s performance degradation or failure.

The goal of PM is to improve operations efficiency by prolonging the equipment lifespan.

Preventive maintenance checklists, which either exist as step-by-step checklists or pass-or-fail checklists, can be organized according to:

  • Equipment assets
  • Types of system
  • Season, for seasonal maintenance checks
  • Daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly interval
  • Level of priority
  • Skill level
  • Responsibility

Finally, PM checklists usually exist in two main forms:

  • Time-based maintenance checklists that include routine maintenance tasks
  • Condition-based maintenance checklists that are more difficult to prepare than time-based because they consist of non-routine maintenance tasks

Preventive Maintenance Pre-Check: 6 Things To Do Before Executing Preventive Maintenance Plan

Prior to coming up with the preventative eForm and its items that will depend on the type of asset you’re evaluating, it’s advisable to follow these 6 steps that will inform the checklist you’re building with greater accuracy.

  • Delegate preventive maintenance duties to the relevant team of people: Before creating the actual preventive maintenance checklist, it is hugely important to decide on the people who will be part of the maintenance team and who will use the checklist. Selecting top management individuals, maintenance technicians and managers, as well as any staff that understands the technical side of the equipment and how it operates, ensures the maintenance program runs effectively.


  • Set goals for the preventive maintenance program: According to the resources, structure, industry, size and other unique factors of your company, create a scope of a PM plan that can include fixing certain assets, replacing them or making a general long-term strategy for the equipment.


  • Gather in-depth details about the existing equipment: The very foundation of any preventive maintenance checklist is being familiar with the existing equipment that will be included in the checklist. Document the model and a serial number of every piece of equipment and its installation, repairs and parts replacement guidelines. A technician should also assess the functioning of specific assets. With this information, you can calculate the cost of equipment downtime and acquire a basis for evaluating the PM program.


  • Shortlist equipment before including it in the checklist: After making a full list of inventory, a decisionmaker should establish which equipment items should undergo a maintenance program. Assets that should have priority in this regard are those with high repair/maintenance costs, that need routine maintenance and those that are decisive for successful business operations.


  • Come up with a PM schedule that informs future checklists: Based on equipment maintenance history, maintenance standards, inspection times, equipment location, production downtime and technician availability, create a preventive maintenance schedule that will provide minimal disruption and optimal maintenance.


  • Adjust KPIs: To inform the items contained in the preventive maintenance checklist, evaluate cost/benefit effects of previous preventive maintenance programs. Maintenance managers may opt for adjusting PMs and key performance indicators depending on company activities, conditions and other factors.

5 Most Popular Types Of Maintenance Checklist Templates And Items They Contain

Electronic form checklists can be customized according to enterprise’s profile and industry

Electronic form checklists can be customized according to enterprise’s profile and industry

A preventive maintenance checklist must befit the facility’s maintenance plan and be tailored to your enterprise’s needs. Even though they are business-specific, these checklists also have certain common elements regardless of industry.

Let’s take a look into examples of different types of preventive maintenance checklists and common items for each.

    1. Preventive maintenance checklist for machines:

      • Make sure that machine is clear of debris before and after the shift begins
      • Clean the lubricant, dirt and other debris from the machine’s surface
      • Inspect tools’ sharpness
      • Replace worn or damaged tools
      • Check machine’s fluid levels and replace filters if necessary
      • Calibrate machines


    2. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning system maintenance checklist:

      • Check the thermostat
      • Inspect condenser coil and establish if it needs cleaning
      • Check all wiring and electrical controls connections
      • Inspect voltage and amperage on all motors
      • Inspect the compressor contactor
      • Check start capacitor and potential relay.
      • Check the pressure switch cut-out setting.
      • Replace air filter or clean reusable type filter.


    3. Facility infrastructure maintenance checklist:

      • Make sure that safety and caution areas are sufficiently marked
      • Ensure that wires are secured and are not a hazard
      • Inspect walkway and stairway railways
      • Ensure adequate space between machinery
      • Inspect structural elements once a year at least
      • Check building systems such as electrical, plumbing, network etc.
      • Assess external grounds for hazards
      • Examine fire detectors several times a year.


    4. Lightning maintenance checklist:

      • Inspect all the lighting in the facility
      • Check all exit, interior and exterior lighting for proper installation and function
      • Replace nonfunctional lights
      • Check the color temperature of lamps that you’re replacing
      • Clean dirty lamps and check their aim
      • Check hardware and cabling


    5. Plumbing maintenance checklist:

      • Inspect plumbing according to schedule
      • Investigate any leaks or noises
      • Lubricate bearings in domestic water booster and circulation pump system
      • Inspect couplings
      • Check the sewage ejection pumps
      • Lubricate exposed pumps

Bonus Tips: What Makes A Great Preventive Maintenance Checklist?

