Reactive maintenance is the practice of running a piece of equipment until it fails. No maintenance activities are performed until a failure occurs and then it is fixed. It is estimated that more than 55% of customers perform their maintenance activities in this mode. While this may seem like a way to save money on labor it normally winds up costing substantially more. Reactive maintenance costs three to nine times more than preventive maintenance because of additional impacts like secondary damage to the equipment, lost production, rush shipping, and employee overtime. A reactive approach can also shorten the lifespan of the equipment by up to 60%. From a safety perspective, technicians are 28% more likely to have an accident when the work is reactive because they are under intense pressure to get the equipment back up and running. During these scenarios, they tend to take risks or shortcuts that they would not otherwise take with a proper plan to complete the work safely.
Preventative maintenance is the practice of performing the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance functions like cleaning, lubrication, adjustments, and minor repairs on a regularly scheduled timeframe. These scheduled activities allow the technicians to routinely monitor the equipment and to identify parts that are not performing well and may need to be replaced and this can be accomplished during scheduled downtime. This approach is estimated to have a 12% to 18% cost savings over reactive maintenance and increases the equipment life cycle. According to a 2017 survey by Plant Engineering, organizations that used preventive maintenance saw a 69% decrease in equipment downtime and 66% of organizations reduced the probability of failure and extended the operational lifetime of the assets.
Predictive maintenance is the practice that uses condition-monitoring tools to track the performance of equipment during operation to detect possible defects. Predictive maintenance bases maintenance activity on the actual condition of the equipment instead of a preset schedule. This type of maintenance program can reduce downtime by 80% and increase uptime and availability of equipment by 10% to 20% versus the reactive maintenance model. The downside to the predictive maintenance model is the significant start-up cost for staff training and monitoring equipment.
Reliability Centered Maintenance
Reliability-centered maintenance is the practice of developing a specific maintenance strategy for each piece of equipment in the facility. This type of maintenance program will most likely have a combination of maintenance approaches to maintain the equipment. Since all equipment is not of the same importance to a facility it provides a systemic approach to best match the equipment and labor to structure a cost-effective maintenance program. This type of program melds together a combination of maintenance approaches: Usually, less than 10% reactive 25% to 35% preventive 45% to 55% predictive As with predictive maintenance, the start-up cost for the training and monitoring equipment is a significant investment. However, factoring in downtime mitigated costs, it remains the most efficient maintenance program.