The choice of maintenance strategy is crucial for any industrial company. It must be adapted to its needs and its human and financial capacities while allowing it to be as competitive as possible. Between preventive and corrective maintenance strategies, the advantages and disadvantages have evolved in line with technological progress. Which one is the most efficient today?
Corrective maintenance consists in intervening on a machine following a failure, in order to repair it and restore its normal operation.
Corrective maintenance or curative maintenance?
In the French language, there are certain subtleties concerning the concept of corrective maintenance. Thus, the notion of corrective curative maintenance, which is a subdivision of corrective maintenance, is often abbreviated to “curative maintenance”. On the other hand, among English-speaking authors, this distinction is unknown, and the term “curative maintenance” is synonymous with “corrective maintenance” and is opposed to preventive maintenance.
The subtleties of corrective maintenance
In addition, this maintenance category can be further refined. A distinction can be made between palliative maintenance, which aims to temporarily repair or troubleshoot a breakdown, and corrective maintenance, which aims to permanently repair the sources of the breakdowns.
We can also differentiate between immediate corrective maintenance, which intervenes as soon as possible after a breakdown, and deferred corrective maintenance, which postpones the repair if it is not urgent or if it has already been scheduled at a later date.
The simplest maintenance strategy to adopt?
Corrective maintenance has long been the main maintenance strategy used to maintain industrial machinery. Even today, it still appears to many SME managers or maintenance managers as the simplest to implement.
For a long time, this characteristic of simplicity was real. Given the lack of technical or IT solutions to consider another type of maintenance, simply intervening on the machines in the event of a breakdown or malfunction was clearly the easiest method to use.
When the first CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System) appeared, preventive maintenance strategies began to be applied. However, the high cost, complexity and cumbersome nature of these software programs represented such drawbacks that corrective maintenance remained, for many plants, the method best suited to their capabilities and needs.
Fill in all maintenance activities in the CMMS to keep a history of all the interventions performed by the teams
A limited method
Today, this observation is no longer valid. Indeed, the appearance of new CMMS solutions based on the considerable technological advances of the last few decades has changed the situation, making preventive maintenance much easier to access.
Corrective maintenance has thus lost most of its comparative advantage. Indeed, apart from its relative ease of use, this maintenance strategy has many shortcomings. On the one hand, it poses a problem when acquiring new equipment. Incidents are generally frequent in this case, and no material or human resources are mobilized before a breakdown occurs. On the other hand, the service life of the machines is not optimized by intervening only in the event of a breakdown, which results in more frequent interventions and replacement of parts.
In addition, in plants that apply a corrective maintenance strategy, breakdowns are generally more significant, which implies higher repair costs. Finally, this method of maintenance requires a larger stock of spare parts to cope with all possible breakdowns, which again results in additional costs.
To reduce these sources of expense, more and more companies are choosing to turn to preventive maintenance, which has many advantages and is now easy to adopt.
Adopting a preventive maintenance strategy through CMMS
Preventive maintenance is used by a growing number of industrial companies to improve the performance of their equipment and thus reduce maintenance costs. To do this, they rely on new generation CMMS tools.
What is preventive maintenance?
Preventive maintenance can be defined as follows: Maintenance carried out at predetermined intervals or according to prescribed criteria, and intended to reduce the probability of failure or degradation of the operation of a good or the degradation of a service rendered.
A preventive maintenance strategy adopts a proactive approach and takes into account several criteria to anticipate equipment malfunctions:
- regulations concerning machines, to comply with the standards in force (for example in the pharmaceutical industry or aeronautics);
- user feedback and reports on equipment operation;
- manufacturers’ recommendations, in particular to be able to enforce the guarantee or quality assurance in the event of a breakdown.
Mobility Work is provided with an analytic tool to help you analyze all your maintenance data and adapt your strategy
Systematic or conditional preventive maintenance
Such a strategy can be declined according to two main axes. Systematic preventive maintenance is established according to a schedule or periodicity of use. Conditional preventive maintenance is based on the condition of the equipment, i.e. its actual state, through continuous monitoring or at regular intervals, and a direct connection with it. The degradation of a machine is thus measured by means of sensors, a self-diagnosis system or by measuring the wear and tear of parts. It is particularly efficient and cost-effective.
Advantages of a preventive maintenance strategy
The main direct benefits of a preventive maintenance strategy, especially compared to corrective maintenance, are :
- the reduction of the frequency of breakdowns;
- the reduction of machine downtime;
- better security;
- a longer life of the equipment;
- improved productivity.
Towards predictive maintenance thanks to 4.0 CMMS
In addition to these considerable direct advantages, the adoption of a preventive maintenance strategy with a latest-generation CMMS makes it possible to gradually move towards predictive maintenance, which is the most efficient method today.
If it can be similar to conditional preventive maintenance, the NF EN 13 306 X 60-319 standard defines it as follows: “Predictive maintenance is carried out by following the extrapolated predictions of the analysis and evaluation of significant parameters of the deterioration of the asset, in particular thanks to sensors installed on the machines and connected (IoT, Internet of Things).”
This maintenance strategy is therefore only possible with a next-gen CMMS compatible with the IoT, such as Mobility Work, for example. Thanks to the sensors installed on all the machines, the direct connection system to them by QR code from any mobile device with the application and community resources, Mobility Work makes it possible to predict future equipment malfunctions with great accuracy.
Thanks to the counter tool of your Mobility Work CMMS, collect values that will allow you to improve your maintenance planning
Spare parts requirements, maintenance team schedules or even production shutdown periods can thus be organized with maximum precision and minimum negative impact on the plant’s productivity.
While a corrective maintenance strategy may remain, in the case of some VSEs, the most adapted to the characteristics of a plant, preventive maintenance is today the most recommended for most companies, including SMEs. The appearance of new CMMS tools such as Mobility Work makes all these advantages much more accessible than with traditional CMMS, and even makes it possible to move towards predictive maintenance.