Examples of Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance (PM) is a proactive maintenance strategy built on calendar-based maintenance tasks, regular inspection, and preemptive repair of physical assets. Physical assets may refer to equipment, production machinery, and operational facilities. Preventive maintenance tasks are designed to reduce occurrences of equipment breakdowns or failure; to enhance operational efficiency and continuity; and to lengthen the life of your organization’s physical assets

This article explores examples of preventive maintenance work  action. But before we get to some real-world preventive maintenance examples, let’s take a closer look at why your maintenance strategy matters.

Why are PM programs important?

Preventive maintenance strategies present a positive counterpoint to reactive and corrective maintenance strategies. Both reactive and corrective maintenance strategies apply maintenance activities only after a malfunction or failure has occurred. By contrast, preventive maintenance uses regular maintenance, monitoring, testing, and servicing of equipment in the hope of preventing these events from occurring altogether.

The benefits of preventive maintenance plans include: 

  • Reduced equipment downtime, with regular and ongoing maintenance helping to identify and address issues before they lead to unexpected breakdowns and unplanned downtime
  • Increased efficiency, with regularly scheduled maintenance processes, parts replacement, and testing helping to identify and correct impediments to optimal performance, ultimately improving energy efficiency and increasing productivity.
  • Extended equipment lifespan, where a holistic service plan can lengthen the functional lifecycle of a piece of equipment by reducing excess wear and tear.  
  • Improved compliance, with regular checks, tests and auditing to ensure that equipment is operating safely according to local, state, and federal regulations. 
  • Cost savings, where the initial costs of continuous maintenance and proactive servicing are significantly eclipsed by savings from the reduced needs for costly repairs, prolonged downtime, and last-minute shipping.

These benefits underscore the importance of preventive maintenance to every aspect of your operation. In short, an investment in preventive maintenance is an investment in the long-term optimization of your operation’s critical assets and a key component of your operation’s continuity, efficiency, and overall profitability. 

Examples of preventive maintenance in action

Preventive maintenance is a preferred model for facilities maintenance and asset management in a wide range of industries. Truly, any business that must rely on physical assets like production machinery, infrastructural equipment, and multipurpose facilities can benefit from implementing a preventive maintenance strategy

That said, different industries may utilize different types of preventive maintenance to improve the performance, reliability, safety, and longevity of physical assets. Below, we take a closer look at examples of preventive maintenance in action across different industries:

Examples of preventive maintenance in manufacturing

Preventive maintenance is critical to ensuring that manufacturing operations are not impeded by poorly functioning equipment, costly downtime, inventory delays, frequent corrective maintenance activities, and other barriers to maximum productivity. 

Examples of preventive maintenance activities in manufacturing may include:

  • Routine inspections, with regularly scheduled checks to determine that all manufacturing equipment and machinery are functioning safely, optimally, and according to regulatory standards.
  • Equipment calibration and lubrication, with regular testing aimed at ensuring the precision, consistency, and efficiency of production activities; and time-based lubrication aimed at reducing wear and tear on gears, rotors, engines and other critical machine components.
  • Use of predictive maintenance technologies and condition monitoring techniques such as vibration analysis, thermal imaging, and ultrasonic testing to monitor equipment performance, leverage advanced analytics, and better anticipate equipment failures.
  • Proactive parts replacement, with regularly scheduled replacement of belts, filters, and bearings to ensure smooth, optimal, and continuous functionality of your equipment

Examples of preventive maintenance in facilities management

Facilities management is actually a critical operational component in a wide variety of industries including manufacturing, healthcare, hospitality, and much more. Facilities management professionals are charged with a broad set of maintenance, monitoring, inventory, and asset management responsibilities.

Preventive maintenance strategies allow facilities management professionals to ensure the safe, efficient, and continuous operation of equipment, building systems, and the buildings themselves. Examples of preventive maintenance activities in facilities management may include:

  • HVAC system checks such as regular duct cleaning, filter changes, and efficiency testing. 
  • Electrical system inspections, which can include checks of circuit breakers, routine parts replacement, and systemwide safety testing.
  • Plumbing maintenance including regular replacement of aging components, inspection of pipes for leaks and clogs, servicing of sump pumps and drainage systems, and more.
  • Safety equipment checks, including regular testing of fire alarms, sprinkler systems, and emergency lighting, as well as regular review of emergency procedures and protocols.

Examples of preventive maintenance in retail

Retail spaces such as shopping malls, big box stores, and main streets require maintenance strategies that are at once focused on safety and on the preservation of inviting and aesthetically pleasing spaces. Therefore, preventive maintenance in the retail sector is uniquely focused on the experience of both the workers and consumers who will occupy these spaces.

Preventive maintenance activities are essential in retail, where well-maintained buildings, exterior spaces, and equipment are all central to the consumer’s comfort, safety, and satisfaction. Examples of preventive maintenance activities in retail may include:

  • Point-of-Sale (POS) systems maintenance, with regular software updates, security reviews, and hardware inspection aimed at preventing the disruption of transactions, compromise of customer data, or the outright failure of equipment during critical business hours.
  • Security equipment maintenance, including regular testing and maintenance of alarms, surveillance cameras, and anti-theft systems, as well as review of procedures and protocols in the event of potential security breaches.
  • Property maintenance activities including regular upkeep of building exteriors, inspection of structural integrity, scheduled repaving of aging parking lots, and more.
  • Systems upkeep including regular inspection of electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems, as well as maintenance of lighting fixtures.

