Corrective Maintenance: The Ultimate Guide

3D illustration of a system dashboard with maintenance warning activated, corrective maintenance
3D illustration of a system dashboard with maintenance warning activated, corrective maintenance

The manufacturing industry relies heavily on maintenance to keep equipment up and running at peak performance levels. Corrective maintenance will play a role in a company’s preventive maintenance processes or reactive responses to equipment failures and breakdowns.

In this article, we will explore corrective maintenance in more depth. If you’re in a hurry, skip ahead to get the most interesting information:

What is Corrective Maintenance?

Corrective Maintenance refers to servicing equipment to mitigate developing issues or fix equipment displaying signs of failure (shortly before breaking down). Because corrective maintenance can be performed before identifiable issues occur and after identifiable issues occur, corrective maintenance can be both “preventive” and “reactive.” 

When corrective maintenance is performed as part of discovering a real-time issue, either through a manual inspection process or by condition monitoring, it is reactive in that it seeks to correct an ongoing issue to mitigate machine failure. When corrective maintenance is performed on equipment that is operating normally, but with the intention to prevent issues from developing, it falls into a “preventive approach” to maintenance. 

Corrective maintenance is important in manufacturing, especially as a preventive solution. It can help maintenance teams avoid costly downtime and emergency repairs. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

How Does Corrective Maintenance Work?

Corrective maintenance will work differently based on whether it is part of your preventive maintenance processes or part of your reactive maintenance processes. 

When corrective maintenance is preventive, it will:

  • Deployed based on need determined by either a physical inspection of working equipment or by condition-based monitoring that determines equipment maintenance is necessary to mitigate machine failure that has not yet occurred. 

When corrective maintenance is reactive, it will:

  • When part of a reactive approach, corrective maintenance will be deployed in response to developing equipment failure to return equipment to a normal working order. It’s also important to note that “breakdown maintenance” occurs when equipment has broken down to the point it is no longer operational.

Corrective Maintenance: Step-by-Step Process

Steps

Type

Actions

1

Identification and Assessment

Detecting the issue and assessing its operational impact.

2

Planning and Preparation

Developing action plans and gathering necessary resources.

3

Execution and Testing

Performing the maintenance work and testing equipment functionality.

4

Documentation and Follow-up

Recording the process and monitoring post-maintenance performance.

Tools and Technology

The tools used to perform corrective maintenance will depend on the equipment and task. This can range from general tools to specialized equipment needed to service complex equipment. It can also involve lubricants and cleaning agents. 

Most importantly, corrective maintenance requires the use of diagnostic software, like LLumin’s CMMS+ (Computerized Maintenance Management System), that uses machine-level sensors and condition-based monitoring to identify developing issues and automatically create a work order to resolve them. When combined with a CMMS, corrective maintenance can enhance the effectiveness of a preventive maintenance program.

Benefits of Corrective Maintenance in Manufacturing

Corrective maintenance in manufacturing provides several attractive benefits. We’ve listed them below for further consideration. 

  • Cost Reduction (Short-term): When maintenance is performed as needed, it can benefit by cutting costs initially. It can eliminate your need to perform ongoing maintenance and upkeep, reducing the need to plan maintenance tasks ahead of time, and can be ideal for non-critical equipment. 
  • Less Maintenance: With this approach, you definitely won’t suffer an issue of costly over-maintenance. However, over time, and with less maintenance, corrective maintenance that is primarily reactive in approach has been shown to lead to increased levels of unexpected downtime.

Corrective Maintenance Use Cases in Manufacturing

Industry

Example

Description

Automotive 

Robot Arm Repairs

Fixing malfunctioning robotic arms used in assembly lines.

Textiles

Loom Mechanism Adjustment

Rectifying issues in loom machines for uninterrupted weaving.

Food Processing

Conveyor Belt Replacement

Replacing worn-out belts to maintain production flow.

Electronics

Soldering Equipment Repair

Repairing or replacing faulty soldering tools.

Pharmaceuticals

Tablet Press Maintenance

Correcting issues in tablet press machines for consistent output.

Chemicals

Reactor Vessel Leak Sealing

Addressing leaks in chemical reactors to ensure safety.

Implementation: Challenges and Solutions

The initial cost savings of corrective maintenance over preventive maintenance do not hold up over time. Corrective maintenance will eventually present challenges, such as severe unpredictability of equipment failure, resulting in unexpected downtime and shortages of required materials and parts. It can also contribute to shorter asset lifespans due to irregular and absent preventive maintenance. With these factors combined, your facility may face higher costs, reputational damage, decreased customer and employee satisfaction, and lower safety levels.

To address these challenges, a more strategic approach is recommended with the support of an advanced work order management system, like LLumin’s CMMS+. LLumin can help your maintenance team monitor equipment health and predict failures. It can also help you implement a preventive maintenance approach that includes regular monitoring, repairs, and the use of data to help guide continuous improvement.

LLumin’s CMMS+ Overview

LLumin can assist manufacturers in implementing a more proactive maintenance approach with a better balance of corrective and preventive maintenance tasks. With improved visibility into your equipment’s health and better resource allocation, you can take maintenance planning to new heights of efficiency and sophistication.

LLumin was created to help manufacturers support and improve their corrective maintenance processes, and it includes the following features.

Real-time Monitoring

Predictive Maintenance

Automated Scheduling

LLumin’s CMMS+ tracks equipment performance in real time.

LLumin utilizes data analytics for predicting maintenance needs.

The system can streamline and automate maintenance scheduling.

Inventory Management

Work Order Management

LLumin optimizes the management of spare parts and supplies.

Simplifies creation and tracking of maintenance tasks.

Improve Your Maintenance Strategy With LLumin

Corrective maintenance is an important part of most maintenance management programs. However, it will require a cautious comparison of its short-term advantages and long-term limitations. The most effective application of corrective maintenance will be a strategic one, with the overarching goal of identifying the most appropriate use cases while identifying when other preventive or predictive strategies should be used instead. 

LLumin can be a valuable tool for any manufacturing company looking to improve its maintenance operations, shift away from a reactive approach, and achieve higher levels of performance and reliability.

Getting Started With LLumin

LLumin develops innovative CMMS software to manage and track assets for industrial plants, municipalities, utilities, fleets, and facilities. If you’d like to learn more about the total effective equipment performance KPI, we encourage you to schedule a free demo or contact the experts at LLumin to see how our CMMS+ software can help you reach maximum productivity and efficiency goals.

Take a Free Tour