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Q&A Series: Preventive Maintenance

Grace Flack
  • Jul 19, 2018
  • 3 minute read

What is preventive maintenance (or PM)? 

Preventative maintenance (or preventative maintenance) is scheduled maintenance performed on assets or equipment to improve performance, extend asset life and prevent breakdowns.  


How does preventive maintenance work? 

Just like oil changes and repairs you perform on your own car, preventive maintenance is a way to prevent issues and keep equipment running strong. Whether you work in operations or manage maintenance planning for a schoolhospitalmanufacturing plantlocal governmentsenior living communityclub or association or other organization, you know that the longer your assets run (and the better they perform), the more time and money you save as opposed to dealing with replacements, run to failure or interruptions in service for critical assets. Successful preventive maintenance programs effectively minimize downtime and extend asset life through scheduled routine inspections such as condition monitoring.

Preventive maintenance can be done on various parts of a facility or building and any number of assets, such as HVAC, air handling units and boilers. Large or small, equipment and building preventive maintenance tasks like adjustments, repairs, inspections and replacing equipment parts keep assets functioning at full capacity, minimizing unexpected work orders and costs. 


How much preventive vs. reactive maintenance should you have? 

We suggest setting a goal of 30-50% preventive to reactive maintenance to be a PM All-Star. This goal may be adjusted based on your industry. 

Read our article on Can You Do Too Much PM


Why is preventive maintenance important? 

Productivity, efficiency and uptime are critical to your operations – this, you know. To meet your bottom line and maximize your productivity, you have to keep your critical assets running at 100%.  

Our research shows that 80% of facility maintenance issues can be addressed by performing preventive maintenance on only 20% of facility systems. In addition, a preventive maintenance program can help you cut costs by 12-18% and save more than $135,000 per year. 

Preventive maintenance helps you move away from emergency or reactive work to a proactive approach where you know better what you need, when and how much to be at full capacity. A good PM program can also reduce insurance claims and overall risk. 

See more research in our Preventive Maintenance Education Report.


How does preventive maintenance impact productivity? 

The key to sustaining preventive maintenance is making it regular and scheduled. The more PM is a part of your technicians' day, the fewer fires and breakdowns will take up their time. This means that they get to spend more time doing their daily work instead of getting sidetracked by unexpected emergencies, and you can save 20-30% per work order. 

Our research shows that a PM program can create a 50-65% reduction in the rate of emergency work and a 28.6-39.3% reduction in average cost per work order. 


What are the types of preventive maintenance? 

  • Time-based preventive maintenance: Maintenance done on a specific calendar-based schedule.
  • Usage-based preventive maintenance: Maintenance performed based on a specific usage marker or utilization threshold that triggers a maintenance request.
  • Predictive maintenance: A more advanced way to do maintenance by using meter readings and usage data to predict when your equipment or assets need maintenance.
  • Prescriptive maintenance: Maintenance that uses machine learning to intelligently schedule and plan out maintenance needs.
  • Reliability-centered maintenance: A maintenance process focused on planning to ensure maintenance tasks are efficient, safe and reliable.


What is the difference between preventive and predictive maintenance? 

Predictive maintenance uses the condition of equipment to determine when maintenance is needed or when equipment or assets will fail. Preventive maintenance is more time- or age-based. Both approaches can have benefits to your operations. 

Read our article on 3 Common Reasons PdM and PM Plans Fail


How do you start a preventive maintenance program? 

With the right tools, a sustainable preventive maintenance program is well within your reach. Check out this blog on starting a preventive maintenance program and learn more about our PM software for a range of industries


How do you select preventive maintenance software? 

When choosing preventive maintenance tools or software, you must also consider the company or partner you will be working with. You should make sure that a predictive maintenance partner has a history of offering exceptional products and a strong support team. 

At Dude Solutions, we have 12,000+ clients using our CMMS, as well as a 97% client satisfaction rate. 


Learn more about why 12,000+ clients trust our preventive maintenance system by speaking with one of our product experts.

Interested in learning about how our software works for you?

Or want to ask a question?

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