Here are a few additional steps that maintenance managers and company decisionmakers can take to fine-tune a preventive maintenance checklist for optimal performance.

  1. Elements Of High-Quality Preventive Maintenance Checklist

    • Preparation details: This includes estimated time for work completion, necessary spare parts for completing the work, primary tools needed to complete the work etc.
    • Safety details: Envelopes required personal protective equipment, safety instructions and LockOut TagOut (LOTO) instructions
    • Visual aids such as diagrams, videos, pictures, graphs, charts, tables and more.


  2. How To Outline The Steps For Following A High-Quality PM Checklist

    The three important characteristics of a good PM checklist include:

      • Communicating future steps in a concise and clear manner: The PM checklist should be simple enough for technicians to follow without or with very little supervision. Some tips for making checklists understandable are:
        • Break long paragraphs into multiple steps
        • Use a diagram or a picture for items that need detailed explanations
        • Be precise when describing steps that technicians need to take. For instance, if the asset has 3 coils, saying “check the coil” isn’t clear enough.


      • Laying out said steps in sequence: Preventive maintenance is a very step-by-step procedure. The checklist should align with this: they should have a list of actions that technicians should follow in a very specific order of completion.


    • Updating the information on a regular basis: Preventive maintenance checklist should get frequent and regular updates because
        • Technicians that use it can suggest changes to it that could improve the process
        • The breakdown of an asset may cause a problem that wasn’t fixed
        • The asset may now be operating under different conditions than before
        • The company purchased a new asset or a piece of equipment and needs to match it with those on the existing checklist.


What Are The Preventative Maintenance Checklist Benefits?

Maintenance checklist templates lead to better job productivity in factories

Maintenance checklist templates lead to better job productivity in factories

Having a preventive maintenance plan and preventive maintenance checklist to execute this plan has great benefits for the business.

They improve the operation of equipment, boost asset parts quality and reduce overall downtime.

Several other perks include:

  • Greater job productivity and workflow standardization: Outlining the steps that a qualified technician should perform in order to service and maintain the operational equipment minimizes the time required for doing the job right. Checklists improve productivity, inform newly arrived technicians how to do the job properly and improves the quality of finished work.


  • Great cost-effectiveness and ROI: As a result of increased asset quality and a decrease in operational expenditures, the company can profit from PM checklists as they boost the ROI. Also, preventive maintenance is cost-effective because technicians can be deployed strategically within a facility, taking into account their availability, operation downtimes and equipment location.


  • Better safety: The descriptive manner in which PM checklists lay out the necessary steps for maintaining assets reduces human errors. Also, by containing safety instructions they minimize the probability of a work-related injury.


  • More efficient maintenance planning: Checklists make it easy to evaluate the time necessary for a technician to finish the task because there is a clearly defined amount of steps they should follow. This makes scheduling and managing maintenance much easier, as well.


  • Faster troubleshooting: Thanks to maintenance checklists, all technicians can perform the same actions in the same way. This makes for a limited number of reasons why something can go wrong and the fewer reasons to account for also means less time for someone to figure out what went wrong and troubleshoot.

How To Build Your Custom Preventive Maintenance Checklist Templates With doForms

No matter the industry and vertical of your enterprise, doForms’ DIY principle makes it easy to build fully-customized preventative maintenance checklists from scratch.

Mobile eForms can collect necessary data on smartphones and tablets through the intuitive web dashboard for building forms from pre-made templates.

Maintenance and repair specialists can fill these maintenance checklists on-site. Internet connectivity is not required and the data captured is easy to sync with the business’ central database.

Ready to build your own checklist? Get in touch!

Takeaways On Preventive Maintenance Checklist

Preventive maintenance checklists help enterprises maintain their equipment and other assets in good condition, ensuring their proper functioning and seamless production workflow.

The benefits these checklists provide are:

  • Better productivity
  • Bigger profits
  • Workflow standardization
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Greater safety
  • Faster troubleshooting
  • Efficient maintenance planning

In order to build a most effective checklist that fits their enterprise, businesses should first:

  • Delegate maintenance duties to relevant people
  • Set preventive maintenance program goals
  • Gether information about existing equipment
  • Shortlist equipment before including in the checklist
  • Adjust key performance indicators for each checklist

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