What Is Preventive Maintenance? The Ultimate Guide

What is preventive maintenance (PM)? Preventive maintenance is a commonly used and widely recognized method utilized by many organizations globally to reduce the chance of unexpected equipment failure and unscheduled downtime. In fact, recent data reveals that more than 76% of manufacturing companies worldwide have incorporated PM into their maintenance strategy.

Organizations seeking to enhance the dependability and efficiency of their equipment while lowering expenses can benefit significantly from a preventive maintenance model. 

Today, we will delve into the concept of preventive maintenance, its significance, and the benefits it offers. Additionally, we will explore the various types of preventive maintenance and highlight LLumin’s computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS+) software as the top choice for a preventive maintenance solution.

What is Preventive Maintenance?

A new maintenance technician asks his supervisor,

Preventive maintenance is an approach to maintenance that aims to proactively avoid equipment failures and increase the longevity of heavy assets and machinery. This maintenance strategy commonly involves regularly scheduled inspections, system software upgrades, equipment recalibrations, lubrication and cleaning, and other maintenance tasks that keep systems running smoothly.

Preventive maintenance differs from other types of maintenance strategies, such as reactive maintenance (also known as breakdown maintenance), which involves waiting for equipment to fail before taking action, or corrective maintenance, which generally focuses on fixing the problem after it occurs. 

Preventive maintenance also differs from another well-known maintenance strategy, predictive maintenance (PdM), which uses Internet of Things (IoT) technology, AI, and machine-level sensors to detect failure patterns before they lead to expensive equipment breakdowns.

Simply put, PM helps companies prevent future mechanical failure by performing regularly scheduled maintenance tasks. PM ensures machines and systems operate at optimal performance levels for longer periods of time, reduces risks of costly repairs, and minimizes unplanned downtime. 

Preventive Maintenance Comparison

Aspect Preventive Maintenance Predictive Maintenance Proactive Maintenance
Timing of Maintenance Scheduled Data-Driven Early Detection
Cost Efficiency Moderate High Moderate
Downtime Reduction Moderate High High
Equipment Monitoring Regular Intervals Real-time Continuous
Failure Prediction No Yes Yes

For more information on “Preventive, Predictive, and Proactive Maintenance” read more—Here

What are the Different Types of Preventive Maintenance?

Several types of preventive maintenance are classified based on how they are organized and scheduled, which include: 

  • Time-based preventive maintenance: This kind of preventive maintenance is planned at regular intervals (e.g., daily, weekly, monthly, etc.). This is the most prevalent form of preventive maintenance and is typically used for machinery with a predictable lifespan and rate of wear.
  • Usage-based preventive maintenance: This type of preventive maintenance is based on the usage or production volume of a machine. It is typically used for machines with variable workloads that may experience more wear and tear.
  • Predictive maintenance (PdM): Predictive maintenance uses machine-level sensors, IoT, and AI technology to determine the condition of a machine to estimate when a company should perform maintenance. Then, maintenance tasks are scheduled to prevent unexpected equipment failures—increasing uptime.
  • Prescriptive maintenance: In contrast to traditional maintenance based on pre-established criteria, prescriptive maintenance optimizes maintenance tasks using real-time data and advanced analytics to determine optimal times for maintenance. This process involves evaluating data from sensors and monitoring systems to surface failure patterns and trends in equipment behavior.

The Benefits of Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance is a proven and efficient approach to maintaining equipment and cutting down on equipment downtime and expense. PM enables organizations to tailor maintenance plans to their specific needs and schedule maintenance activities ahead of time. It also allows organizations to predict and budget maintenance expenses more accurately.

This long-term, cost-effective approach also provides several additional advantages over other maintenance types, including:

Benefits of Preventive Maintenance Description
Cost Savings
  • Reduces repair costs
  • Improves budgeting
Improved Reliability
  • Ensures consistent peak performance
  • Addresses potential problems early
Predicted Downtime
  • Enables planned, scheduled downtime
  • Reduces impact on production
Increased Lifespan
  • Extends machine lifespan
  • Prevents wear and tear
Increased Efficiency
  • Enhances machine/system efficiency
  • Improves productivity
  • Reduces energy consumption
Improved Safety & Compliance
  • Ensures safe asset operation
  • Reduces accidents and injuries
  • Meets legal requirements

When is Preventive Maintenance The Best Strategy?

