Scheduled Maintenance: Meaning and Benefits

Scheduled Maintenance: Meaning and Benefits

In a production or manufacturing environment, scheduled maintenance is an absolute necessity. It aims to ensure that machinery and equipment operate optimally.

When this outcome is achieved on a consistent basis, organisations can enjoy less downtime and equipment breakdowns.

If you are wondering, “What is scheduled maintenance?” and “How does scheduling maintenance save time and money?”, this post is for you.

Below, we outline what this strategic approach is, how it differs from planned maintenance, what its benefits are and how to calculate the scheduled maintenance critical percentage (SMCP). Let’s begin.

Scheduled Maintenance: Meaning and Benefits

What Is Scheduled Maintenance?

What does scheduled maintenance mean? The term can be divided into two parts: timing and maintenance activities.

With regard to timing, it considers when maintenance tasks are performed and by whom. As such, it can take place either at given intervals of time or on an ad hoc basis, when a work order is issued individually.

With regard to maintenance, this refers to all the repair and service work that is performed on machinery and equipment. This means that maintenance is carried out within a specific maintenance schedule unique to the organisation in question.

What Is the Difference Between Scheduled and Planned Maintenance?

Although maintenance scheduling, or scheduled maintenance, and planned maintenance are often considered comparable or identical, there are some important differences between the two.

For example, a planned maintenance programme primarily deals with the materials and processes involved in servicing and repairing machinery and equipment.

However, scheduled maintenance is concerned with the personnel and timing involved in carrying out maintenance activities.

Because of the interconnection between the two concepts, maintenance often involves a combination of both planned and scheduled maintenance simultaneously.

What Are the Benefits of Scheduled Maintenance?

As an important part of maintenance, repair and operations, or MRO in manufacturing, scheduled maintenance is accompanied by multiple benefits. Below are just a few worth considering.

  • Maximised equipment lifespan: It’s a given: equipment, machinery and their components are costly for a business. Having them maintained effectively and on time through scheduled maintenance and a clearly scheduled maintenance plan is a critical way to prolong the life of your assets. The longer they are operational and functioning at optimal capacity, the fewer expenses you need to worry about incurring when it comes to the natural end of life of the machine in question.
  • Reduced downtime: Another major expense that businesses involved in manufacturing incur relates to downtime. This is when an asset breaks down unexpectedly and needs to put production operations on hold while it is being serviced or repaired. Idle time is another major cost-related issue because it means machines are not operational when they should be. This again can halt manufacturing processes unnecessarily. Both downtime and idle time can result in costly expenses, while manufacturing is put on hold, affecting the overall business operations.
  • Safety and compliance: Businesses involved in manufacturing often have to consider safety and compliance requirements imposed by regulators. On the safety side, a machine that isn’t maintained well can create health and safety risks for machine operators. Meanwhile, machines that aren’t maintained on schedule through a preventive maintenance plan can affect an organisation’s compliance levels with industry-specific safety and regulatory requirements.
  • Operational efficiency: When a machine operates optimally, so do production processes. This means that more items are manufactured with fewer defects, within specified time frames and according to specifications. For this reason, having machines that operate at their optimal capacity and that are maintained on a regular basis can lead to important operational improvements and efficiencies that can be beneficial to the business.
  • Cost reduction: Whether it is reduced downtime or idle time, the fewer expenses spent on repairing and maintaining machines due to emergency repairs or unscheduled breakdowns, the better. When an organisation schedules maintenance at regular intervals, it contributes to significant savings and cost reductions that relate directly to preventable issues. These can relate to lower amounts spent on spare parts and consumables or the overall functioning of the machinery, which leads to improved organisational profits and productivity while encountering fewer expenses.

Scheduled Maintenance Examples

What is the first step in creating a maintenance schedule? Let’s look at a brief example. In a manufacturing plant that has Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) units, every maintenance manager knows that these need to be maintained following the correct maintenance process. As such, this manager will create a scheduled maintenance message through a dedicated maintenance planner for a member of their team to perform the repairs and maintenance on a given day and at a particular time.

Examples of some of the maintenance work the technician may perform include cleaning or changing filters, cleaning air passages, lubricating certain parts or performing any other tasks related to the upkeep of the HVAC unit.

Other examples of scheduled maintenance may include creating work orders for a specific type of maintenance that technicians or maintenance teams perform on various machines at your facility, such as conveyor belts, moving equipment and other assets related to your production needs.

Calculating Scheduled Maintenance Critical Percent

Maintenance managers know that certain metrics need to be tracked to improve their maintenance efforts. This is where SMCP comes to the fore. Calculating the SMCP is an excellent way to improve maintenance scheduling, reduce the number of cases of reactive maintenance and streamline the audit process.

In brief, the SMCP formula is calculated by adding the number of days late together with the number of days in the planned maintenance (PM) cycle. This number is then divided by the number of days in the planned maintenance cycle and the total is multiplied by 100. The formula appears as follows:

SMCP = (# of days late + # of days in the PM cycle) x 100

# of days in the PM cycle 

To put this into perspective, say that the number of days in which a maintenance task is late is five. Meanwhile, the PM cycle is 30 days. This means that 5 + 30 is 35, which should be divided by 30. The total is then multiplied by 100 to give the result of 117%. If you have multiple machines that need to be maintained and repaired, you’ll notice a varying percentage in terms of your SMCP. This means that those assets with a higher SMCP percentage are a priority and should be worked on first to eliminate backlogs.

Use Fabrico CMMS for Scheduled Maintenance in Manufacturing

Of course, creating a scheduled maintenance task doesn’t have to be done manually. Today, many organisations use specialised maintenance scheduling software in the form of a CMMS, or computerised maintenance management system. In particular, Fabrico’s preventive maintenance software is the ideal solution for facilities with multiple assets and possibly across different locations, making routine maintenance scheduling easier, more streamlined and efficient than ever before.

To learn more about Fabrico’s CMMS, feel free to request a free demo or get in touch with our team.



The importance of scheduled maintenance cannot be overemphasised. That’s because it plays a crucial role in determining which team member is allocated to which maintenance and/or repair task in a given period of time.

To ensure you no longer have to use archaic methods of calculating and prioritising your scheduled maintenance, consider implementing CMMS software at your manufacturing facility to boost operational efficiency while reducing unnecessary expenses and maintenance costs.

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