PDCA Cycle: Definition and Implementation

The PDCA cycle, also known as the 'Deming wheel', plays a very important role in the framework of Total Productive Maintenance (TPM). This cyclic method targets continuous improvement and comprehensive, efficient, and quality management. Thus, implementing the PDCA cycle within a maintenance department helps to enhance processes and achieve greater efficiency.

What is the PDCA Cycle and Why is it Pertinent for Industrial Maintenance?

Definition of the PDCA Cycle

PDCA stands for Plan, Do, Check, and Act. The process is an iterative cycle. It is restarted and repeated until the desired outcome is achieved.

In this methodical approach, organizations challenge, improve, and control their processes. The PDCA cycle serves as a strategic tool, and its use is widespread in numerous businesses and organizations, for various projects, regardless of the function (logistics, human resources, maintenance) or the sector. This method is part of lean management, and also plays a key role in Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)


The Steps of the PDCA Cycle

PlanPlan: at this stage, it is necessary to identify the problem(s) and/or opportunity(ies), as well as the way to tackle them. The objectives and actions to be taken must be clearly defined, the results must be measurable; it’s about knowing where we are at in relation to the set goal. Therefore, the following must be defined:

  • The objectives
  • The action plan and schedule
  • The KPIs
  • The expected results
  • The stakeholders
  • The risks and hurdles




Do: here begins the implementation of the elaborated plan. During this phase, all required information is collected, changes to be made are identified and implemented, on a small scale, in a specific project, for example. Successive small changes are favored, in order to test and adjust if necessary, without taking any risks.




Check: At this stage, the results of the execution phase are evaluated. Of course, it is important to compare the achieved results to the expected ones. By identifying variations in these results, you will know whether the changes made were effective or not.




Act: during this final stage, measures are taken based on the results obtained in the previous step. If the changes have been positive and as anticipated, you proceed to standardization of the process. If the results have not met expectations, necessary adjustments are made and the cycle is repeated.

Continuous improvement in the field of industrial maintenance is always sought after. The PDCA cycle provides a systematic approach for identifying problems and making improvements. Decision-making also plays a crucial role, since during the execution phase, data is gathered, which may be historical data on equipment failures, failure rates, and maintenance costs, to name a few.

Standardization of procedures also plays an important role in an organization’s maintenance. As in the PDCA cycle, continuous improvement is sought based on constant review, which is likewise the case in the functioning of organizations.

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Application of the PDCA Cycle to Industrial Maintenance

The Importance of Industrial Maintenance Management

The Importance of Industrial Maintenance Management Industrial maintenance ensures the reliability of our equipment and assets. It helps guarantee that their performance remains optimal and efficient. Likewise, workplace safety is a consequence of industrial maintenance. By ensuring effective maintenance, we ensure the proper functioning of the equipment, thereby preserving the safety of teams.

Maintenance also contributes to reducing downtime, improving the lifespan of equipment, enhancing the quality of our products, maintaining an optimal work environment, and keeping customer satisfaction at a high level.


The Benefits of the PDCA Cycle in Maintenance

The PDCA cycle and industrial maintenance are closely linked. The four steps of the PDCA cycle allow for continuous improvement of standards and operational procedures. The pursuit of standardization based on continuous improvement of procedures helps achieve operational efficiency that would be hard to realize without the implementation of this cycle. In industrial maintenance, the application of the PDCA cycle is valid for every revision or maintenance performed.


Implementing the PDCA Cycle in Maintenance

To effectively implement the PDCA cycle in maintenance, one must have a solid understanding of how the business operates and its desired trajectory. Problems, areas for improvement, and process key points must be identified. Objectives should be clearly defined before beginning the implementation of the PDCA cycle: for what purpose and how are we going to implement it?

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In summary, the PDCA cycle is an instrument capable of significantly improving the quality of industrial maintenance. Its methodology is perfectly suited for industrial maintenance, and our CMMS software utilizes this cycle to perform its tasks in the best way possible.

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