5 Commonly Misunderstood Maintenance Terminologies

Like with any occupation, the maintenance industry is full of jargon that can be difficult for the outsider to understand. The average person may in fact have even less familiarity with maintenance terms than they do other industry-specific languages, with the exception of the rare handyman homeowner. This can cause communication issues between the maintenance team and facility staff, leading to lost opportunities for preventative care. If you want to bridge the divide, you may want to consider educating your staff on these common terms. 


Below are some common maintenance terminologies you should be familiar with, or should be sure to clarify before working with other departments of your facility:


Uptime/downtime – Uptime refers to the amount of time a piece of equipment is scheduled to run continually; downtime is the amount of time either scheduled or unplanned where a piece of equipment is shut off. 


Root cause analysis – Root cause analysis is the process by which maintenance technicians determine the underlying causes of maintenance issues. This is conducted before repair services are scheduled to prevent recurring issues. 


Component renewal – Component renewal is scheduled maintenance activities that are spaced out greater than 10 years. This requires careful planning and adherence to the manufacturer’s recommendations. 


Deferred maintenance 

Unlike preventative or reactive maintenance, deferred maintenance is maintenance that was not performed on schedule or was delayed due to reactive maintenance issues. This maintenance is typically first priority as it can cause long-term disruptions in your facility’s production. 


Current replacement value – The replacement value of a piece of equipment includes the parts, supplies, and labor cost weighed against potential resale value of parts on the replaced equipment. This also can include the long-term costs of maintenance in order to extend the equipment’s service life. 


This is not a comprehensive list but includes terms most important for upper management and facility managers to understand in order to make decisions with their maintenance departments. To learn more about preventative maintenance performance, visit our resource center

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