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Preventive and predictive maintenance: differences, pros and cons

Preventive and predictive maintenance differ in their operating modes: one is based on regular inspections, the other on condition monitoring. Here’s a detailed focus on the main differences

A successful company cannot base it’s asset management needs on corrective maintenance interventions alone, but must also include specific strategies to prevent problems and damages, relying on the right facility management software.

The main strategies to be used are certainly preventive and predictive maintenance methodologies, which although both are based on a proactive approach, have some peculiar differences. Let’s analyze them together in this article!

Preventive Maintenance vs Predictive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance and predictive maintenance are, as expressed in an old proverbial saying, “two sides of the same coin” and are often confused for this very reason. This is mainly because their purpose is to prevent the onset of damage ahead of time and thus increase the reliability of resources.

However, there is one main difference:

  • preventive maintenance is scheduled on a regular basis, with the aim of keeping all equipment in good operational condition; this however, takes place regardless of the state of the machinery and their real need for maintenance;
  • predictive maintenance is scheduled according to the needs and conditions of the asset. With continuous monitoring we act with specific interventional on the actual problems affecting machines during their operation.

Preventive maintenance: pros and cons

Preventive maintenance is certainly:

  • cheaper to implement;
  • increases the useful life of resources;
  • increases the machinery’s productivity;
  • reduces unplanned downtime.

At the same time, however, without considering the condition of the assets, intervening on non-real damages, causing economic and temporal losses.

Predictive Maintenance: Pros and Cons

With predictive maintenance you have:

  • the immediate identification of real problems on machinery;
  • increased inventory efficiency;
  • the reduction of material costs;
  • shorter maintenance times.

However, compared to preventive maintenance, it turns out to be a more complex strategy and for this reason it requires:

  • new technologies;
  • staff increases;
  • better training;
  • higher initial costs.
Computer screen showing a Predictive maintenance asset data monitoring graph

Predictive maintenance: asset data monitoring

Difference Between Preventive Maintenance and Predictive Maintenance

Here is an outline that will help you fully understand the key differences and some peculiarities.

Table showing differences between preventive and predictive maintenance

Differences between preventive and predictive maintenance

Maintenance strategies: which one to choose and how to achieve a good implementation model

Preventive maintenance is based on a precise and accurate planning activity that allows you to avoid running into sudden system stoppages. This type of strategy is effective in the case of machinery that is important within the production process.

Predictive maintenance, by monitoring the performance and condition of the equipment, identifies possible anomalies and/or defects before they even occur. This type of strategy is extremely useful for plants designed to run for long periods of time and for which performance improvements are a continuous daily challenge .

Ideally, however, asset management should involve both strategies and the first step you can take to get into this world is definitely to try a reliable facility management software.

In this way, in a single solution, you can plan and manage scheduled maintenance activities with continuous notifications and at the same time constantly monitor your assets, analyzing real performance based on specific Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Service Level Agreements (SLAs).

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