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Preventative maintenance versus the wait until it fails approach

Preventative maintenance versus the wait until it fails approach

No matter the size of your manufacturing business, conducting effective maintenance on your equipment is essential. But which is the right maintenance strategy for your organization? That’s a big question, because choosing the wrong one can be costly.

There are essentially two primary options for equipment maintenance: breakdown maintenance and preventative maintenance. 

Breakdown maintenance (wait until it fails)
The simplest maintenance strategy is that of ‘breakdown maintenance’. This is where assets are intentionally run until they fail or die. When breakdown occurs, reactive maintenance is performed to fix the equipment and return it to full operation. This approach is common when equipment failure doesn’t significantly affect operations or productivity.

Preventative maintenance (get ahead of a problem)
The purpose of preventative maintenance is to prevent machines from breaking down by performing maintenance regularly – instead of conducting maintenance once failure has occurred. Preventative maintenance predominantly features two different types of maintenance: periodic maintenance and predictive maintenance.

The implementation of a preventive maintenance program can be time consuming and costly.  This creates constant debate as to whether a preventive maintenance program is worth implementing the program.  Will the man hours and money invested in the program outweigh emergency repairs? Based on our experience at The UP! App working with our network of manufacturers and service techs across the country, we believe that when a preventative maintenance program is properly operated the benefits exceed the costs.

Here are our top four reasons why preventative maintenance for manufacturing equipment is worth the investment when compared to the breakdown maintenance strategy.


1) Catch problems early, resulting in faster, easier, and cheaper repairs

With regular checks, you won’t be surprised when something goes wrong. It will be a quick fix because you will know what needs to be done. Over time, you will see that less money is being spent because you will not have to replace equipment as much, as well as dealing with last minute break downs. While there still may be some unplanned maintenance needed, the likelihood will go down when the equipment is regularly checked and serviced.


2) Prevent problems before they get big to maximize efficiency, machine uptime and productivity

Companies that rely solely on reactive maintenance are essentially waiting for a problem to happen. Unplanned downtime can result in idle employees, halting production, missed deadlines, and revenue loss. An unexpected failure can also mean having to pay technicians overtime and having to pay out extra money for overnight delivery of parts. A preventive maintenance program is meant to avoid these problems through long-term maintenance tasks that are planned.


3) Extend the life of equipment, reducing replacement cost

Most equipment these days is not cheap, so the better a company cares for its equipment, the longer it will last. Preventive maintenance will prolong the life of equipment so a company can get more hours out of the equipment, resulting in reduced costs and increased profit.


4) Demonstrate corporate responsibility in the eyes of employees, partners and customers

Having a preventative maintenance plan in place can instill confidence to key stakeholders that productivity, safety, and staff satisfaction are a priority. Customers can count on the company to deliver products, materials or service on time, without unnecessary delays and will be seen as a more reliable business partner.


More than ever, manufacturers must focus on establishing preventive maintenance programs as a base to build upon their competitive strategy within the market. After all, premium performance of production equipment drives profitability and can transform an organization’s operational success.

To ensure high performance, manufacturers should focus on implementing a sound preventive maintenance program with scheduled service from trusted providers. If you are in need of new preventative maintenance service technicians you can find and connect with new providers in The UP! App.  Visit, Google Play or Apple store to download the The UP! App or login in from any browser to get started. Then, simply create a request in the app to start getting quotes from new vendors who are experienced with your specific machines. You can even load your current service providers in the app so you can quickly contact them all from one place.