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May 11 | Posted By

Saving Downtime Costs with Preventative Maintenance

There are several different types of maintenance plans, and using the right one can save your business in both cost and downtime, thereby improving efficiency and keeping your operations running smoothly.

Preventive Maintenance

When a machine comes offline, whether it is a mechanical and electrical system such as a computer room air conditioner, generator, uninterpretable power supply (UPS) or machinery in an assembly or power plant, it can lead to slowed operations and expensive repair costs.

Preventive maintenance involves on-going effort, but when carried out correctly, it can significantly reduce overall costs in the short and long term. This mode of maintenance does not completely eliminate the possibility for machine failure occurring, though you have a greater chance of detecting and correcting issues before they transform into major and costly problems. The fact that it requires ongoing effort implies that the maintenance involves a lot of labor that may seem unnecessary, but in actual sense, the extra effort is rewarding in the long run.

Other modes of maintenance include reactive maintenance, where you employ a run-to-failure machine strategy; proactive maintenance, which addresses the systemic elements of maintenance rather than inspecting the machine itself, such that you control the problems that can cause wear and tear instead of tackling the deterioration itself; and predictive maintenance, which involves the routine inspection of machines using advanced technologies such as ultrasound and infrared to eliminate unforeseen breakdowns and planned maintenance downtime that would otherwise be needed to inspect the machine piece by piece.

Preventive maintenance is somewhat similar to predictive maintenance, since both are carried out before breakdown to prevent failure and resulting consequences. However, the latter mode operates the same way that a medical checkup does, utilizing sophisticated technologies to collect information on the condition of a machine.

This can help organizations anticipate possible instances of wear and tear, and predict a failure or breakdown before it actually happens. Preventive maintenance, on the other hand, involves scheduling specific time intervals when you tend to the machines, sort of like how you change car oil every 3,000 miles as routine.

Compared to cost of other maintenance processes, preventive maintenance is probably the most cost effective mode. Other notable benefits of this mode of maintenance include:

  • Estimated savings of 12 – 18 percent compared to reactive maintenance tactics
  • Energy savings since the machines are constantly operating at their most efficient
  • Prolonged life cycle of machines and other critical equipment
  • Eliminates the need to buy larger, more expensive replacement parts

Part of managing your business assets involves assessing the Return on Investment and getting the maximum benefit from those assets based on cost. Establishing a standard maintenance program helps you reduce repair costs and extends the life of the asset, so it not only pays for itself, but also yields considerable ROI.