Especially with rising machine costs and long lead times for new equipment, manufacturers in every industry are looking for ways to extend the life of their machines. Obviously, one of the best ways to do that is through proper maintenance. But, which maintenance is best? Preventive or corrective? Time- or usage-based maintenance? There are quite a few options and factors to consider. To determine which of these maintenance types might be best for your organization, you must first know the difference between some of the most common types.
For this article, we’ve broken maintenance into two main types–preventive and corrective. Read on to learn more about each.
Preventive/preventative maintenance refers to any routine maintenance that is performed before equipment fails in order to mitigate costly unplanned downtime. Preventive maintenance includes typical actions like tune-ups, lubrication and diagnostic tests.
Preventive maintenance is great because it helps an organization get ahead of issues before they happen. Preventive maintenance can also help reduce downtime–especially that of the unplanned variety–because the organization can prepare for the maintenance.
On the downside, preventive maintenance still won’t guarantee that a machine or part won’t fail. It does help mitigate unexpected failures, though. Also on the negative side, because preventive maintenance relies on performing maintenance before a failure occurs, organizations could be replacing parts or performing maintenance that isn’t actually needed.
There are a number of preventive maintenance models for organizations to consider and determine which is right for them.
- Predictive maintenance (PdM) – With Industry 4.0, PdM is becoming more and more popular as a maintenance choice. It relies on data and analytics to predict when and what maintenance should be performed. Unlike other types of preventive maintenance, e.g., time-based and usage-based maintenance, predictive maintenance only uses conditions to set a maintenance schedule, not life expectancies or run times. Predictive maintenance also requires the use of sensors or other monitoring equipment for success.
- Time-based maintenance (TBM) – This maintenance is exactly how it sounds–based on a calendar schedule. TBM does not depend on the condition of the machine and/or part or even how much the machine is used.
- Usage-based maintenance (UBM) – This type of maintenance schedule is set by how much the equipment is used. It relies on understanding the lifespan of a certain part or machine so the organization can perform preventive maintenance before it fails.
- Condition-based maintenance (CBM) – Like PdM, condition-based maintenance revolves around the state of the part or machine. Unlike PdM, this type of maintenance doesn’t predict when maintenance should be performed–maintenance is reactive and performed when the asset reaches a predetermined condition, such as a heat or noise level.
- Prescriptive maintenance (RxM) – RxM is a high-tech form of maintenance that takes predictive maintenance to a new level. Like PdM, prescriptive maintenance collects and analyzes data about the equipment’s/part’s condition. But, whereas PdM predicts when and what maintenance should be performed, RxM prescribes actions to take and then predicts the outcomes of those actions. In other words, RxM can actually prescribe actions that aren’t maintenance specific, like reducing the equipment speed, to help mitigate failures.
Preventive maintenance focuses on ways to stop a failure before it happens. Corrective maintenance, on the other hand, is performed when an issue is detected or the machine fails. It’s reactive, not proactive. Because of this, corrective maintenance can result in extended downtime as organizations scramble to find replacement parts or fix the issue. On the other hand, organizations won’t be replacing good parts, just bad ones.
Obviously, preventive maintenance is the key to mitigating downtime while increasing efficiency. Which type of preventive maintenance is best depends on your organization and which works best for it, its processes, its machines and its team.
While EnSight Solutions can’t decide which of these maintenance types is best for your organization, we can help you plan ahead by sharing our knowledge about our machines–which includes years of experience learning with our customers about which parts will fail and when. It’s knowledge that you can use in your own maintenance program.