Examples of preventive maintenance in hospitality

Much like retail, the hospitality sector is focused on the consumer experience. Hotels, casinos, and resorts are often large, complex facilities composed of numerous structures serving a wide variety of both practical and recreational functions. This makes the work of facilities maintenance professionals both complicated and critical to the functionality and appeal of hospitality operations. 

Preventive maintenance in this space is focused on facilities maintenance as well as on the comfort of guests. Examples of preventive maintenance activities in hospitality may include:

  • Room checks, with regular inspection of guest rooms and rapid response to emergent issues relating to in-room appliances, plumbing, thermostats, air conditioning, radiators, electronics, and more. 
  • Facilities maintenance, including regularly scheduled cleaning and chemical balancing of pools, safety inspection of spas, and routine servicing of gym equipment. 
  • Kitchen equipment upkeep including regular servicing of ovens, stoves, and kitchen fans, as well as inspection, parts replacement, and temperature testing for refrigerators, freezers, and storerooms.
  • Groundskeeping, including landscaping, gardening, tree removal, cleaning of public spaces, and aesthetic preservation of exterior spaces.

Examples of preventive maintenance in education

School, universities, or any type of educational facilities are typically housed in large, multifunctional buildings that require a great deal of ongoing upkeep. The upkeep demands are even greater and more complex for universities, which are usually composed of numerous buildings, facilities, common spaces, and exterior spaces.

Preventive maintenance activities are critical to preserving working, learning, and living spaces that are safe, functional, and conducive to receiving a quality education. Preventive maintenance activities in education may include:

  • Laboratory equipment checks, including regular updating of computer systems, inspection of laboratory equipment, ventilation testing, and more.
  • Sports facility maintenance, including regular servicing of gym equipment and playgrounds, as well as athletic courts, tracks and fields.
  • HVAC system testing for functionality as well as seasonal servicing and cleaning
  • Grounds maintenance including parking lot paving, common area cleaning, landscaping, tree removal, and more.

Preventive maintenance technology in action

While the industries cited above may have their own distinct ways of leveraging preventive maintenance, these examples all have one major feature in common. Organizations in each of these industries that wish to implement effective preventive maintenance programs can benefit significantly from Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS).

A CMMS is a preventive maintenance software platform that includes a number of valuable preventive maintenance solutions including tools for routine service scheduling, inventory management, work order management, and more. The right CMMS can help your organization transition from a reactive maintenance mindset to a preventive maintenance strategy

Below, we take a closer look at how different types of organizations can leverage CMMS platforms to make this transition toward preventive maintenance.


Manufacturing operations planning to transition toward preventive maintenance strategies can leverage CMMS software to: 

  • Monitor critical equipment performance 
  • Automate regularly scheduled, time-based maintenance activities
  • Plan servicing of critical components to reduce wear and tear
  • Alert maintenance teams of potential issues before they can lead to equipment failure


Schools and universities are charged with the oversight and upkeep of numerous buildings, facilities, and physical assets. A CMMS platform can ease the implementation of preventive maintenance strategies by helping to:

  • Schedule regular inspections of critical facilities
  • Review compliance with environment and safety standards
  • Manage resource allocation for maintenance tasks
  • Refine inventory management to ensure the availability of tools, spare parts, and raw materials for all maintenance activities 


Hospitality industry relies on customer satisfaction, which means preventive maintenance strategies are focused on both facilities maintenance and the overall experience of guests. A leading CMMS platform can help a hotel, casino, or resort: 

  • Conduct regular checks and maintenance of guest rooms 
  • Perform routine cleaning and maintenance of common areas, kitchens, and recreational facilities like pools and gyms 
  • Engage in continuous monitoring of critical electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems
  • Provide rapid response when maintenance issues do arise 


Retail facilities can be vast and varied. A robust CMMS system makes it possible to manage these extensive preventive maintenance needs with streamlined efficiency by allowing facilities managers to:

  • Administrate maintenance activities across multiple locations from a central platform
  • Create routine maintenance scheduling, inventory checks, and systems audits
  • Track the status of repairs and work orders
  • Analyze maintenance data to better forecast future inventory and maintenance needs

Transition to preventive maintenance

A preventive maintenance strategy carries considerable benefits, improving the safety and functionality of your physical assets, lowering the burden on your maintenance team, reducing your maintenance costs and more. 

But how exactly can your organization transition from a reactive maintenance model to a preventive maintenance strategy?

This process should begin with a comprehensive assessment of your current maintenance practices, identification of areas for improvement, and comprehensive staff training. But at the heart of your transition must be the right tools and technologies. The right CMMS can help you navigate this transition with relative ease, clarity of purpose, and continuous improvement. 

Not sure where to begin?

Find out how transitioning to a proactive maintenance strategy could improve your operation with a look at our comprehensive Guide to Preventive Maintenance.

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