Maintenance is an essential part of keeping any system running smoothly. It is important to understand the different types of maintenance methods available and how and when they should be used. There are four main types of maintenance: preventive, condition-based, predictive, and corrective maintenance. Preventive maintenance is the practice of regularly inspecting a system to detect and fix problems before they occur.
This type of maintenance is usually carried out several times a year in the form of regular inspections. The main benefit of preventive maintenance is that it can eliminate unplanned downtime, as it aims to detect issues before they arise. Condition-based maintenance is sometimes considered a more advanced alternative to preventive maintenance. Rather than inspecting them according to a schedule, machines and systems are carefully observed 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. Predictive maintenance is another strategy within condition-based maintenance. It 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 as there is a lot of data to interpret, and the sensor devices themselves must be maintained and checked regularly. Corrective maintenance starts 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. 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.
Reliability-Centered Maintenance (RCM)Reliability-Centered Maintenance (RCM) is a decision-making process used to develop or improve a preventive maintenance program that is effective and efficient.
To be successful in the field of building maintenance, it is helpful to understand all four types of maintenance methods and how they are used.