Corrective vs preventative: which maintenance strategy is best for your bottom line?

Having the most efficient and effective production line possible is incredibly important for manufacturers, as it can ultimately define their success. Many manufacturers have adopted the ‘best-practice’ metric OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness), which calculates the percentage of planned production time that is actually productive and gives them an overview of how their production line is performing.

Protecting planned production time is crucial to upholding OEE and can be attained through monitoring three factors – availability, performance, and quality. In other words, to achieve 100 per cent OEE you want to be producing only good products, as fast as possible, with no downtime. To avoid loss in any of these areas it is fundamental to have an effective maintenance strategy that keeps your equipment running and reduces overall cost to the business.

Corrective vs preventative maintenance

There are two different approaches to maintenance that a manufacturer can take – corrective or preventative.

Corrective maintenance is a reactive approach to maintaining equipment – the idea being to only maintain or service equipment when there is a fault or failure. While this can reduce short term costs by limiting the spend on maintenance to only when necessary (i.e. the output is not meeting quality standards, or it has stopped your production line) it can often end up costing more in equipment repairs and the cost of unplanned downtime.

Since this approach doesn’t require a plan, a risk of corrective maintenance is the possibility of not having access to spare parts when they’re required. Additionally, a technician may not be available to come the job straight away which can keep your production line stopped for longer and result in additional unplanned downtime.

On the other hand, preventative maintenance is a proactive approach to maintaining equipment. It aims to prevent the occurrence of equipment failures before they happen. This is achieved through conducting regular scheduled maintenance with your service or equipment provider. However, preventative maintenance doesn’t only have to be carried out by a technician; it can also include daily cleaning of your equipment by the operator.

Taking a proactive approach to maintenance not only prevents major failures but allows you to budget for maintenance costs and aids in lowering the total cost of ownership. Additionally, you can plan for downtime outside of your planned production time allowing you to maintain productivity and improve OEE.

“When developing your maintenance strategy, it’s important to consider the equipment and service provider you use, and partner with one who will develop a maintenance plan that best fits your needs and delivers on maximising uptime,” affirms Evan Powell, insignia’s Head of Customer Experience and Supply Chain.

“At insignia we are increasingly focused on how we can better utilise technology so that we can proactively and predictively manage our customers’ assets.”

If you regularly service your car, why would you not do the same for your essential production equipment?

To find out more about the benefits of regularly servicing your equipment, click here.