The 4 Types of Maintenance Strategies
If you work in maintenance, you’re likely aware that one size never fits all when maintaining equipment. While it’s usually best to prevent issues altogether, this is not always possible. So what should you do if your equipment suddenly breaks down, and is it wise to schedule maintenance ahead of time? Read on to learn more about the four main types of maintenance strategies.
Whether for better or for worse, many businesses only bother dealing with equipment when there’s already a problem. This type of maintenance is known as reactive or breakdown maintenance. As the term suggests, reactive maintenance is performed in response to equipment failure. While reactive maintenance may seem counterintuitive, there are several reasons companies wait to act. For instance, it can be a more cost-effective solution for inexpensive, easily-replaceable equipment.
However, if you’re dealing with expensive, critical machinery that you must replace on a moment’s notice should it fail, waiting to perform reactive maintenance can spell disaster for your operation. In this case, it’s usually best to care for and manage your equipment regularly rather than waiting until you’re in the midst of a disaster.
Preventative maintenance, sometimes called scheduled maintenance, involves the inspection of assets on a scheduled basis. How often you should perform preventive maintenance depends on several factors, such as the quality of your equipment and how likely it is to falter within a given period. When purchasing new equipment, pay close attention to the product’s lifecycle information. Consider the vulnerabilities in your assets and decide how you’re going to work to prevent problems from arising down the road—just because you purchase equipment in pristine condition doesn’t mean it will stay that way.
The ultimate purpose of this strategy is to check for potential issues to prolong the life of your assets. Performing scheduled maintenance at periodic intervals can more easily solve problems and identify issues that could spiral out of control if not immediately addressed. Working to prevent equipment failure can ultimately save you time and money and allow you to get more out of your assets.
One of the best ways to ensure the longevity of your assets is by performing predictive maintenance. This strategy seeks to predict failure by monitoring equipment using smart sensors and other advanced technology. These sensors can detect potential issues with your assets and alert you to any changes that could signal trouble. Even if nothing comes of these alerts, using the data produced by the sensors can help you make better decisions about how to manage your equipment going forward. After all, data is much more reliable than guesswork. By monitoring predictive trends, you can work to prevent issues and avoid spending on maintenance simply for the sake of maintenance.
The downside to predictive maintenance is that it’s often more expensive than other strategies. Sensory equipment alone is costly enough, but you can really get hit in the pocketbook when you tack on data analyzing tools. For this reason, it’s best for companies that are willing and able to go all out with their maintenance process or who are managing valuable assets that must be monitored with the most advanced tech.
The most complex strategy is undoubtedly reliability-centered maintenance. Unlike the other methods, this technique focuses on the maintenance process itself, assessing each component of your assets and determining various failure models to better understand what could go wrong and how. By doing so, you can work to minimize the risk of failure and ensure greater accessibility to your equipment.
Reliability-centered maintenance is particularly challenging because it requires that businesses dig deeper into their maintenance process to identify hidden areas of risk. Rather than looking at their equipment as a whole, they have to look at each asset individually and determine how, should that asset fail, it would affect other equipment and systems. It’s a much more granular approach than the other methods and is best utilized by companies with a team of dedicated experts.
Need Maintenance Help?
There are different maintenance management techniques, and what works well for one business won’t necessarily be compatible with yours. As such, it pays to have a trusted partner by your side that can help you determine your needs and get you connected with the right tools and resources to manage your equipment effectively.
SimpleFM offers facility management and maintenance software to help simplify the way you manage your assets. With software for those in accounting services, fitness studies, retail, warehousing, and more, SimpleFM can help you perform effective maintenance and allow you to track your progress over time. Reach out today to learn more about our maintenance software and what it can do for your business!