Overcoming Reactive Maintenance Challenges | Quality Digest

How can preventive maintenance help?

You can prepare for shifting technician workloads by integrating smart vendor management software into your maintenance program. An effective vendor management application should allow you to easily track and manage service contracts and contractors and oversee work order management.

Evaluate the potential of your assets to fail, the likely causes of failure, and the impacts on workplace safety by conducting a failure mode effects and criticality (FMECA) study. The FMECA is a formal qualitative method of carrying out a what-if analysis on your assets and tracking failures to their root causes.

When you hold excess inventory, you risk tying up precious capital and reducing cash flow. Conversely, when you carry insufficient stock, you risk prolonging asset downtime and overpaying for emergency replacement parts.

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Risk Management

Overcoming Reactive Maintenance Challenges

How reactive and preventative maintenance differ

Published Feb. 15, 2024, by Limble.

These upfront costs aren’t always worth paying. Reactive maintenance might be your best option under the following conditions:
• The cost of routine maintenance tasks would be higher than the cost of replacement.
• The cost to maintain an aging piece of equipment would be greater than the cost of asset failure and replacement.
• Equipment is noncritical, and its failure wouldn’t affect productivity or create downtime.

A reactive maintenance strategy may reduce your maintenance staffing needs while your equipment is functional. When malfunctions and breakdowns occur, however, your maintenance team’s plans may be thrown into disarray.

Reliable CMMS software assists staff in developing, updating, and storing standardized maintenance procedures so your team is ready with a clearly delineated plan for minimizing downtime and keeping repair costs low when equipment fails.

By contrast, preventive maintenance strategies, which fall under the umbrella of proactive maintenance, use monitoring and data analysis to plan, schedule, or trigger maintenance activities. These activities are performed proactively as a way to prevent malfunction or failure, minimize the downtime resulting from these events, and extend the life span of your equipment.

Reactive maintenance challenges

How can preventive maintenance help?

With a reactive maintenance workflow, maintenance is only performed after a malfunction or failure has already occurred. This minimizes initial costs and simplifies maintenance requirements while the parts or equipment in question are running. However, with reactive maintenance, little is done to prevent the occurrence of breakdown or failure. As a result, malfunctions often lead to significant downtime.

How can preventive maintenance help?

This usage-based maintenance strategy can serve as a backstop to prevent excess inventory or a critical shortfall of parts. With a preventive maintenance strategy, you can deploy features like automatic usage tracking, inventory holdings management, traceability, and real-time reporting to keep your spare-parts inventory database up to date.

Reactive maintenance is a form of physical asset management in which maintenance is only performed on equipment or machinery when it malfunctions or fails entirely. Sometimes referred to as run-to-failure maintenance or breakdown maintenance, reactive maintenance strategies provide the most basic level of asset maintenance and offer a minimum threshold of stability until your organization is prepared to take a preventive approach to maintenance.

Despite their short-term benefits, purely reactive maintenance programs are actually costly, inefficient, and potentially even hazardous. By contrast, preventive maintenance strategies are proven to:
• Eliminate work stoppage and lost productivity caused by equipment downtime
• Reduce the frequency, cost, and labor hours dedicated to emergency repairs
• Improve maintenance operations and extend the life span of your assets

The primary advantage of reactive maintenance is that it’s a cost-effective and uncomplicated way to get the most output from assets before they fail. Although preventive maintenance can minimize long-term costs, it presents upfront costs of its own that some organizations can’t manage.

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