When the internet goes down, it is difficult to work until IT resolves the issue. When unsaved work is lost, the situation gets worse. This example highlights the flaws of a reactive maintenance strategy. While most companies strive to adopt proactive maintenance, reactive maintenance is the industry norm. This article discusses the distinctions between reactive and proactive maintenance and why a proactive strategy is the way to go.
Reactive Maintenance delays action until a piece of equipment breaks down or is close to failure. For example, let’s say you forget to change your car’s oil and it breaks down on a highway. Now, you have to tow the vehicle, call your insurance company, and pay the bill once your vehicle has been repaired. A reactive approach presents the following clear disadvantages:
A reactive maintenance strategy is sometimes preferred in unusual circumstances. For example, when it costs less to replace a piece of equipment rather than maintain or repair it. If a “run-to-failure” maintenance strategy is under consideration, be sure to determine whether the desired benefits outweigh the potential risks.
Proactive Maintenance is work that is properly planned, scheduled, and completed within a specific time frame so that a piece of equipment can be restored to its ideal operating condition at minimal cost to the company. For example, a proactive approach might call for lubricating a bearing to increase its lifespan, monitoring the bearing to detect failure, and replacing the bearing before it fails. The following key elements and concepts should be considered for effective proactive maintenance:
A well-maintained facility should strive for a goal of 85% to 90% proactive work because a proactive approach offers the following, clear benefits:
This graph illustrates the positive financial impact that proactive maintenance has on labor. When companies struggle to stay profitable especially during economic downturns, they often cut labor costs by laying off employees. Maintenance is usually the first department on the chopping block because it is often viewed as a cost center or a necessary evil, rather than a profit center. What management fails to recognize is how proactive maintenance reduces labor costs by increasing the efficiency of existing resources while reducing headcount through attrition. Proactive maintenance can reduce a company’s total workload by up to 25%, meaning it can remain profitable without laying off employees.
If a company puts a freeze on hiring, the hiring freeze means that money will not be spent on rehiring or retraining anyone.
It is vital to assess whether your maintenance function is proactive or reactive. Compare the percentage of emergency / reactive work to planned / proactive / predictive work to get your answer.
Remember, proactive maintenance is often a more productive, efficient, and economical approach to maximizing equipment effectiveness and yields incredible results if companies invest in their facility’s long-term well-being.
CMMS Data Group’s Reliability Engineering Division offers a variety of services aimed at helping organizations achieve world-class maintenance & reliability. One place to start is the Maintenance Excellence Status Assessment (MESA). MESAs give organizations the steps needed to transition their maintenance function from a cost center to a profit center. Contact us today for more information!
Founded in 2000, CMMS Data Group is the market leader in CMMS software and services. Led by the award-winning MVP Plant™ CMMS software combined with its professional services and technical support, the Company also provides comprehensive Reliability Engineering Services. These solutions empower maintenance and reliability professionals to increase customer satisfaction, reliability, capacity, productivity, and profitability, delivering a competitive edge to their organization.
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