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preventive maintenance

What is preventive maintenance?

Preventive maintenance is the set of practices that prevent damage and keep assets running. Let’s find out what it is and discover 5 steps to manage it better

A constant monitoring activity of the assets and their operational status is very uyseful within a company. This prevents damages and optimizes the maintenance of the plants.

This routine practice is nothing more than the founding principle of preventive maintenance, which can extend the lifespan of the plants. If you need to manage a strategy of this type, I recommend you to try a facility management software immediately. This tool simplifies your work and helps you to produce and control all the operations necessary for maintenance.

If you do not know the various types of preventive maintenance and its advantages, I recommend that you read this interesting article.

What is preventive maintenance?

Preventive maintenance is the set of ordinary procedures, performed regularly, aimed at keeping the equipment in good condition, preventing the onset of damage ahead of time and reducing the risk of accidents.

If “prevention is better than cure,” its ultimate goal is to preemptively solve small problems before they become more important and cause greater damage to assets.

Effective preventive maintenance is planned and scheduled based on the use of the assets and on the manufacturer recommendations and above all proactive monitoring of internal resources. In this way, it is possible to intervene promptly by increasing the duration of resources and reducing downtime.

Examples of application of preventive maintenance

Preventive maintenance is necessary for all those assets that are fundamental in a production process and for which damage could cause significant financial losses.

The activities that fall within preventive maintenance are varied and numerous and it is important that regular inspections are scheduled in order to identify precisely which parts of a machine need what type of intervention.

Examples of preventive maintenance of plants are the following:

  • inspections;
  • cleaning;
  • adjustments;
  • repairs.
preventive maintenance tasks

Preventive maintenance tasks

Types of preventive maintenance

There are different types of preventive maintenance that can be applied to assets and no one is better than the other. All depends on the different situations that can be generated and the objectives to be achieved. The most important groups can be found below:

  1. time-based maintenance: the typical periodic maintenance that takes place at scheduled intervals (daily, weekly, monthly or annual). Typically, it is the manufacturers who recommend how often to inspect the resources and indicate the average life of each. For example, they could recommend two maintenance phases per year on HVAC plants, one before summer and one before winter;
  2. usage-based maintenance: it is activated according to the actual use of the asset, after a certain operating time interval. For this reason, the systems are equipped with counters that constantly monitor the hours of operation;
  3. predictive maintenance: it aims at planning corrective maintenance before unexpected damage to the equipment occurs. It uses sensors to acquire information about the machines and monitor their condition, to properly estimate when it is necessary to carry out new maintenance;
  4. prescriptive maintenance: like predictive maintenance, it also relies on data analysis to detect a problem before it occurs. However, it also provides the reason why the failure occurred. In this way, the work team can understand why a failure is developing and identify different intervention options to improve maintenance operations and mitigate risks.

What are the benefits of preventive maintenance?

You can get many advantages from this type of maintenance:

  • extending the life cycle of assets;
  • increasing the reliability and productivity of machinery;
  • increasing safety in the workplace;
  • reducing unplanned downtime;
  • reducing energy consumption;
  • reducing repair costs.

What are the disadvantages of preventive maintenance?

The disadvantages of preventive maintenance mainly affect small companies that are starting to approach the methodology, as it can involve:

  • budget issues;
  • organisational difficulties;
  • planning issues;
  • request for additional equipment.
Pros and cons of preventive maintenance

Pros and cons of preventive maintenance

Difference Between Preventive Maintenance and Predictive Maintenance

Predictive maintenance represents the evolution of preventive maintenance Industry 4.0. Both types, in fact, try to prevent failures, but predictive maintenance uses a greater number of data through the use of machinery control sensors that allow to determine the exact moment when maintenance interventions should be performed.

In this way, we only intervene when it is necessary and not in advance, saving additional costs. Of course, these strategies imply some evaluation in terms of initial costs and technological requirements.

Difference between Preventive Maintenance and Corrective Maintenance

Preventive maintenance and corrective maintenance are two opposite strategies: the former develops periodic verification techniques to avoid any possible damage to assets before they arise. On the other hand, the latter comes out only when a failure happens, repairing assets that already have problems.

Apparently, it may seem less expensive to act reactively, but in reality it is not that easy. That’s why I recommend that you delve into all its characteristics by reading this article.

How to Create a Preventive Maintenance Plan: 5 Essential Steps to Follow

A preventive maintenance plan allows you to target all maintenance activities, based on your goals. Here below 5 essential basic steps to folloe to create it effectively:

  1. choose the assets: it will be useful to classify them in order of importance and evaluate the criticalities of each asset;
  2. collect all the information on the assets: data sheets, manuals, serial numbers, inspection frequencies;
  3. define the standard procedures for each asset, identifying the various managers and operators who will be in charge of the task;
  4. plan in the short and long term the inspections and interventions for each asset;
  5. store and track all maintenance data, work orders, and invested resources.

Managing all these activities requires facility managers a lot of effort and constant attention, so I recommend that you rely on a tool that simplifies the work and prevents mistakes.

You can try the demo version of a facility management software, a powerful and innovative system that allows you to monitor assets, plan activities and solve problems from a single centralized platform, while improving productivity, and reducing time and costs related to management.