The 6 Types of Maintenance: Definitions, Benefits, Examples

Different Types of Maintenance

There are six general types of maintenance strategies that companies use. They are a range of proactive and reactive methodologies. Depending on how you form your business structure, maintenance can become costly or affordable, create problems or solve them. Part of why the right maintenance program is important is how you manage them, the impact on customers, and the total cost based on the investment return.

Types of Maintenance

The different types of maintenance strategies include:

  • Predetermined maintenance – follows a factory schedule.
  • Preventive maintenance – includes regular and time-based schedules.
  • Corrective maintenance – occurs when an issue is noticed.
  • Condition-based maintenance – occurs when a situation or condition indicates maintenance is needed.
  • Predictive maintenance – is data-driven and impacted by preset parameters.
  • Reactive maintenance – occurs when a total breakdown or failure occurs.

Predetermined Maintenance

Predetermined maintenance follows a plan of action created by the manufacture of equipment, rather than scheduled maintenance laid out by a maintenance team.

Examples of Predetermined Maintenance

An excellent example of predetermined maintenance is when machinery maintenance is scheduled at time intervals based on the manufacture’s recommendations. For example, oil changes will be every fourth month. Transmission service will occur at X number of hours of run time. After one year of use, Parts X, Y, and Z are checked for wear. Engine replacement occurs after X number of years.

Even if the machine has sat idle for four months, the oil is changed. The list of maintenance is scheduled based on time or usage rather than functionality.

Another example is when smart data indicates a decrease in productivity. The drop in performance signals a need for maintenance. Predetermined maintenance crosses over into predictive maintenance, where data reporting for issues occurs.

Cost of Predetermined Maintenance

The cost of predetermined maintenance programs is generally low. Because everything is scheduled, you can plan for part or service items for maintenance. Costs do vary based on the machinery and parts associated, but even those are known costs.

Predetermined Maintenance Benefits

  • Much easier to schedule and manage, including labor.
  • The manufacturer outlines the maintenance plan.
  • You can schedule technicians rather than hire maintenance personnel.

Preventive Maintenance

This type, preventive maintenance, seeks out and repairs more minor issues and decreases the occurrence of major repairs. Preventive maintenance may take on aspects of all other maintenance types.

For example, maintenance inspections may change based on the age of the equipment. When it is new, the procedure may be more of a predetermined maintenance style, but as it ages, more frequent inspections, both physical and through data, may prevent more minor performance issues from becoming extensive and more costly repairs.

Example of Preventative Maintenance

An excellent example of preventative maintenance is the seasonal cleaning of an HVAC unit. In spring, you schedule maintenance to ensure that grit and sand are not inside the casing or leaves are not blocking the air intake in the fall. There is no specific issue, but we know that leaves can accumulate and cause problems later in the fall. Removing the grit or leaves now prevents a later difficulty, such as poor performance, increased energy usage, etc.

Preventive maintenance is easily described as regular and routine inspections that look for wear before symptoms appear.

Costs of Preventative Maintenance

Expect to pay more for labour under preventative maintenance, so equipment inspections occur as scheduled. However, those added labour costs may be offset by preventing major repairs and the increase in energy consumption from machines that do not operate at peak performance. In addition, service can be outsourced, which can help reduce the cost of labour.

Benefits of Preventative Maintenance

  • Prevention of major repairs.
  • Keeps businesses open by preventing most emergency repairs.
  • Adds to the product’s lifecycle by reducing wear.
  • Keeps energy costs at their lowest possible rates.

Corrective Maintenance

Maintenance teams activate after the uncovering of a problem. The goal of corrective maintenance is to bring systems back to regular operation as quickly as possible. With corrective maintenance, there is no program for regular maintenance. A problem must be present before maintenance occurs.

Examples of corrective maintenance include:

  • Repairing a broken HVAC unit rather than maintaining it.
  • Repairing an HVAC unit after data from the unit shows it is not functioning at peak performance.

Cost of Corrective Maintenance

Because there is not a regular maintenance program that prevents breakdown, maintenance occurs only when an issue is noticed. The cost of repairs may be slightly more expensive but far cheaper than paying maintenance to maintain equipment. The driving force is fixed just in time, but that can backfire if a catastrophic event happens. In the above example, the HVAC is not repairable, and replacement is the only option. Even then, some costs for replacement may be covered by a warranty.

Benefits of Corrective Maintenance

  • Decreased monthly maintenance costs.
  • Decrease in time for managing maintenance.
  • Focuses on non-critical elements.
  • A more straightforward maintenance process.

Condition-Based Maintenance

As the name implies, condition-based maintenance focuses on outcomes through measurement or observation. Machines have a range of normal operating conditions. Within that range, the operation is acceptable. Near the edges of that range, maintenance may be required.

Examples of Condition-Based Maintenance

An excellent example of condition-based maintenance is that pesky check engine light in your car. When it comes to the car’s system has indicated that something is out of the normal range and maintenance is scheduled. The exact process may occur with machines that self-monitor through smart technology or physical inspections in a business.

Another example of condition-based maintenance might be when a machine begins to use more energy to function. That may be that a tank of fuel does not last as long or that there is a sudden spike in electrical usage. Again, that level of condition requires maintenance.

