Preventive Maintenance

In order to reduce the occurrence of defects, firms should carry out preventive maintenance. In preventive maintenance, the parts that are likely to produce defects are replaced, rather than the defects that arise during production being repaired. Workers are given the responsibility of maintaining their machinery and equipment and are also trained to solve or repair common problems. The following are the important principles and actions that improve equipment maintenance:

 Design simple equipment and standardize replacement parts.
 Collect information about the frequency and causes of failure of machines.
 Replace worn out parts of the equipment, after periodic checks.
 Purchase all spare parts that are necessary during repair work.

Preventive maintenance aims at servicing the machines regularly so that the equipment functions satisfactorily under optimum load conditions without breakdown or reduction in efficiency. Machines and equipment deteriorate with the passage of time because of wear and tear, improper use, overloading, aging, etc. As a result, there is a reduction in the production rate of the machine, quality
of products manufactured, operational life.

Preventive maintenance activities are classified into periodic and irregular maintenance activities.

Periodic maintenance activities: Periodic maintenance activities are conducted at regular intervals. These activities are carried out on a weekly or monthly basis or on the basis of machine usage, like, after every 36 hours of operation.

Irregular preventive maintenance activities: Irregular preventive maintenance includes tasks like repairs, overhauls, and cleaning of spills, which are carried out when the routine inspection of a machine reveals the need for servicing before the next periodic preventive maintenance.

Predictive Maintenance : Predictive maintenance is a set of irregular preventive maintenance activities, which detect probable future problems before they occur while the equipment is still performing at a satisfactory level. It involves continuous monitoring of the
vital attributes of various systems. Steps are taken to rectify any malfunctions.

Preventive maintenance is time-based whereas predictive maintenance is condition-based. Predictive maintenance identifies problems before they become responsible for breakdowns, reduces the amount of unscheduled maintenance activities, reduces the repair and service time as problem-solving is done beforehand, and does not interrupt the normal production activities as maintenance can be scheduled when the equipment in question is idle.

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