Is There A Best Maintenance Strategy?

At MaintenX, we talk a lot about preventative maintenance as the best way to keep your facility in good health. However, preventative care is not the only viable maintenance strategy, nor is it the right one for all facilities. In this guide, we’ll discuss some of the different types of maintenance strategies you can employ at your facility, and how to determine which is right for you. 


Why Maintenance Isn’t a One-Size-Fits-All Solution


In general, it’s safe to say that being proactive with your maintenance strategy is better than reactive maintenance. It can save you on expensive emergency repairs and ensure your equipment reaches its maximum service life. However, preventative maintenance isn’t always right for certain pieces of equipment or facility operations. 


In some cases, run-to-fail maintenance can be most efficient for non-critical or older equipment. Prescriptive maintenance, which differs slightly from preventative maintenance, can also be implemented in order to streamline your preventative care. Below are descriptions of the three primary maintenance strategies, and when they are most beneficial to businesses: 


  • Run-to-fail (reactive) maintenance – This is a “no strategy” strategy, where the maintenance team is called only when a breakdown occurs. This is the cheapest option in the short term, but costs will accrue over time. Reactive repairs are typically more expensive, which makes this a poor long-term strategy. However, some pieces of equipment are not important enough to perform preventative care (light switches, for example, do not need preventative care — lights can be switched when they go out). 


  • Preventative maintenance – Preventative maintenance is the most popular maintenance strategy. It incorporates cost-saving strategies that are easy to turn into routines, and reliably prevents unexpected breakdowns. However, it takes time to build a comprehensive maintenance strategy. Working with your MaintenX team you can continually improve preventative care for your facility’s specific needs. 


  • Predictive/prescriptive maintenance – Predictive maintenance is similar to preventative maintenance, but relies on machine learning and sensory output to predict when machines will fail, and what preventative measures can be prescribed to extend service life. This strategy is the most advanced and effective but is not always practical for smaller facilities. Unless you operate an extensive manufacturing site or have a business that operates 24/7, this level of preventative care is often not necessary in order to keep your equipment in good shape. 


Most companies graduate” from reactive to preventative to predictive and prescriptive maintenance. These strategies increase in cost and complexity, which is why new maintenance teams can’t jump straight into prescriptive strategies. They must first learn the needs of the facility through reactive and then preventative maintenance before they can begin to predict and resolve solutions before they happen. 


The more MaintenX works with your facility, the better prescriptive solutions we can create for your business. However, we always start with preventative maintenance to get you on track to your overall company goals.

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