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Types of machine maintenance

June 15, 2021

There are nine types of machine maintenance. Each one has its pros and cons (except reactive maintenance, which is all cons), and can be mixed and matched with assets to create a balanced maintenance program.


Reactive maintenance


Reactive maintenance refers to repairs done when a machine has already reached failure. Since it’s unexpected, unplanned, and usually leads to rushed, emergency repairs, It’s often called “fighting fires.”



Run to fail maintenance

Run to fail maintenance is very similar to reactive maintenance. It involves letting a piece of equipment run until it breaks down. However, run to fail is a deliberate choice, whereas reactive maintenance is not. A plan is in place to ensure parts and labour are available to get the asset up and running, or replaced, as soon as possible.



Routine maintenance


Routine maintenance consists of basic maintenance tasks, such as checking, testing, lubricating, and replacing worn or damaged parts on a planned and ongoing basis.

Corrective maintenance

Corrective maintenance is any work that gets assets back into proper working order, although it’s most commonly associated with smaller, non-invasive tasks that fix a problem before a complete failure occurs. For example, realigning a part during a routine inspection.




Preventive maintenance


Preventive maintenance refers to any regularly scheduled machine maintenance intended to identify problems and repair them before failure occurs. Preventive maintenance can be split up into two predominant types: Time-based preventive maintenance and usage-based preventive maintenance.

Time-based preventive maintenance are tasks scheduled at a certain time interval, such as the last day of every month or every 10 days. Usage-based preventive maintenance is when work is scheduled based on the operation of equipment, such as after 500 miles or 15 production cycles.



Condition-based maintenance


Condition-based maintenance depends on monitoring the actual condition of assets in order to perform maintenance when there is evidence of decreased performance or upcoming failure. This evidence can be obtained through inspection, performance data, or scheduled tests, and it can be gathered either on a regular basis or continuously, through the use of internal sensors.



Predictive maintenance


Predictive maintenance builds on condition-based maintenance, using tools and sensors to track machinery performance in real-time. This enables the identification of potential problems so they can be corrected before failure occurs.



Prescriptive maintenance

Prescriptive maintenance automates the maintenance process even further through the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). With a prescriptive maintenance strategy in place, sensors track machinery performance in real-time and uses AI to let you know what maintenance work needs to be done and when.