Published November 23, 2021
by The UP! App

What is the difference & what do I need to keep my shop running smoothly?

Manufacturers know that machine maintenance for their milling machines, CNC machines, and lathes is a critical part of running a successful machine shop. Breakdowns are inevitable when running high-tech machines with moving parts, and the cost of repairing a machine when it breaks down can affect your company’s profits.

The data shows that 98% of businesses report that a single hour of downtime costs them over $100,000. (Source: Performing regular preventative maintenance on your machines can help you minimize costly operation stoppages.

But what about predictive maintenance? Predictive maintenance is something we have been hearing and reading a lot about. What, exactly, is the difference between predictive maintenance & preventative maintenance, and do I need both?

  • Predictive maintenance is a proactive maintenance strategy that uses data-driven, proactive maintenance methods designed to analyze the condition of manufacturing equipment and help predict when maintenance should be performed.
  • Preventative maintenance is the regularly scheduled, routine maintenance of manufacturing equipment in order to keep them running and prevent any costly unplanned downtime from unexpected equipment failure.

According to,  preventative maintenance does not demand the condition monitoring component that predictive maintenance does. By not requiring condition monitoring, a preventative maintenance program does not involve as much capital investment in technology and training. However, many preventative maintenance programs need manual data-gathering and analyzing. Source: (

Predictive Maintenance (PdM)

According to Production Machining, “Predictive maintenance predicts machine failures before they occur by means of infrared thermal imaging, vibration analysis and oil analysis, as well as integrated sensors and monitoring modules.”

The advantages of Predictive Maintenance are significant as it has cost-saving benefits as well as minimizing machine downtime and maximizing machine and equipment lifespan.

  1. Predictive Maintenance gathers machine information, like measuring wear during operation, that indicates when a part needs replacement before it fails. Information can be sent to a computer or mobile device for easy access.
  2. Predictive Maintenance uses sensors to compile real-time data about machine performance while the machine is running, therefore minimizing unplanned disruptions. Machine operators & management can avoid potential problems and work with the maintenance team to schedule repairs before the machine goes down and needs emergency repairs, maximizing uptime and operational efficiency.
  3. With advancements in automation tools, software, and IoT, predictive maintenance is going to continue to get better and better. In the future, maintenance needs for machines on the shop floor will be dictated by predictive maintenance, reducing machine downtime dramatically.
Preventative Maintenance

If your industrial machines are inefficient or working below optimum capacity, they will consume more power and be less productive. It can increase your operational expenses and even eat into your profits over time. Performing scheduled maintenance helps to keep the machines working at optimum capacity without consuming a lot of electricity.

Lack of a preventative maintenance plan lowers your industrial machines’ lifespan.  Therefore, you will need to replace them sooner than their well-maintained counterparts.  Create a simple maintenance schedule with a maintenance checklist for each machine and stick to it.

Besides costly repair expenses and losing valuable production time, failure of your lathes, milling machines, and CNC machines generates extra labor costs. Your machine operators will spend time waiting for the delivery of repair services and parts and fixing the malfunctioning equipment rather than production activities.

  1. Irrefutably, CNC machines perform functions that are impossible via human labor with outstanding quality, precision, and within the shortest time. This is why preventing the complete breakdown of your CNC machines, milling machines, and lathes is of utmost importance. If a machine fails due to lack of regular maintenance, it can bring about secondary part malfunctions, escalating repair costs.
  2. It takes time to fix malfunctioning milling machines, lathes, and CNC machinery, especially if you have to order replacement parts and wait for them to arrive.
  3. Besides ensuring your machines operate as expected, regular maintenance helps you keep up with your spare parts inventory. Doing so is paramount because some pieces will inevitably fail and necessitate repairs. As mentioned earlier, repair work can be time-consuming, so it helps to have the required replacement parts to repair the machines.
Final Thoughts

At The UP! App, we recommend that all machine shops do as much of both types of maintenance as they can. Preventative maintenance is relatively simple to implement, you can find a service provider on the UP! App to help with implementation and perform the maintenance on your machines.

Predictive maintenance is getting better and better. Manufacturers who don’t invest in predictive maintenance in the future will eventually fall behind their competition in productivity and sales. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Unplanned downtime costs industrial manufacturers an estimated $50 billion annually. Equipment failure is the cause of 42 percent of this unplanned downtime. Unplanned outages result in excessive maintenance, repair and equipment replacement.”

In a recent report by Deloitte, several facilities have seen a 5-10 percent cost savings in operations and maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) material spend; a 5-10 percent reduction in overall maintenance costs; and reduced inventory-carrying costs. Further data from the U.S. Department of Energy also shows that implementing a functional PdM program has the potential to yield a tenfold increase in ROI, a 25-30 percent reduction in maintenance costs, a 70-75 percent decrease in breakdowns and a 35-45 percent reduction in downtime.

If you need help with a preventative maintenance or predictive maintenance program, remember to use The UP! App to find the right service provider for your needs.