5 Maintenance Methods Explained: Preventive, Condition-Based, Predictive, Corrective and Default

Maintenance is an essential part of any organization's operations. It is important to understand the different types of maintenance strategies and how they can be used to improve efficiency, quality and safety. In this article, we will explain five of the most common maintenance methods: preventive maintenance, condition-based maintenance, predictive maintenance, corrective maintenance and default maintenance. Preventive maintenance is a strategy that seeks to detect and fix problems before they arise.

It is usually carried out in the form of regular inspections, which are usually conducted several times a year. The main benefit of preventive maintenance is that it can eliminate unplanned downtime, since the goal is to identify issues before they occur. Condition-based maintenance is sometimes considered a more advanced alternative to preventive maintenance. Instead of inspecting them according to a schedule, machines and systems are carefully monitored for changes that could indicate an imminent failure.

With condition-based maintenance, technicians observe the operation of the system and identify variables that could affect operation, such as temperature, vibration rate, power, the presence or absence of moisture, etc. Another strategy within condition-based maintenance is predictive maintenance. Predictive maintenance refers to a specific type of condition-based maintenance in which systems are constantly observed through sensor devices. These devices are connected to the components of the system and provide constant, real-time data to the software.

The software then interprets this data and warns maintenance technicians of the proximity of a hazard. Predictive maintenance is generally considered to be the most advanced and intensive type of maintenance. Corrective maintenance begins when a problem is discovered while working on another work order. With corrective maintenance, problems are detected “just in time”. For example, during a scheduled maintenance check or when solving another problem, a service technician notices that a pipe in an HVAC system is not working as it should.

Corrective maintenance is then scheduled for a future date when the problem is repaired or replaced. Because corrective maintenance issues are detected “just in time”, it reduces emergency repairs and increases employee safety. Default maintenance is carried out using rules and suggestions created by the original manufacturer, rather than the maintenance team. These suggestions are based on experiments and collected data. Relying only on a predetermined schedule can cause system failures, since technicians may not be able to anticipate problems.

It can also cause multi-family maintenance teams to replace parts too soon, leading to additional costs. In addition, default maintenance does not guarantee that the system will not break down, since the program is based on statistics and not on the actual state of the equipment.


maintenance simply means waiting for things to break and then reacting to fix them. It is generally understood that relying solely on reactive maintenance leads to an increase in overall maintenance costs. It also helps to reduce productivity (measured through the OEE, for example) and quality, and to increase safety and health risks. When we move from reactive maintenance to preventive maintenance, we take our first step toward proactive maintenance activities (preventive maintenance and all of the other strategies listed below are proactive rather than reactive in nature).

Preventive maintenance is performed on a schedule before assets go bad. Predictive maintenance is similar to condition-based maintenance but more sources of information are evaluated to determine the current state of the machine, including maintenance records, OEE data, weather and environmental data, and a variety of information from machine sensors (thanks to the Industrial Internet of Things or IIoT). Predictive maintenance is considered more accurate than condition-based because it uses more data but also entails higher cost levels. Finally, prescriptive maintenance involves using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning not only to proactively predict when maintenance will need to be carried out but also to suggest possible solutions. Organizations can benefit from implementing proactive strategies such as preventive or predictive maintenances instead of relying solely on reactive maintenances. Proactive strategies reduce costly machine downtime; make better use of time, money and other resources; allow better planning of activities; facilitate advance planning; ensure that right tools and parts are in stock; improve worker safety; improve product quality; help change perception from cost center to revenue center; reduce overall costs; increase productivity; improve quality; reduce safety risks. Interplay Learning's online course catalogs offer ongoing property training using 3D-based technology and virtual reality (VR) simulations that technicians can practice from anywhere.

Chelsey Alonge
Chelsey Alonge

Passionate social media guru. Hardcore web geek. Passionate zombieaholic. General social media maven. General twitter buff. Infuriatingly humble twitter evangelist.

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