Preventive VS Predictive: Pros And Cons Of The Two Maintenance Approaches

The general distinction between the types of maintenance is reactive maintenance and proactive maintenance types. On the one hand, reactive maintenance finds its essence in repairs of an asset only based on a failure.

On the other, proactive maintenance finds its focus on avoidance of repairs. And the event of asset disruption due to failure, with the help of predictive tools.

Most business organizations have gained access to specialized Computer Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) in the recent past. These systems offer a powerful and reliable way to carry out maintenance tasks for businesses and are also available at an economical cost. In lieu of the system, businesses have been able to comprehend the value of maintenance as a good prospect.

However, understanding the essence of preventive vs predictive maintenance is of vital importance to choose between the two approaches.

Understanding The Two Approaches

It is understandable that there are significant benefits associated with a proactive approach to maintenance. However, many industries are still stuck with a workforce that runs with a reactive mindset. Due to this reason, their ‘run to failure’ approach often defeats the purpose of a proactive approach.

Stated simply, this approach guides people to operate assets until they break. As a result, they make repairs only when there is a total failure.

Surely, it may look like a cost-effective way to manage operations at first. But the costs of unplanned expenses may seem to be too heavy to bear in the end.

Learning About The Pros And Cons Of Preventive Maintenance

At the front of its benefits, preventive maintenance offers:

  • An increase in the life expectancy of an asset
  • Proves to be a cost-effective strategy to follow in the long run
  • Leads to the saving of resources and energy
  • Enhances the production capacity
  • Efficiently reduces downtime due to unplanned circumstances

The only way it may prove to be disadvantageous to an organization is because it leads to frequent maintenance without considering the wear and tear associated with an asset and may lead to irregular time scheduling due to re-assignment of tasks.

At the core of preventive maintenance, planned tasks take place on a regular basis. It is usually based on a schedule and triggers due to the passage of time or the numbers running on a meter. The target behind this activity is to reduce the instances in which an asset may fail in totality.

The active benefits of performing preventive maintenance include:

  • Increasing the lifespan of an asset
  • Helping make an asset more reliable in its performance
  • Reduction of downtime due to unplanned factors
  • Positively impacting productivity and profitability for the organization

In this type of approach, organizations can leave room for up to twenty percent of unplanned repairs, which can result due to unexpected factors. Needless to say, a significant amount of time goes into planning and scheduling preventive maintenance activities.

The concerned managers need to schedule, plan, and delegate tasks to effectively carry out preventive maintenance. They believe that it is more cost-effective to run this strategy instead of facing unexpected downtime and failure.

As opposed to reactive maintenance, there are significant cost savings that can accrue to an organization through this approach.

Learning About The Pros And Cons Of Predictive Maintenance

Some of the vital benefits which await an organization with the pursuit of a predictive maintenance strategy are as follows:

  • Visibility of the entire asset list
  • A cost-effective approach
  • Uses efficient data to predict when failures may occur
  • Leads to an increase in the life cycle of an asset
  • Downtime occurs only before the time of an unavoidable failure

The reasons why this approach may prove to be disadvantageous to organizations are also few. For one, they will require special equipment which can monitor the condition of the equipment. Secondly, there will be a strict need for staff who should know to interpret the data obtained from condition monitoring.

The core of predictive maintenance lies in carrying out maintenance activity based on data and trends. In a way, it is quite similar to condition-based maintenance.

Predictive maintenance uses the data about the efficiency of an asset and combines it with an expert’s view. The collective tools and observation provide a roadmap for the formulation of predictive maintenance activity. The bottom line to the activity is identifying a period during which an asset may require repair and replacement.

Predictive vs. Preventive

Both maintenance approaches may run on similar objectives. They are a proactive approach to ensure timely and routine maintenance activity so that an organization may achieve its intended targets.

The two approaches may go hand in hand with each other in a simultaneous manner. Yet, they require two very different processes to execution.

While preventive maintenance may not require any algorithms, predictive maintenance may not be able to function without them. On the one hand, predictive maintenance employs maintenance tasks based on the passage of time or the basis of another trigger system.

On the other, predictive maintenance relies on data that is collected in real-time so that the performance of equipment can be measured.

Another prominent point of distinction between the two approaches is the need to shut down equipment before carrying out any maintenance activity.

While complete shut down may be needed to disassemble and carry out maintenance activity in preventive maintenance, it is possible to carry out predictive maintenance even while the machinery is in operation.

So, in a way, the two approaches are entirely dissimilar to each other and may require careful planning for accurate execution. Organizations must decipher the value of both approaches and understand which one is better for them.

In Conclusion

When it comes to maintenance, there is no right or wrong way to carry it out. The first thing an organization may need to decide about its maintenance approach is whether they wish to be proactive or reactive.

While proactive maintenance will undoubtedly contribute to the continuous improvement of an organization’s workflow and processes, reactive maintenance may fail to bring these benefits at all.

Despite the uptime and costs involved in carrying out repairs, following a preventive maintenance schedule may be highly beneficial for organizations.

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