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Predictive vs. Preventive Maintenance


Preventive and Predictive Maintenance are often interchanged terms, but this description is incorrect. Understanding the difference can save your company both time and money so you can better plan a successful maintenance schedule.

Preventive maintenance

Preventive maintenance is driven by a pre-determined plan or schedule. This could be measured by time in use, after a specific usage, relying on a meter, or a number of other ways. The important component here is that it is planned…even if the exact timing is not known.

Maintenance steps are often based on items such as the age of the machine, upgrades to the system, or what the manufacturer recommends.

In this case the assumption is the machine component will wear out or lose effectiveness/precision within a defined time period, and which point it needs to be serviced or replaced. Using preventive maintenance, the component is swapped or refurbished before this time period occurs.

Using a car as an example, suppose one of the belts in the engine is expected to last X miles, so it should be replaced when reaching that point. The primary issue with preventative maintenance is that sometimes perfectly useful components are replaced without the need, increasing the costs to the manufacturer unnecessarily.

Predictive maintenance

Predictive maintenance, however, seeks to reduce that cost, by monitoring the parts directly and replacing only when required. This method seeks to foresee a failure during use and replace only when needed.

In the above example, instead of replacing the belt outright, the belt is inspected to determine what useful life it may still have, avoiding the cost of replacing it without need.

When predictive analysis shows a potential for breakdown, the repair can be scheduled during a time period when it will have minimal impact on production.

The issue with predictive maintenance however is that inspection may not reveal the need for replacement or rebuild prior to a breakdown of that machine or part. This could very well exceed the cost of simply following a preventive schedule.

The impact of inappropriate maintenance can be significant in terms of the quality of your products and services, resulting in major scrap material or major customer service issues and costly repairs to items sold later on. So selecting the right system for your manufacturing is an important key to profitability.

Our products here at ShopFlow Solutions are all designed to make your workplace the most efficient and productive it can be - and allow for shorter, more effective maintenance of your machines and other pieces of equipment.

Our heavy-duty, industrial grade products stand up to the harshest working environments. And you get higher quality products than what others pay for lesser alternatives.

Contact or call today at (800) 274-4123, and let’s get the conversation started on how we can help you make your company profitable.

  • Industrial Storage
  • Tool Storage
  • LEAN Manufacturing
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