Equipment maintenance: what is preventive maintenance?

Equipment maintenance: what is preventive maintenance?

The objective of any organisation must, naturally, be to increase the levels of productivity and safety of its equipment and installations. For this to happen, equipment maintenance is essential to optimise and speed up all processes.

This involves various types of maintenance, including preventive and corrective maintenance. But let’s take it in stages…

Preventive Maintenance: what is it?

Preventive maintenance, as the name suggests, prevents the occurrence of failures and breakdowns in equipment. This type of maintenance is done systematically, that is, the equipment is inspected even if it has not shown any sign of malfunctioning. In this way, any equipment failure is avoided as much as possible to ensure that assets function properly and safely.

Most companies have already adopted and understand the benefits of preventive maintenance practices, since the unavailability of equipment reduces organisations’ productivity, besides increasing operational costs. Although it is not possible to completely eliminate the existence of unexpected failures and equipment breakdowns, we should bear in mind that, whatever the size of the business, creating preventive equipment maintenance plans is a way of avoiding asset downtime as much as possible.

Advantages of preventive maintenance

Minimising the risk of failure

Drawing up and following these preventive task plans means reducing the likelihood of failures in equipment which is crucial to companies’ productivity.

Increasing productivity

Work orders are programmed as part of their maintenance plans, which allows managers to control operations and technicians to know in advance which parts and tools are necessary to guarantee a certain operation.

Reducing expenses

This type of maintenance helps extend asset life, increases productivity and ultimately lowers the expenses associated with maintenance.

Types of preventive maintenance

Preventive maintenance can be divided into two main types:

  • Time-based: as the name suggests, this is based on periodic reviews carried out at previously defined time intervals, regardless of asset use.
  • Usage-based: in this case, equipment maintenance is based on the actual usage of the assets.

Preventive maintenance applications

In which situations is it advisable to use a preventive maintenance strategy? And when is it not recommended to use this type of equipment maintenance?

When to use preventive maintenance

The probability of asset failure increases with time and use. In these cases, it is possible to schedule maintenance for the equipment. This planning allows you to increase the useful life of the asset and maintain productivity over time.

When NOT to use preventive maintenance

If preventive maintenance is based on scheduling, equipment that fails randomly is automatically excluded, because you no longer have control over these failures.

Equipment maintenance: what is the difference between preventive and corrective maintenance?

While preventive maintenance aims to prevent the occurrence of faults and malfunctions in equipment before they happen, corrective maintenance involves a series of technical tasks aimed at correcting faults in equipment that needs repair or replacement. This type of maintenance corrects existing errors in the equipment that needs intervention so that it can start functioning again.

These maintenance practices do not include maintenance plans and, as a consequence, the possible lack of spare parts is high. In addition, there may be no maintenance technician available to solve the problem immediately, as these occurrences are unforeseen.

Despite being unavoidable in some cases, corrective maintenance ends up making a greater financial impact, since it often implies prolonged unavailability of the equipment. The truth is that a significant percentage of these breakdowns can be avoided if preventive maintenance plans are adhered to within the established deadlines.

How to choose the best type of maintenance for your equipment?

The main difference between these two types of maintenance is the time taken to repair the equipment or installation. With the corrective maintenance model, the operation is carried out only when there is a failure or malfunction, while with the preventive maintenance, as the name indicates, the equipment has maintenance plans to avoid/prevent the most complex failures.

There are several maintenance management solutions, such as Valuekeep, that help companies draw up and follow an effective preventive maintenance strategy.

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