Preventive maintenance focuses on the care of machines. It is a system that protects machines from breaking down. ISO 9001 auditors do not look at preventive maintenance as preventive action. Preventive maintenance is important for the infrastructure (resource management) section of the ISO 9001 standard.
Preventive action determines and eliminates potential causes of non conformities. This means the non conformity has not yet happen. If you act to prevent a problem from occurring then this is a preventive action.
The ISO 9001 standard requires you to take preventive action to eliminate potential nonconformities.
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Revising a procedure to reduce the variation between operators is a preventive action. You may find several employee accomplishing the same results but each may have a slightly different method. One method may lead to more nonconformities than another
Plans to implement a new piece of equipment that reduces the process and product variation is a preventive action.
Employee certification can be argued as preventive action. By certifying
the employee, the employee has proven they fully understand the process
and procedures. These skilled employees will prevent non conformities.
Lessons applied from a previous corrective and preventive action
management action could be a preventive action. Lessons learned from a
specific corrective action is then applied to similar products or
processes. The applications of the learned lessons are preventive
A FMEA (Failure Mode Effects and Analysis) can drive preventive action. This is a tool that scores potential failures. Preventive actions will occur by lowering the potential failure scores.