Preventive vs. Predictive maintenance. What’s the difference?

Keeping your customers’ machines and equipment up and running is vital. Let’s face it, managing a critical machine to the point of failure isn’t good for your clients or their assets. And, leaving you at the mercy of reactive fixes and support doesn’t create a stable and predictable workflow for your own business.

Is PPM the answer?

With planned preventive maintenance (PPM) you can perform regular maintenance and reduce the chances of equipment failing. Instead of fixing things when they break, you fix them beforehand.

However, PPM can be both complex and time-consuming without the right tools. So, in response, as part of wider efforts to keep customers happy, more and more organisations are investing in PPM modules to reduce the burden.

However, as technology evolves, so does our ability to reduce equipment downtime. And, in 2018, it is predictive maintenance that is emerging as a benchmark of quality in the field service industry.

What’s the difference between preventive and predictive maintenance?

Ultimately, both preventive and predictive maintenance help you to:

  • Keep equipment running as well as possible for as long as possible
  • Reduce the likelihood of unplanned shutdowns
  • Reduce maintenance costs.

But what is the difference between preventive and predictive maintenance?

Planned preventive maintenance (PPM)

PPM sees maintenance occur depending on expected operating experience. Typically a maintenance schedule will be created based on hours of operation or time passed. For example, forklift manufacturers suggest performing preventive maintenance every 150 to 200 hours of operation.

However, without accurate insights, some assets could be serviced too frequently while others aren’t serviced enough. This can result in unnecessary costs, diminished performance, and even unplanned downtime.

Predictive maintenance (PdM)

Predictive maintenance uses each asset’s real-time operating data to assess when maintenance is due. Insights are provided on things like temperature, pressure, vibration etc. So, whether an asset requires maintenance is determined by the condition of the equipment rather than average statistics.

With this approach, equipment is serviced only when needed, but before the asset’s performance starts to degrade.

What is the best option for your operations?

Predictive maintenance might sound like a more advanced option (and it is), but there is no doubt that preventive maintenance is simple and cheaper to implement than PdM.

That’s why, when it comes to keeping your operations running optimally, it is worth considering a combination of preventive and predictive maintenance. By leveraging the benefits of both PPM and PdM, you can create a maintenance schedule that maximises uptime while keeping costs low.

Indeed, many organisations choose to employ preventive maintenance only on more more-critical assets. This includes equipment that you can’t operate without, as well as assets with long repair times and a high cost of repairs. You just need to choose what’s feasible for your business.

Blurring lines?

Ultimately – as cloud solutions and advanced analytics options evolve – the lines between predictive and preventative maintenance are becoming increasingly blurred. Already innovative PPM software can be used to deliver improved insights that take preventive maintenance to the next level.  And, as cloud-based technology becomes more and more popular, we can expect the entry cost to PdM tools to decrease.

Want to reduce the hassle of unnecessary jobs? With Service Geeni, our PPM module can reduce the burden by helping you to manage this process more efficiently. Delivering improved insights, by enabling more predictive maintenance we’ll help you to save time and money.