Cost of Condition-Based Maintenance

The overall cost of condition-based maintenance is low. It is a function of the condition of equipment over time and before a failure occurs. It is also known as a P-F curve. Because maintenance is scheduled when anomalies begin, the cost to correct them is less than repairing a complete failure of the machine. The benefits of Conditional-based maintenance show us more.

Benefits of Condition-Based Maintenance

  • Less downtime.
  • Decreased energy consumption.
  • Greater productivity — the equipment runs in the range of peak performance for longer.
  • Fewer complete failures as equipment maintenance occur as the performance drops.

Predictive Maintenance

One of the more advanced ways that maintenance occurs, predictive maintenance, is data-driven. Data supplied by the equipment indicates when maintenance occurs. Data also is a means to map when the failure of the machine may occur.

Examples of Predictive Maintenance

Technology is all around us, and many businesses put it to work for them. The examples of predictive maintenance would include:

  • Alarms that sound when the temperature on a machine or in an environment begin to move outside the safe parameters set up per the manufacturer’s guidelines. The enteral temperature in a data center’s server room becomes too hot, and sensors in that room alter maintenance.
  • A sensor in an engine monitors misfires and alerts maintenance that engine service is needed.
  • A sensor on a refrigeration truck monitors the enteral temperatures of the truck and alerts the driver when the internal temperature falls outside acceptable parameters.

These alerts do not necessarily mean a complete failure occurs, but that condition is approaching a range where catastrophic failure can occur.

Costs Associated with Predictive Maintenance

There is a higher cost at set up for predictive infrastructure, but overall, predictive maintenance can save money by:

  • Improving product quality.
  • Reducing catastrophic failures.
  • Improved equipment performance.
  • Higher customer satisfaction.

There can also be a reduction in maintenance labor since automation can also become part of the predictive process.

Reactive (Run-to-Failure) Maintenance

Reactive maintenance is a maintenance system that responds when a failure of machinery or systems occurs. The repairs may be handled in-house or by the manufacturer, or through a combination of in-house maintenance and the manufacture’s technicians.

Unlike preventive maintenance, reaction maintenance occurs when a breakdown happens.

Examples of Reactive Maintenance

The car wash at the local gas station breaks, and the maintenance team is notified. The printing press that handles varnish applications fails, and maintenance or the factory service team is notified, and repairs are scheduled.

Costs of Reactive Maintenance

The costs of reactive maintenance can range from minor repairs to total replacement of machinery. Therefore, it becomes difficult to predict the cost of reactive maintenance, though occasionally the cost is offset by a warranty or service contract.

Benefits of Reactive Maintenance

It may seem like a waste of money to not have any other type of maintenance in place before machinery or equipment fails. However, there are some cost savings associated with Reactive Maintenance. Those include:

  • Less maintenance staff, fewer employees, fewer wages paid out regularly, etc.
  • Fewer costs to implementation – No regular maintenance means no labor or part costs until failure occurs.
  • Fewer management hours are needed for maintenance planning.

How to Choose the Right Strategy?

Choosing the best maintenance methodology is a measurement of risk. First, look at what you lose if equipment fails. If the cost is greater than the repair, then a reactive type maintenance methodology may be perfect for your businesses. On the other hand, if the cost is higher if machinery fails, then a proactive type of maintenance methodology might be more beneficial.

Weigh in aspects such as:

  • Time for maintenance to occur.
  • Cost to business in terms of loss of production.
  • Ask yourself: are customers impacted?

A business may also need more than one type of maintenance, depending on the nature of what they do. For example, preventative maintenance is an asset if it protects measurements such as customer satisfaction, reduces legal risks, etc. On the other hand, reactive maintenance may be more economical if the equipment is under warranty or approaching the end of its lifecycle.

Why Is the Right Maintenance Strategy Important?

The right maintenance strategy is crucial because it reduces risks and improves efficiency while keeping costs in an affordable range. You also have the opportunity to extend the life of your assets. That process also means reducing the cost of repairs and keeping overall productivity higher.


What Are the Different Types of Maintenance?

The different types are; Predetermined Maintenance, Preventive Maintenance, Corrective Maintenance, Condition-based Maintenance, Predictive Maintenance and Reactive Maintenance.

How to Choose the Right Maintenance Strategy?

Choosing the best maintenance methodology is a risk measurement. Start by looking at what you lose when equipment fails. If the cost is higher than the repair cost, then a reactive maintenance method may be ideal for your business. On the other hand, if the costs are higher in the event of a machine failure, then a proactive maintenance method might be more beneficial.

What Are the 4 Types of Computer/Software Maintenance?

The 4 different software maintenance types are; Corrective Software Maintenance, Adaptive Software Maintenance, Perfective Software Maintenance and Preventive Software Maintenance.

Why Is the Right Maintenance Strategy Important?

The right maintenance strategy is critical because it reduces risks and improves efficiency while keeping costs within an affordable range. You also have the opportunity to extend the life of your equipment. This process also means that the cost of repairs is reduced and overall productivity remains higher.

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The 6 Types of Maintenance: Definitions, Benefits, Examples