(Dis)advantages of routine maintenance

If you run a preventive maintenance schedule, you must have noticed that routine maintenance tasks take quite a few spots on your maintenance calendar (marked blue in the illustrative example below).

Planned maintenance

Since routine maintenance is an integral part of all preventive maintenance efforts, it brings the same set of benefits:

  • it improves asset lifespan
  • it reduces the number of unexpected equipment failures
  • it keeps assets in good operating condition
  • it helps you to better estimate your spare parts inventory needs
  • it is a type of maintenance work that can be standardized and optimized

While routine maintenance is crucial in keeping breakdowns at bay, there is one downside we have to talk about.

The main objection for preventive maintenance (and in extension routine maintenance) is that it often spends resources on maintenance work that might not be needed yet.

That is a valid concern, but it is something that can be addressed by optimizing your maintenance schedules.

When first creating your PM plan, you are likely going to follow the guidelines outlined in the equipment manual. Depending on the variety of factors (how accurate are the recommendations from the OEM manual, the conditions in which the machine works, replacement parts you use, how hard you push the machine…), the need for routine tasks can be higher or lower than recommended.

The best way to approach this problem is to use a CMMS like Limble to keep detailed maintenance logs and track metrics like MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) that can give you a clue if you need to perform more or less maintenance work on specific assets.

Examples of routine maintenance

Here are some maintenance tasks that can be classified under routine maintenance:

  • equipment inspections
  • simple maintenance tasks that are done on a regular basis like lubrication, filter changes, parts replacements, etc.
  • cleaning related tasks (mopping the floor, cleaning equipment, washing windows, mowing the lawn, etc.; which are more pronounced in property maintenance)
  • testing safety equipment

This, of course, is not a definitive list. Just a few examples so you get a better idea of what routine maintenance covers.