Reactive vs Preventive Maintenance: What you Need to Know

When it comes to maintenance, certain strategies can ensure your business is more productive and efficient. You may realize that maintenance is important, but are you across the different types of maintenance. These include most notably preventative and reactive maintenance, with the latter being further broken down into emergency and corrective maintenance.

Anyone with a knowledge of facility management will tell you that there are no definitively good or bad strategies. Rather, it is important to explore different types of maintenance approaches. In this article, we’ll compare the pros and cons of different strategies for different organizations and to suit various circumstances.

Preventive Maintenance

As the term suggests, preventative maintenance(PM) is all about fixing errors and technical problems before bigger issues arrive. This kind of maintenance is cautious and proactive and involves investing in equipment, property, and assets for long term benefits. PM includes day-to-day adjustments, repairs, and replacements like lubrication and oil changing of machinery and vehicles.

Businesses must keep a close eye on all of their valuable assets, and if they are practicing a PM approach their maintenance schedule can become grueling and even exhausting. However, preventative maintenance prevents nasty shocks and unanticipated expenditure incurred due to sudden equipment failures.

Reactive Maintenance

Again, this term is pretty self-explanatory. Reactive maintenance is done when something unexpected happens with your equipment, and you react. In more formal terms, RM refers to the procedures conducted to address any technical fault or problem that arises with an asset or piece of equipment. These activities are instigated by equipment malfunction, failure, or chance observation.

This kind of maintenance is doesn’t involve proactive tasks or checks, and so saves costs and effort, but when problems do arise, the charges can be immense. Large issues such as electrical faults can pose grave threats to your business’ operations, income, and reputation. Therefore, it is critical that you adequately take care of your electrical maintenance. RM is also further classified into two broad categories: Emergency and Corrective maintenance. Both of these are concerned with reacting to an issue after it has occurred.

Emergency Maintenance

Emergency maintenance revolves around responding to any situation that poses an emergency. Any safety risk must be addressed immediately. In such cases, emergency maintenance is prioritized over other activities until the issue is resolved.

This can be a major inconvenience for businesses. The expense can also put great strain on the finances of your company and significantly decrease productivity.

Corrective Maintenance

As the name suggests, this maintenance is performed when a fault is observed, whether through casual observation, a walkthrough, or an unconnected inspection. After the problem is identified, the equipment is repaired, and the parts are replaced or corrected so that the equipment is again functioning optimally.

Comparative Disadvantages

Companies adopt different maintenance approaches based on their budget, quality assurance level, and other protocols. Many organizations employ both preventative and reactive maintenance methods in different circumstances.

Each can be the best choice for a certain circumstance, but certain challenges can be faced in both cases, such as:

Reactive Maintenance

  • Problems Become More Expensive
    Delays in maintenance are never a good thing. Equipment can break down and the damage may be irreparable. In many cases, the appropriate professionals are not available to treat the problem immediately, and businesses may have to pay a premium.
  • Reduced Life of Assets

Equipment tends to deteriorate faster if proper and regular maintenance is not conducted.

  • High Costs

In regular maintenance procedures, energy consumption is significantly reduced. Ignoring such maintenance canmake your energy bills rise sky high.

  • Safety Concerns

In emergency maintenance, workers are under immense pressure and so may take risks under pressure and time limitations.

Preventive Maintenance

  • Unwanted Maintenance

Time and money is spent on checking assets that may work perfectly.

  • Need for Inventory Management

For many organizations, keeping such systems up and running can be an arduous challenge.

  • Planned Downtime

This can be a nuisance for workers who have to constantly set time aside for upgrades and repairs.

Comparative Advantages

Both types of maintenance procedures have a number of benefits. The advantages of each approach include:

Reactive Maintenance

  • Low Initial Cost

A large amount of money is saved in upfront costs paid for regular maintenance and repair.

  • No Planning Required

No time or money is spent on planning repairs.

Preventive Maintenance

  • Greater Savings

You can save a fortune by not paying hefty premiums for emergency repairs.

  • Safer Work Environment

As the equipment is checked more often, the risk of safety hazards occurring is greatly reduced.

  • Longer Life of Assets

PM ensures that assets are in the best form and shape, and are functioning optimally.

  • Greater Productivity

With PM solutions, work can perform better and produce better results.

At the end of the day, no one choice is better than the all others in every situation. It is important to assess your business’ unique needs and choose the approach that is best for you.


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