What Are the Different Maintenance Strategies?


    Machine failure causes an average of 27 hours of downtime each month. The evolution of machines, systems, and software is both a blessing and a curse. The progression in technology allows businesses to meet the needs of their customers more effectively, but it means that maintenance strategies have had to adapt at a rapid pace.

    Finding the best maintenance strategy for your business requires a lot of thought. You have to look at your staffing, finances, and industry to figure which types of strategies to use.

    There are four primary types of strategies. In this article, we’ll look at those four to help you decide what’s best for your business.

    1. The Most Popular of the Maintenance Strategies: Preventative Maintenance

    This is perhaps the most popular strategy for businesses. It requires taking assets offline from time to time to make sure they function properly. The idea behind preventative maintenance is that by taking a proactive approach, you can extend the life of your assets and prevent breakdowns and downtime, thus saving money long-term.

    While this seems like an easy way to go at first glance, there are some issues that occur. If your team can’t update your maintenance software regularly or relies heavily on these types of software to make decisions, you could waste time and money by performing maintenance tasks that aren’t needed.

    Maintenance can also require complicated procedures. A small mistake during these procedures can cause problems. Simple math says that too many unnecessary procedures increase the chance of human error.

    2. Reliability-Centered Maintenance

    This type of maintenance strategy calls for a business to think of every possibility of equipment failure and make a maintenance plan for everything that could go wrong. This process can make it easier to keep your equipment accessible, but it can also backfire.

    First, a business needs to have enough staffing to handle complicated maintenance plans. Another problem is that companies with several hundred pieces of equipment could find this strategy overbearing as well.

    3. Reactive Maintenance

    This maintenance strategy relies on a pretty simple concept: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If it does break, get it up and running as soon as possible.

    This might seem like a terrible approach when compared to preventative maintenance, but there are some benefits to it. First, you can execute this strategy with a small team. You won’t need the large and expensive maintenance team that a reliability-centered maintenance plan requires. If your equipment isn’t expensive or too technical, you also won’t have to overwork your team for equipment that isn’t worth the trouble.

    Of course, this strategy can backfire in spectacular ways. If you use this for all of your equipment and it goes out at once, you could end up facing substantial downtime.

    4. Predictive Maintenance

    This strategy requires the use of machine sensors and other maintenance software to predict when equipment will break, allowing your team to run equipment until the critical moment before a failure. It attempts to limit the number of repairs you have to make while maximizing run time. For an example of the type of software needed for this strategy, look here now.

    With this approach, you will pay more money up-front for software. You’ll also need to have a team with the technical expertise for this system.

    Which of These Maintenance Strategies Is Best for Your Business?

    Deciding between these four maintenance strategies depends on the size and expertise of your staff, your budget, and the type of equipment you use. If you take your time, do your due diligence, and talk to a professional, you’ll make the right decision for your business.

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