What Is Routine Maintenance? The Ultimate Guide

Routine maintenance plays an important role in the best maintenance strategies. As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Routine maintenance is the means to reduce the likelihood that equipment will break down unexpectedly and leave companies scrambling to gather the necessary manpower, materials, and equipment to get their machines and operations back up and running. 

But what is it exactly, and how does it compare to other maintenance strategies? We will cover this topic in more detail before introducing the benefits of using LLumin’s Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS+)

What is Routine Maintenance?

Routine maintenance refers to maintenance activities that are regularly scheduled to keep equipment and facilities up and running. It is a preventive approach that seeks to prevent equipment failures before they occur. And it can involve a range of different maintenance tasks, such as maintenance inspections, oil changes, parts changes, cleaning, and more. 

Generally, routine maintenance is divided into time-based maintenance, which determines the routine scheduling of maintenance based on time intervals, and usage-based maintenance, which determines maintenance based on use (like oil changes every thousand miles or so).

different types of routine maintenance diagram, FPS custom image

Types of Routine Maintenance

Routine maintenance seeks to identify and mitigate equipment issues before they lead to larger problems, like unexpected equipment downtime. This requires performing a range of inspections and servicing to address developing issues. Often, these tasks are simple and don’t require specialized skills; however, much does depend on the level of complexity or sophistication of the asset being maintained. The tasks or work orders are carried out daily, weekly, monthly, or annually as part of a larger preventative maintenance strategy.

We’ve listed the main types of routine maintenance below:

Time-Based Maintenance (TBM)

Time-Based Maintenance is performed at set intervals, such as calendar time or operating hours. This could involve daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly tasks. For example, a factory might schedule TBM for machinery every six months to ensure they continue operating at peak performance levels.  

Usage-Based Maintenance (UBM)

UBM is triggered by usage metrics of an asset, such as the number of cycles or miles driven. For example, replacing tires on a vehicle every 50,000 miles. 

Difference Between Routine and Emergency Maintenance

Routine maintenance is proactive, scheduled, and preventative. It occurs before breakdowns and is used to ensure optimal equipment performance with regular maintenance. 

When equipment is unexpectedly no longer operational and breaks down, maintenance becomes emergency maintenance, which is reactive, unscheduled, and corrective. After an equipment failure, emergency maintenance is required to restore the equipment to operational status.

The Benefits of Routine Maintenance

Regularly scheduled maintenance is the foundation of any effective maintenance program. Proactive maintenance can ensure that your equipment remains operational for longer periods of time, in addition to supporting a safe and reliable work environment. 

Routine maintenance provides the following benefits:

  • Cost Savings: Regular maintenance reduces the need for emergency repairs and equipment replacement, enabling organizations to save money on these costs. Further, regularly scheduled maintenance can extend the lifespan of equipment, helping to improve a company’s return on investment.
  • Safety: Regular maintenance is critical for reducing the risk of accidents and ensuring that the workplace environment adheres to safety regulations. Well-maintained equipment is less likely to break down, lowering the risk of workplace injuries and hazards.
  • Efficiency and Reliability: Routine maintenance ensures that equipment runs at optimal performance levels. This improves a company’s ability to meet project deadlines, improve product quality, and increase customer satisfaction.

Routine Maintenance Compared to Advanced Strategies






Routine Maintenance

Proactive; scheduled tasks to prevent failure.

Potentially lower costs due to prevention and scheduled interventions.

Highly effective in preventing unexpected failures and ensuring safety.

Broad application in various sectors for diverse equipment types.

Reactive Maintenance

Reactive; “fix it when it breaks” mentality.

Can lead to higher costs due to unplanned downtime and emergency repairs.

Less effective as it does not prevent failures but rather responds to them.

Often used in less critical application areas or where downtime is less impactful.

Condition-Based Maintenance (CBM)

Proactive; uses real-time data to assess equipment condition and determine maintenance needs.

Costs vary; potential savings from targeted maintenance but requires investment in monitoring technology.

Effective in managing the health of assets with real-time data.

Best suited for high-value assets where performance data can predictively indicate maintenance needs.

Predictive Maintenance

Proactive; uses advanced technologies and data analytics to predict when maintenance should occur.

Higher initial costs for technology and analysis but can result in significant long-term savings.

Highly effective in preventing failures before they occur.

Ideal for critical assets in industries where failure can result in significant downtime or safety risks.

How to Implement Routine Maintenance

Implementing a new proactive maintenance strategy can allow your organization to reap the benefits of regular maintenance, streamline operations, and lower the high costs associated with reactive and emergency repairs. However, implementing a new maintenance program requires a thorough analysis of your equipment, the creation of a new maintenance schedule, and subsequent training and deployment.

Here’s how you can develop and deploy a routine maintenance plan:

  1. Assess Maintenance Needs: Start by assessing the current state of your equipment and determining maintenance requirements. This includes understanding the manufacturer’s recommendations, considering usage patterns, and reviewing previous maintenance records.
  2. Develop a Maintenance Schedule: Based on the assessment, create a maintenance schedule that includes regular checks and service intervals. Prioritize tasks based on criticality to operations.
  3. Allocate Resources: Assign responsibilities to maintenance staff and ensure the necessary tools, parts, and resources are available.
  4. Training: Ensure your maintenance team is properly trained in the procedures and safe practices associated with each task.
  5. Deployment: Implement maintenance activities according to the schedule. Ensure that the established procedures are followed and that all tasks are documented.
  6. Analyze and Optimize: Regularly analyze and optimize the effectiveness of maintenance activities. Make changes to the plan based on team feedback and performance data.

The Role of LLumin’s CMMS+ Software

LLumin’s CMMS+ software offers key features like work order management, asset tracking, automated scheduling, inventory control, and advanced reporting. This comprehensive suite of features can centralize access to your maintenance data, enhance maintenance scheduling and tracking, and provide powerful insights into equipment performance.

Beyond its core capabilities, LLumin’s cloud-based, mobile-ready platform combines real-time data analytics and condition monitoring through the use of machine-level sensors. It not only schedules and tracks maintenance but can also predict potential issues using machine learning algorithms, taking any preventive maintenance program to higher levels of accuracy and precision.

Read our recently published

“How to Use CMMS Software to Achieve Operations Excellence” eBook: Here

Support Routine Maintenance With LLumin’s CMMS+

The value of routine maintenance cannot be overstated. It is the foundation for the most effective proactive maintenance strategies, ensuring that equipment continues operating safely and reliably. Organizations can benefit from LLumin’s CMMS+, which provides powerful CMMS features that can help you implement a new maintenance strategy or improve an existing one.

LLumin’s CMMS+ advanced features can automate maintenance task creation, assign work orders to the most qualified technicians, and accurately diagnose root cause issues before recommending appropriate maintenance tasks. LLumin’s predictive maintenance capabilities can also help you anticipate and resolve issues before they cause costly downtime.

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.

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