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What Is Preventive Maintenance?

Updated: Jan 22, 2023

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

Predictive maintenance (PdM) is an advanced type of preventative maintenance that aims to reduce the number of tasks that must be scheduled. PdM looks at data to see if extremely precise maintenance requirements have been completed. it is based on the condition of the equipment.

Before establishing ideal PM needs, companies receive data from experts, equipment readers, previous experiences, and IoT. The more information you have, the more informed decisions you can make. Data collection is, however, difficult, costly, and time-consuming.

Prescriptive Maintenance

This newer sort of maintenance, like predictive maintenance, makes decisions based on data. Prescriptive maintenance on either hand gives operations managers the added benefit of using machine learning and Artificial Intelligence to prescribe maintenance tasks based on data and indicators collected about each piece of equipment. As a result, it necessitates a high level of computerization and is linked to Industry 4.0.

Before making precise recommendations to minimize operating hazards, the smart software collects and analyses equipment conditions. The system is based on "prescriptive analytics" and is intended to predict possible outcomes.

Preventive Maintenance Applications

Our assets have a higher failure probability as time passes. Generally speaking, maintenance is scheduled according to projected equipment operations and manufacturer recommendations. By performing planned maintenance, we can

  1. Extend the life of the asset and

  2. Maintain productivity over time.

Core Difference between Preventive Maintenance & Predictive Maintenance

Maintaining a system using predictive maintenance requires the input of data from specialists, condition readers, previous experiences, and the Internet of Things.

As a result of its higher setup and variable costs, predictive maintenance is more expensive upfront.

The risk of initial errors for periodic maintenance is small, whereas the risk for predictive maintenance is greater.

Predictive maintenance reduces the risk of premature replacement of an item as compared to periodic maintenance.

Maintenance that is predicted is clearly able to bridge the gap between traditional preventive maintenance and reactive maintenance. As far as manufacturing is concerned, machines essential to production are the priority assets.

Companies that wish to spend more time collecting, analysing, and making decisions about their equipment should look at predictive maintenance. For the most part, though, a combination of periodic and meter-based maintenance will suffice.

What makes Preventive Maintenance so Important?

Performing preventive maintenance can prolong the life of assets and decrease the frequency of scheduled maintenance. In all facilities, there are potential dangers that can jeopardize the safety of employees, users, and the company as a whole. The responsibility for mitigating these hazards and ensuring facility safety lies with facility managers and their staff. Preventative maintenance is not the only reason to invest in it. Preventative maintenance is also important for keeping your customers satisfied.

Reducing downtime and increasing effectiveness (OEE)

Equipment availability and uptime are increased when preventive maintenance is performed. As a result, equipment efficiency is improved. In turn, you get a higher return on your equipment investment and meet your customers' deadlines.

Improved Asset Reliability

Maintaining the equipment regularly makes it more reliable: it will work for longer and will have a longer lifespan. With reliability, company operations, production capacity, and revenue can be forecasted more realistically.

Costs of reactive maintenance are reduced

Parts and transport costs are reduced with preventive maintenance. Emergency repairs are almost always costly. That is a known fact. A lack of maintenance may require an asset to be replaced as a result.

Energy Efficiency

Equipment that is regularly maintained is more energy efficient. As components wear, normal wear places stress on them. Energy consumption increases as a result. A preventive maintenance program can reduce wear on components and decrease energy consumption.

Managing Spare Parts Better

Over half of all maintenance costs are attributed to spare parts. A further advantage of switching from reactive to preventive maintenance is that the probability of failure of complex parts and systems may be reduced.

Digital Records

In order to access a complete service history of your machine, all system repairs, maintenance, spare parts and services need to be documented digitally and kept up-to-date. The logbooks are used for the recording of all work performed on your injection moulding machine as part of preventive maintenance.


Providing more comfort to its customers can also be achieved through preventive maintenance. Maintenance aims to ensure that the equipment is running smoothly without requiring the complete system to be shut down for repairs.

Let’s Wrap Up

Preventive maintenance may appear to facility managers who run a reactive maintenance programme as an overhead cost that is difficult to justify at first. However, one severe accident or extended period of downtime is all it takes to highlight the importance of implementing preventive maintenance strategies.

Preventive maintenance is emphasised in the most successful maintenance systems. Your department will save money and increase asset reliability by staying ahead of maintenance and repair. In the DXSolution Preventative Maintenance practice, we share the best methods that can be adopted on the newest preventive maintenance tactics.

Please connect with us, for a free consultation. You can follow our LinkedIn page and our hashtag - #dxsolutionadvisor, on LinkedIn.

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