top of page

What Is Preventive Maintenance?

Updated: Jan 22

An Industry 4.0 Application

The failure of equipment is unavoidable; it will happen. When it comes to maintenance, we've probably all heard the phrase "If it's not broken, don't fix it." This approach may work temporarily, but because of a lack of consistent, proactive fixes, this mentality can cost thousands of dollars each year. An unplanned asset failure requires a facilities team to respond quickly and at a considerable cost.

If your team approaches maintenance reactively, it's time for a change. The most effective preventative maintenance strategy will ensure that your equipment remains safe and functioning. The importance of preventive maintenance for any type of infrastructure cannot be overstated, as it leads to longer equipment life, less downtime, and thus lowers long-term maintenance costs.

As part of this comprehensive article, we will discuss what preventive maintenance is and what it encompasses, why it's so important, and the advantages of preventative maintenance.

What is Preventive Maintenance?

Preventive maintenance (sometimes known as "preventative" maintenance) is a systematic approach to building operations to predict and prevent major equipment failures before they happen.

Preventive Maintenance -PM refers to routine maintenance that is carried out while a piece of machinery is still functional. Performing preventive maintenance helps prevent breakdowns and reduces the likelihood of an asset failing.

As part of this effort, facilities employees inspect, maintain, and repair assets by adjusting, cleaning, lubricating, repairing, and replacing them so that they function as intended by the original equipment manufacturers. Rather than focus on reactive maintenance, maintenance workers can focus on upcoming maintenance activities and critical work orders dealing with functional equipment.

Preventing problems before they occur is the best way to prevent them. Preventive maintenance promotes optimal equipment performance, which lowers the risk of unanticipated issues. Below are a few tips maintenance teams can follow to stay on top of preventive maintenance in their departments:

  • It is important to schedule and perform regular equipment checks.

  • Maintaining the cleanliness of buildings, grounds, and assets should be done regularly.

  • Keeping moving parts lubricated reduces wear and tear.

  • Optimal performance and efficiency can be achieved by adjusting the controls.

  • If an equipment part is damaged, it should be repaired or replaced.

Well-maintained equipment is undoubtedly the biggest influence on efficiency and reliability. You can avoid unexpected downtime and keep your machines working at peak efficiency by having service specialists perform preventive maintenance on your equipment. You will extend their life and value considerably.

Preventive Maintenance Types

Preventive and Predictive Maintenance
Preventive and Predictive Maintenance - source google

You can perform preventive maintenance according to a schedule, a usage schedule, or a combination of both. Here are some examples of each.


Preventative maintenance is performed according to a schedule, regardless of asset utilization. The technique entails establishing a preventative maintenance schedule to inspect equipment regularly, particularly those that might significantly impact output if they break down.

In general, time-based preventive maintenance works best for bounded assets (such as fire/safety equipment) and valuable assets, but facility managers can apply it to any asset that needs maintenance.


Using usage-based maintenance (triggered after a number of production cycles), maintenance is triggered when the asset has run for a given amount of time.

Preventive maintenance based on usage ensures that equipment continues to function as planned by the manufacturer. Instead of following a rigid schedule, usage-based maintenance occurs whenever an asset needs it, whether that is once a month or once every six months, whichever occurs first.

Predictive Maintenance