Demystifying the 3 Types of Maintenance Strategies and Their Uses

While there are a lot of different types of maintenance strategies out there, most discussions about which method you should implement come down to comparing reactive vs. preventive vs. predictive maintenance.

If you are or were a part of this debate, you’re probably aware that the answer isn’t always that obvious.

Predictive maintenance is the best strategy on paper, but that doesn’t mean it is the best fit for every organization or every asset.

Each maintenance strategy has its benefits and downsides, so we decided to create an infographic that gives you a side by side comparison of these three strategies.

We split it into 3 main sections:

  1. Pros and Cons
  2. Comparison graphs (Implementation cost and difficulty, Potential ROI, Dependency on CMMS, sensors, and training)
  3. How to choose the right strategy

We hope it gives you a practical introduction to this topic and serves as a good starting point for deciding which types of maintenance you want to implement in your facility.

Reactive vs Preventive vs Predictive Maintenance

Reactive vs preventive vs predictive maintenance

One thing people often get wrong is thinking that reactive maintenance isn’t really a strategy because it doesn’t involve any proactive maintenance planning.

But that is the wrong way to think about it.

Just because you are reactive, that doesn’t mean you can’t also be strategic and organized about it.

You still want to ensure that the breakdowns are fixed as soon as possible to minimize the downtime and associated costs. This means you need to have a way to track available spare parts, quickly communicate changes in task priority, can stay on top of pending maintenance activities, and track essential maintenance KPIs like failure metrics.

To be able to do all of these things, even organizations that focus on reactive maintenance are looking to implement modern CMMS software.  For an in-depth look at CMMS, check out our What is a CMMS System and How Does it work guide.

That being said, reactive maintenance is never the right approach to maintaining essential assets. The risk is too significant as the cost of unexpected breakdowns can be a downfall of even substantial corporations.

So, as a natural progression from reactive maintenance, the most obvious way to improve your maintenance operation is by implementing a preventive maintenance strategy.

Since it doesn’t have complicated or expensive implementation requirements, preventive maintenance is often the go-to option for every business that wants to reduce the long-term costs of their maintenance operations and stay competitive in the market.

However, as technology improves, businesses can look to further optimize their maintenance operations with predictive maintenance by eliminating some of the disadvantages of preventive maintenance (like excessive maintenance).

But predictive maintenance isn’t without its flaws. Expensive condition-monitoring equipment that is complicated to install and specialized training you need to perform it effectively are still obstacles many organizations are not ready to tackle.

The good news is that the price of condition monitoring sensors is starting to go down, making it accessible to a wider array of organizations.

Limble offers a Modular IoT sensor kit that streamlines the whole implementation process. Now any business can start a Predictive Maintenance program for under $1,000!

Checklist for Creating a Preventive Maintenance Plan

Following a consistent Preventive Maintenance Plan can make life easier. Use this checklist to create your own!

Which types of maintenance strategies should you use

If you carefully read the above heading, you will notice that we are going to talk about implementing multiple types of maintenance strategies, and not just focusing on a single one.

The reason for that is straightforward.

Your facility has different assets that require different levels of attention. That means that it often isn’t cost-effective to implement the same maintenance strategy for all of them.

A great way to decide which assets could benefit the most from which type of maintenance is to perform an RCM analysis.

You will often find out that your critical assets deserve to be monitored through predictive maintenance, while others can be maintained through preventive and, in some cases, reactive maintenance.

As with any important business decision, research is unavoidable. The only way to make an informed decision is to:

  1. Understand the requirements of each strategy
  2. Understand the needs of your facility
  3. Have a clear overview of your available resources for implementation

If you’ve got that covered, the answer should present itself.

As always, if you are looking for a CMMS that can help you implement any maintenance strategy, let’s see if Limble is the right option for you.

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