As has been discussed before on this blog, there are three main approaches to maintenance that should be considered when elaborating your maintenance strategy and establishing your budget.

These three main strategies are (1) Corrective Maintenance, also known as reactive or run-to-failure maintenance; (2) Preventive Maintenance, which is regular maintenance regularly implemented and based on a predetermined schedule; and (3) Predictive Maintenance, or condition-based maintenance based on consistent monitoring of the running equipment and failure anticipation.

First of all, let’s talk about the Pros of each:

1. Corrective Maintenance

This approach is characterised by performing maintenance tasks after a failure is detected on a piece of equipment. For this reason, it is ideal for low-priority assets which are not crucial to the successful running of the company.

It is also a good choice when your equipment has a relatively low value. This is because it can occasionally cost more to regularly maintain and monitor the asset than to simply fix or replace it once it becomes faulty. 

Finally, as there’s little to no planning needed for this approach, the associated implementation cost is much lower when compared to the alternatives.

2. Preventive Maintenance

Preventive Maintenance revolves around defining schedules and plans of action (do you want to know how to make a preventive maintenance plan?).

Considering its main purpose is to, well, prevent failures from occurring, it’s a good strategy to implement for high priority equipment, i.e assets upon which your operations are totally dependent. 

Preventive maintenance is very simple to both plan and execute, and requires very little expertise to successfully implement. Furthermore, although it has slightly higher costs involved than Corrective maintenance, it remains modest when compared to Predictive Maintenance.  

3. Predictive Maintenance

This approach is based on the current physical or operating condition of the assets at the time of maintenance, rather than on statistics from previously defined schedules. Maintenance works maintenance performed will therefore be more accurate, necessary and timely. Given that equipment will only be serviced when a failure has been anticipated, the costs and amount of hours required to be dedicated to the maintenance will be considerably lower. 

What about the Cons?

1. Corrective Maintenance

Given that no precautionary maintenance actions will be performed when adopting a Corrective Maintenance approach, the lifetime of equipment will end up being shorter compared to if one of the other options were to be used. 

If applied to high priority or expensive equipment (…hint: It should NOT be!), it will eventually lead to long periods of downtime and potentially massive repair costs.

2. Preventive Maintenance

Compared to the ‘as-live’ nature of Predictive Maintenance, the somewhat inaccurate nature of predefined plans means that Preventive Maintenance can be inefficient and result in some unnecessary repairs and costs.

This downfall is more obvious and problematic if a preventive approach is applied to low priority assets which would probably benefit from a run-to-failure methodology- 

3. Predictive Maintenance

There is a pressing need to invest in specific monitoring equipment and to train personnel on how to use the devices and to correctly interpret the data collected. The result is a very considerable running cost.

It is definitely not cost effective for assets that are not essential for the normal functioning of your operations and should only be applied for devices and machinery of incredibly high priority. 

Learn more about this and other maintenance-related subjects on Infraspeak’s Complete Guide to Maintenance!

So what should your strategy be?

The best strategy would be having a maintenance program that incorporates all of the different approaches, with varying strategies for each type of equipment according to their value and priority.

Maintenance Management Software tools, such as Infraspeak, exist precisely to help you define, perform and monitor your maintenance strategy. If you’re in doubt about investing in this kind of system, check out our articles on 5 signs you should invest in a CMMS, or on how a CMMS can help you save money.