Saturday, September 22, 2018
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Preventive maintenance versus breakdown repair: What to choose?

When it comes to equipment, a lot of organizations have a ‘fail and then fix’ approach. So what happens when one waits for a piece of equipment to break down before he thinks of getting it fixed? This has been happening since a long time and maybe it is time now that one considered whether reactive maintenance, or the approach of ‘predict and prevent’, is a better deal all around.

What should you choose for your CMMS? This article considers both so that you have your answer at the end of it.

What these terms connote

Preventive or planned maintenance is a process which means that an organization ensures that all of its equipment is running at their peak performance levels at all times. Now this task depends on the kind of equipment concerned. Depending on it, it may require simple and quick inspections daily, and it may also require lubrication, cleaning and few minor adjustments. What it means is that when this is done regularly, problems get detected early and since repairs happen instantly, chances of preventing major mishaps get reduced by a big margin. In the long run, it will mean that the organization is able to make its equipment run longer and better.

On the other hand, breakdown repair is simply a process where an organization does repairs after a piece of equipment breaks down or malfunctions. This is an approach that has been popular for many decades and is basically based on the idea that maintenance is a costly affair. But when you have CMMS software telling you when to get regular inspections done, the process is not just easier, it also gets done faster.

The bottomline

Any organization worth its salt is bothered about its bottomline. And the bottomline does get affected positively when reactive maintenance   is the norm. So when an organization asks a maintenance manager what the cost factors are for these two categories of maintenance approaches, the answer is biased towards planning. Why does this happen when your common sense may make you think that breakdown repair is more cost-effective?

A lot of people think likewise because they consider the cost of spare parts and repairs as one-time expenses cheaper to deal with. However, that is just a simplification. The cost of breakdown repair goes beyond the simple costs of spare parts and repairs. When equipment breaks down, it is unplanned and hence unexpected. It may cause production to get stopped suddenly and this may go on for an indefinite period. Before the equipment gets fixed, no production can happen. Imagine the kind of effect it has on the organization’s bottomline. It will lose money every minute production doesn’t happen, it will miss deadliness and in the process, customers.

The time factor

This is another big advantage that preventive repair brings with it. Yes, checking and inspecting equipment daily is time-consuming. But the truth is that when an organization puts thought into creating a maintenance program, it becomes easier to get the job done and it happens on auto-pilot every working day. When this is done and small problems get fixed immediately, bigger issues don’t happen ant the chances of the organization facing a production halt is very little.

Effect on equipment quality

When an organization puts no effort into inspecting equipment, the chances of the quality falling is big. Without detection, the equipment will start wearing down. This may well make a production plant produce substandard quality products without even being aware of it. This can easily happen in cases of illegible product codes or unscannable barcodes. This can be terrible for business as consumers and buyers will find it difficult to put their trust on the quality of the organization’s product line. When equipment gets maintained regularly, such fiascos don’t happen, and even if they do, it will be easy to fix them so that production goes on smoothly.

Any organization which wants to grow and make profits should get its maintenance down pat. Planned maintenance is a much better idea for many reasons and that is why it is being adopted by many organizations all over the world. When equipment running optimally is the only way to increase revenue, special care should be taken.

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