Reactive vs Preventive vs Predictive Maintenance

One thing people often get wrong is thinking that reactive maintenance isn’t really a strategy because it doesn’t involve any proactive maintenance planning.

But that is a wrong way to think about it.

Just because you are reactive, that doesn’t mean you can’t also be strategic and organized about it.

You still want to ensure that the breakdowns are fixed as soon as possible to minimize the downtime and associated costs. This means you need to have a way to track available spare parts, quickly communicate changes in task priority, have the ability to stay on top of pending maintenance activities, and track important maintenance KPIs like failure metrics.

To be able to do all of these things, even organizations that focus on reactive maintenance are looking to implement modern CMMS software.

That being said, reactive maintenance is never a good approach to maintaining important assets. The risk is simply too big as the cost of unexpected breakdowns can be a downfall of even major corporations.  

So, as a natural progression from reactive maintenance, the most obvious way to improve your maintenance operation is by implementing a preventive maintenance strategy.

Since it doesn’t have complex or expensive implementation requirements, preventive maintenance is often the go-to option for every business that wants to reduce the long-term costs of their maintenance operations and stay competitive in the market.

However, as technology improves, businesses can look to further optimize their maintenance operations with predictive maintenance by eliminating some of the disadvantages of preventive maintenance (like excessive maintenance).  

But predictive maintenance isn’t without its flaws. Expensive condition-monitoring equipment that is complicated to install and specialized training you need to effectively perform it are still obstacles many organizations are not ready to tackle.

The good news is that the price of condition monitoring sensors is starting to go down, making it accessible to a wider array of organizations.