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Preventive and corrective maintenance: what are they?
The main goal of any organization should, of course, be the optimization and control of the entire maintenance processes, to prevent and improve assets and machinery’s production levels, as well as the safety of all infrastructures.
Nowadays, a growing number of companies are adopting a preventive maintenance strategy, as failures and malfunctions generate a drop in the organization’s productivity, as well as an increase in maintenance costs. Although it is not possible to completely avoid unexpected events, we must consider that whatever is the size of the business, creating preventive maintenance plans is a way to avoid as much as possible the equipment downtime.
What is Preventive Maintenance (Preventative Maintenance)?
Preventive maintenance (or preventative maintenance), as the name indicates, prevents the occurrence of asset and equipment failures. This maintenance strategy is carried out on a regular basis, and this means that the equipment is inspected even if there are no signs of failure. This way, any equipment failure is avoided as much as possible to make sure the proper functioning and safety of the assets.
Preparing preventive maintenance plans for equipment and facilities means preventing breakdowns and reducing the probability of equipment failures that interfere with the companies' performance. This maintenance routine is programmed using maintenance plans, which allows the responsible department to control operations and to know in advance which parts or resources are required to make sure a suitable preventive operation.
In addition, preventive maintenance ensures the reliability of the equipment since all operations are carried out at pre-defined intervals and do not impact the company's performance.
What is Corrective Maintenance?
Corrective maintenance is a set of technical tasks designed to repair equipment failures as there is a need to fix them or even replace them. This type of maintenance is used to correct errors in the equipment which needs to be serviced to restore its initial function.
These maintenance practices don’t require a maintenance plan and, therefore, the chances of not having enough spare parts in stock are very high. Additionally, it can also happen that there may not be any maintenance technician available to solve the problem immediately since the failures are not predicted.
While sometimes, it is unavoidable, corrective maintenance ends up having a greater financial impact, as it often implies a long equipment downtime. In addition, a significant amount of these failures can be avoided if preventive maintenance plans are in place.
Nevertheless, the corrective maintenance model is always necessary and can be applied to equipment with a low-level of criticality whose failures do not interfere with the company's productivity.
Difference between corrective and preventive maintenance
The main difference between these two maintenance types is the equipment or installation servicing time. In the corrective maintenance type, the operation is done only when there is a failure or malfunction, and on the other hand, in the preventive, as the name indicates, the equipment has maintenance plans to avoid/prevent the most complicated breakdowns.
There are many maintenance management solutions, such as Valuekeep, that help companies define and follow an effective maintenance strategy.