What Are The Different Types of Preventive Maintenance?

types of preventive maintenance

When you are operating a commercial facility, it helps to know the different types of preventive maintenance. This way, you can use each one to inform your strategy.


The Types of Preventive Maintenance You Should Know About

What is preventive maintenance? Preventive maintenance is the practice of routinely maintaining the equipment or assets of a facility with the goal of preventing failure, which can result in costly repairs or downtime for the business.

It is an easy enough concept to grasp, but people often have a hard time creating their preventive maintenance schedules because they don’t know which method to utilize. Here are the types of preventive maintenance you can apply to your commercial property.


1. Condition-Based Monitoring

You can probably already tell what condition-based monitoring is based on its name. This type of preventive maintenance involves observing the condition of the asset to identify what kind of maintenance it requires and when it requires it. You would look for signs of impending failure, indicating that it is time for a tune-up to maintain its functionality at an optimal level.

The signs you can look for can include but are not limited to the following:

  • Visual signs such as corrosion, rust, or cracks
  • Sounds and noises that you don’t usually hear from the machine
  • Temperature changes
  • Unusual vibrations coming from motors, compressors, and pumps
  • Signs of wear and friction caused by surfaces in motion that interact with each other


2. Meter-Based Maintenance

what is preventive maintenanceAlso called performance-based maintenance, this type of preventive maintenance involves reading a meter to know whether an asset requires attention.

To carry out this strategy, you would typically need to measure things like miles driven, hours used, the pressure generated, and the like. Obviously, you would also need to service the meters on a regular basis to ensure they produce accurate readings.

Some examples of preventive maintenance under this type include the following:

  • Maintaining the right chlorine level in a swimming pool
  • Changing the oil of an engine or motor every X number of miles
  • Rotating the tires of a vehicle every X number of miles
  • Swap out parts of a machine every X number of hours


3. Failure-Finding Maintenance

Failure-finding maintenance involves checking a device, usually one of a protective nature, to make sure it is still functional. A protective device is something that tells you when there is a problem. It can also take the form of a device that immediately halts a process to prevent compounding the problem.

Among the types of preventive maintenance, failure-finding is quite unique because it does not typically involve replacing any components. Instead, it involves actually activating the device to ensure it still works. Failure-finding maintenance addresses hidden problems rather than more obvious ones.

Here are some preventive maintenance examples under this type:

  • Switching a fire alarm on to ensure it still works
  • Checking the operation of a backup generator


4. Risk-Based Maintenance

As its name suggests, risk-based maintenance is a type of preventive maintenance that analyzes the levels of risk related to the asset with the goal of reducing mechanical breakdowns. By assessing risk levels, you can aptly determine which assets will need attention first.

Risk-based maintenance applies the Pareto principle, otherwise known as the 80-20 rule. According to this principle, 80 percent of failures stem from 20 percent of causes. As such, you must concentrate on these areas to minimize malfunctions.


5. Predictive Maintenance

Predictive maintenance aims to optimize your routine maintenance activities by allowing you to perform them at the right level frequency. Sometimes, a commercial facility manager will conduct preventive maintenance too often or not enough. With predictive maintenance, you can eliminate that problem.

Predictive maintenance involves inspecting the condition of your assets. And, in that way, it is similar to condition-based maintenance. The difference, though, is that condition-based monitoring relies on results, whereas predictive maintenance relies on data with the help of sensor devices.

When a sensor notices a flaw with a piece of equipment, it will automatically create a work order and delegate it to a technician. Of course, this requires the use of a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS).

Here are some predictive maintenance examples:

  • A refrigerator sensor can measure the vibration and temperature of a refrigerator and alert staff if there are abnormalities
  • A smart system that monitors the ventilation in a building by tracking humidity and temperature
  • Thermal sensors that can detect when a piece of equipment is in danger of overheating


6. Prescriptive Maintenance

Prescriptive maintenance also uses data but takes it to the next level. This strategy incorporates machine learning, advanced analytics, and even artificial intelligence to come up with predictions about maintenance. Using all of this, the sophisticated software evaluates the condition of your assets, analyzes risks, and generates recommendations based on data gathered.

This type of preventive maintenance is fairly new to the industry, which is why it is not yet readily available. Additionally, it requires a hefty investment, making it all the more inaccessible to most companies.


7. Time-Based Maintenance

examples of preventive maintenanceTime-based maintenance, also known as calendar-based maintenance, is perhaps one of the most prevalent types of preventive maintenance commercial facilities utilize today.

It involves adhering to a set schedule to perform maintenance activities, usually dependent on the recommendations of the supplier or manufacturer. Though, it is not uncommon for companies to tweak their schedules based on past asset performance.

Many commercial facilities prefer time-based maintenance because it requires less manpower and, therefore, is not as expensive. It is also far less complicated than its counterparts. Even with these benefits, though, time-based maintenance does have its pitfalls as well.

When you are simply following a predetermined schedule, there is no concrete way to know if that schedule is working. You may be inadvertently performing maintenance activities much too frequently or insufficiently.

For instance, the manufacturer of your air conditioner recommends changing the air filter every 90 days. But, that recommendation does not take into account environmental factors. If you live in an area with a higher concentration of air pollution, such as next to a highway, then you will likely need to replace your AC’s air filter more often. The reverse also applies if you don’t use your AC as much.


Which Is the Best One for You?

With several different types of preventive maintenance, it can be difficult to choose which one to apply to your commercial facility or property. There are a lot of moving parts to analyze, and you may need more than one type of preventive maintenance in a single facility. It helps to hire someone with maintenance expertise or outsource the job to a reliable company.

This is where Maintenance Specialists Inc. can help you. We offer a variety of commercial services including preventive maintenance for all types of facilities. Call us today at 704.405.6000 or contact us online to get a free estimate.



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