What is an equipment maintenance log?

An equipment maintenance log is a document where maintenance activities performed on an asset are recorded for easy reference. The process is simple: Work gets done, and a log gets updated.

Having logs that record maintenance activities are important for several reasons. The proper tracking of machinery maintenance logs helps you prioritize preventive maintenance and understand which tasks need to be performed to ensure your equipment is in good condition, doesn’t experience unplanned repairs, and runs as efficiently as possible throughout its lifetime.

The data within a maintenance log is also useful to reference when deciding if you should update your assets with a new version, and when is the best time to replace them. The data recorded over time reveals patterns of failure, expenditure, and repair. This can be used to make better decisions that will save on costs and time.

How to create an equipment maintenance log

Getting accurate, reliable data from an equipment maintenance log starts with how you structure it. Which way you go will depend on a variety of factors, depending on the needs and capabilities of your team and facility. In general, three key questions to keep in mind are:

  • What asset and maintenance information do you need most?
  • How detailed does the information need to be?
  • Who is going to be using this information, and how?

You can break this down into two sections: Information about the asset and information about maintenance work.

A best practice is to structure your maintenance log with asset information at the top. This includes:

  • Equipment name (check out this article for tips on setting up naming conventions)
  • Serial number
  • Location within your facility
  • Manufacturer details (i.e. Name, part number, contact details, manufacture date)
  • Purchase date
  • Date in service

This section is followed by a description of the work that’s done on the equipment:

  • Date of maintenance task
  • Brief description of the task
  • The name of the person who performed the work
  • Date of the next scheduled maintenance
  • Additional observations, notes, or comments

Simplicity is your best friend here. Don’t make it hard for technicians to complete the log. It’s best to keep your descriptions short and have all the key details laid out plainly. Think about the maintenance worker who will be reading the log. They need to be able to quickly understand and access the necessary details in order to do the repairs or maintenance on the asset.

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Three ways to use data from equipment maintenance logs

Equipment maintenance logs are a treasure trove of insightful information that help you create better strategies for improving the health and functionality of your assets and optimizing how your maintenance team makes use of their time and energy. Three ways to make the most of the data collected within your maintenance logs include:

  • Maximizing equipment ROI - Equipment maintenance logs let you compare the records of equipment from different suppliers and see which ones are more reliable. You can decide which vendor is the best to go with for future equipment purchases. You can also determine if the equipment should be replaced rather than repaired.
  • Optimizing PM schedules and tasks - Well-kept logs tell you when a piece of equipment is breaking down compared to the maintenance schedule it’s on. You can tweak the schedule in a way that is more accurate in preventing breakdowns from happening. Equipment maintenance logs also provide the information needed to make PMs quick, easy, and effective.
  • Track preventive maintenance compliance - You can plan as much preventive maintenance as you want, but an equipment maintenance log can tell you if the work is actually being done. Logs clearly show when maintenance is scheduled and if any action was taken on that day. There’s no guessing or searching, and employees are held accountable. Logs are an early warning system for poor preventive maintenance compliance. It’s easier to solve the problem and avoid unplanned downtime when you can see the red flags from a mile away.
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