A preventive maintenance strategy can be cost-effective for many organizations with high equipment ownership costs across various industries. This type of maintenance can also be a preferred choice for organizations that rely on heavy equipment operating at peak performance levels.

While preventive maintenance can be more expensive initially, it can help a company save money in the long run by reducing the need for costly repairs, extending equipment life, and increasing operational efficiency. Other types of maintenance, such as condition-based and predictive maintenance, also have their own advantages. 

To achieve optimal maintenance, businesses frequently use a combination of different maintenance strategies tailored to their specific needs.

Preventive Maintenance Use Cases

Preventive maintenance programs can be applied across diverse industries and provide several benefits attributed to regularly scheduled maintenance. 

Here are a few important use cases:

Icon Use Case Description
Manufacturing Line Efficiency Preventive maintenance minimizes costly repairs and production downtime.
Energy Generation Optimization Scheduled maintenance improves power system reliability and reduces unplanned outages.
Telecommunications Scheduled maintenance enhances telecom equipment reliability and reduces service interruptions.
Transportation and Fleet Management Regular maintenance ensures reliable fleet performance and minimizes road breakdowns.

How To Create a Preventive Maintenance Program

Establishing a preventive maintenance program is important to ensure operational continuity and asset reliability. Organizations can proactively address potential issues by implementing a well-structured program before they lead to unwanted and costly results. 

Follow these basic steps to develop a preventive maintenance program:

Steps to Create a Preventive Maintenance Program Description
1. Asset Identification Identify assets requiring maintenance, noting criticality
2. Maintenance Schedule Determine task frequency based on manufacturer guidelines
3. Task Definition Specify detailed instructions and safety protocols
4. Resource Allocation Allocate manpower, tools, and spare parts for scheduled maintenance
5. Documentation Implement a system to record task completion, findings, and issues
6. Preventive Maintenance Software Use CMMS software for scheduling, tracking, and reporting.
7. Training Train technicians on protocols and safety
8. Continuous Improvement Review the program regularly, incorporating feedback.

How To Create a Preventive Maintenance Schedule

Preventive maintenance schedules increase efficiency by organizing and simplifying maintenance tasks. They also ensure that maintenance is completed on time and on schedule.

Follow these steps to establish an effective preventive maintenance schedule for your organization:

  1. Asset Prioritization: Identify critical assets that significantly impact operations. Prioritize maintenance tasks based on asset importance and potential consequences of failure.
  2. Frequency Determination: Determine maintenance frequency for each asset. Consider factors like asset usage, manufacturer recommendations, and historical data.
  3. Task Sequencing: Organize tasks logically to minimize disruption. Schedule tasks that require equipment downtime during off-peak hours.
  4. Resource Allocation: Allocate resources such as labor, tools, and materials needed for each scheduled task.
  5. CMMS Utilization: Implement a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) to automate scheduling, task assignment, and reminders.

Remember that an effective preventive maintenance schedule should strike a balance between keeping assets performing optimally and causing minimal disruption to daily operations.

Looking for more tips on how to create a preventive maintenance checklist?

Read our latest blog and download a free template.

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LLumin’s CMMS+: The Best Preventive Maintenance Solution

Preventive maintenance is proactive and is carefully planned to perform routine maintenance tasks at predetermined times to avoid asset failure. Planning a preventive maintenance schedule involves manually tracking data to determine when servicing is required. However, CMMS software can make it much less complicated than manually trying.

If you want to improve your organization’s PM approach and learn more about what is preventive maintenance, or are just getting started with PM, utilizing an advanced CMMS solution can help you in several ways. LLumin’s CMMS+ can help your organization streamline and optimize its overall preventive maintenance activities and make maintenance tasks easier to schedule and track while providing your technicians with all the information they need to complete their tasks safely and efficiently.

When choosing to work with LLumin, your implementation will be configured to match your unique company goals and business processes. Further, our software is easy to deploy, and a dedicated project manager will help you throughout the implementation process.

So, if you are looking for a cutting-edge CMMS+ accompanied by a seamless implementation process and an expert customer support staff, then LLumin is a perfect fit.

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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