Types of Maintenance Programs (3)

3. Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance can be defined as follows: Actions performed on a time- or machine-run-based schedule that detect, preclude, or mitigate degradation of a component or system with the aim of sustaining or extending its useful life through controlling degradation to an acceptable level.

The U.S. Navy pioneered preventive maintenance as a means to increase the reliability of their vessels. By simply expending the necessary resources to conduct maintenance activities intended by the equipment designer, equipment life is extended and its reliability is increased.
In addition to an increase in reliability, dollars are saved over that of a program just using reactive maintenance. Studies indicate that this savings can amount to as much as 12% to 18% on the average. Depending on the facilities current maintenance practices, present equipment reliability, and facility downtime, there is little doubt that many facilities purely reliant on reactive maintenance could save much more than 18% by instituting a proper preventive maintenance program.
While preventive maintenance is not the optimum maintenance program, it does have several advantages over that of a purely reactive program. By performing the preventive maintenance as the equipment designer envisioned, we will extend the life of the equipment closer to design. This translates into dollar savings. Preventive maintenance (lubrication, filter change, etc.) will generally run the equipment more efficiently resulting in dollar savings. While we will not prevent equipment catastrophic failures, we will decrease the number of failures. Minimizing failures translate into maintenance and capitol cost savings.

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